27 Moving Day Essentials

Couple sitting on floor drinking coffee while unpacking

AKA: 27 Things You’ll Need Before You Get Around to Unpacking Them
Set yourself up for success on Moving Day with these must-haves!

Unpacking (& Repacking) Supplies

You’re in the home stretch, but your days of dealing with cardboard and packing peanuts aren’t quite over. Make sure you have the tools to efficiently unpack and dispose of your boxes and bubble wrap. You may also want the means to repair, reseal, relabel or repack a box or two if needed. Next season’s holiday décor can wait.

✔ Tape
✔ Markers for labeling
✔ Box cutter or scissors
Recycling bin (moving boxes and packing paper don’t have to end up in a landfill!)

Cleaning Supplies

Even if you’re moving into a brand-new, never-been-lived-in home, you’ll want to have at least a basic cleaning kit on hand. Maybe the movers will track in mud, or someone will drop a slice of pizza—be prepared! If you used newspaper as padding, you’ll probably want to run your tableware through the dishwasher before you stock your cabinets. Make it easy to clean as you go. Your future self will thank you.   

✔ Cleaning solutions (glass, all-purpose, disinfectant, carpet)
✔ Detergents (dish and laundry)
✔ Mop, broom and dustpan
✔ Vacuum cleaner
✔ Paper towels
✔ Trash bags


Borrowing tools from your new neighbors: maybe not the best icebreaker. Gather a versatile selection of your tools and keep them handy for the move. You never know when you’ll need to tighten a table leg or assemble a bookcase.     

✔ Sliders (for fine-tuning your furniture placement)
✔ Hammer and nails
✔ Pliers
✔ Flat- and Phillips-head screwdrivers
✔ Tape measure
✔ Toilet plunger
✔ Flashlight

Self Care Basics

After a full day of lifting, carrying, unpacking and organizing, you’ll be craving creature comforts. Avoid last-minute runs to the grocery or pharmacy by planning ahead!  

✔ Food and beverages, or a plan for obtaining them
✔ Enough plates and cutlery for each person (and a can opener)
✔ First aid kit
✔ Medications (prescription and over-the-counter; for all family members)
✔ Grooming necessities
✔ Tissues and toilet paper
✔ Clothing for each person (plus extra, in case of spills)
✔ Towels, washcloths and bed linens
✔ Device chargers (phone, tablet, etc.)
✔ Your sense of adventure (This is your new home—you’re filling it with new memories, not just boxes!)

Looking for more ways to make Moving Day great? Check out these other articles:

A Moving Checklist for Your Kids
Senior Moving Tips
Don’t Forget the Dog! A Moving Checklist for Your Pets