What Should Go in Your ‘Open First Box’ When Moving?

by Kayla Keena

Moving is exciting and stressful. Once you’ve closed on your new home, you have to plan your move, including renting a truck, hiring movers, and planning how to tackle unpacking. After a long day of moving everything you own from one place to another, you’re not going to have the energy to unpack every single box immediately. The beauty of packing an “open first box” is that you’ll have all the essentials you need in one place. This way, you won’t have to dig through hundreds of boxes to find your bedsheets or toothbrush. Discover what should go in your open first box when moving.


Funnily enough, you may need to find some important documents during your first day or two of living in your new home. Most people save documents as the last thing they unpack, and they generally regret it when they can’t find the homeowner’s association manual or don’t know how to prove their residency at the DMV. Make sure to keep these documents in your open first box, just in case.

  • Passports, birth certificates, social security cards

  • Homeowner documents

These documents may come in handy during the first few days at your home. It’s much better to have them on hand and not need them than to need them and not know where they are.

Personal items

Personal items that you’ll need the first night often come down to your nightly routine and morning rituals. The needs of each person are a little different, but this list should be a good general guide.

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairbrush
  • Shower essentials, such as shampoo, conditioner, and body wash 
  • Pajamas, clothes for two days, extra socks
  • House shoesAny medications 
  • A first aid kit with the essentials

Household items

It’s important to pack the household items you’ll need in the first few in an easily accessible box. The first night, it’s key to set up your bed immediately, so you can go to sleep whenever you want without worrying about the extra work.

  • Bedsheets, pillowcases, pillows, blankets
  • Phone chargers
  • Basic kitchen essentials such as bowls, plates, cups, and a method to filter water
  • Cleaning supplies such as a broom, mop, disinfectant spray, and toilet bowl cleaner

There are many ways to determine what should go in your open first box when moving. The items you should pack varies based on your personal preferences and family needs.

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