Moving into a new home? The majority of your home goods may still be en route or it may be awhile before the truck arrives. Be prepared for your first few nights in your new home. Taking the stress out of moving isn’t always easy but you can feel a bit more prepared by following these tips.

Pack like you’re going on holiday

Of course you may not be headed to a sunny beach vacation but moving into a new environment and living without most of your belongings is a bit like going on vacation. Pack a small suitcase for each family member and include the basic you would normally bring if you were leaving home for awhile:

  • toiletries (consider buying travel sized items to last you a week)
  • makeup
  • medications
  • small first aid kit
  • changes of clothing and shoes
  • books and entertainment
  • chargers for computers and phones
  • For kids: backpacks for school, favorite toy, games and entertainment. Be sure your children have any new address or emergency phone number information on them.

Don’t forget your documents

In your move it’s recommended that all important documents be kept separate from your household items. Keep all important paperwork with you during the move so you can easily access them even during this temporary time.

  • tax paperwork
  • birth certificates
  • marriage certificate
  • school records
  • children’s immunizations
  • Social Security information
  • Last Will and Testament
  • important banking information like a checkbook

Pack food and other comforts

Your first night in your new home may be filled with chaos and confusion. If you had a chance to switch on your utilities, and your kitchen is functioning, you may be able to start preparing meals in your new home. If that’s the case then you’ll want to have with you a box filled with basics for a couple of meals. Consider packing along some plates, utensils and containers for preparing food. Some items to bring are:

  • non perishable foods
  • produce
  • proteins
  • basic cookware: 1 large pot and 1 large saucepan
  • basic cooking utensils: 1 large spoon, 1 large slotted spoon, 1 spatula
  • water bottles
  • plates, silverware and cups
  • plastic containers for mixing, preparing and storing food
  • paper towels
  • all-purpose soap for kitchen sink

If your kitchen isn’t ready for meal preparation (utilities aren’t turned on, kitchen hasn’t been cleaned) then consider packing “camping” food that you can snack on until you’re ready to cook or go out for a meal. Remember, unpacking and preparing your new home can be exhausting so be sure to keep everyone well fed and hydrated. Some items to consider for light eating:

  • gallon of drinking water
  • non perishable snacks like granola bars
  • hand sanitizer
  • dry cereal

Small furnishings to make your house feel like home

Although your furnishings are on their way, you may have a period of time where you are sleeping without any of your creature comforts. If you have room, bring some items that will make your first few nights comfortable:

  • air mattress
  • sleeping bags
  • pillows
  • blankets
  • flashlight or small lamp
  • power strip for charging your devices

Keep your pets safe and happy

Our pets are part of our family so of course you’ll want to consider their well-being during this transition time. Bring along the items that your pet will need for the short term. If you have a dog, consider checking ahead of your move where the closest dog parks are in your area and find out the local leash laws. Once you move you’ll want to update your pet’s collar identification, register your pet with the appropriate agency and find a local veterinarian.

  • leash and collar
  • pet bed
  • a couple favorite toys
  • food and food bowl
  • water bowl
  • litter box or poop bags
  • crate or cage
  • medication and medical records

Top image credit: Pedersen Associates