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Packing an Essentials Box

moving couple packing a box of essentials

Ever been caught in an awkward situation without any toilet paper? Some of us have at one point. One of the times that your chances of this go up is when you’re moving because everything you have gets packed up in boxes and nobody thinks about how there are some things that are needed after the packing is over and before the unpacking begins.


You can save yourself and your family members from having to ask, “where’s the toilet paper?” by designating a spot for it and other items that will undoubtedly be missed once they’re gone. 


The Essentials Box Defined

Before we get into what should be included in the essentials box, you need to know what it is. This box, or another kind of container, is where you pack everyday items that you’ll need in your home when the packing is done, but you’re still there, or in your new home when the unpacking isn’t done, but you’re already there. These items are ones that you use all the time, but you don’t think very much about. It’s there when you need it, so you just assume it always will be, and you won’t miss it…until it’s gone.


Ideally, you would want to place this box in the same vehicle you’re traveling in, however, if you’re going to ship your essentials box with your other stuff, you want to make sure that it’s the last box that goes into the truck so that it can be the first box that comes out at the new place. Also, make sure it is clearly labeled so it can be quickly identified when its contents are needed.


Now that you know what it is, let’s get into what you need to put in it.


Toilet Paper

As was with our intro example, this isn’t something you want to do without. You may need it before you leave the old home or as soon as you get to the new one. Just pack a couple of rolls to get you through until you have time to make a run to the store, that way when nature calls, you’re ready.


Paper Towels

Moving can be messy. There will inevitably be things that get spilled and need cleaning up. Throw a roll of these versatile wipes into the box also. This way you can keep surfaces clean moving out and fresh moving in.



You, your family, and even your movers will likely want to wash their hands. You might want to throw two in there because it helps to have one by the kitchen sink and one in the washroom. By doing this, you ensure everyone’s hands stay sanitary throughout the whole process.



Add the family toiletries into your essentials box because you don’t know what could happen on the road or during the move. You have to eat, so make sure your toothbrush is included. Not to mention if you’re doing any of the lifting, you’re bound to get sweaty, so have everything ready for showers if needed.


Trash Bags

Moving creates a lot of trash (or recycling). In any case, you need somewhere to put discarded paper and other packing materials. We recommend using smaller bags so they can be used to fit a moving box which would serve as a temporary trash can until the actual can is unpacked.


Sheets and Blankets

You should have some bedding in your essentials box. When you get into your new house and the beds arrive, it’s not a given that you’ll know where your sheets are packed. The hours will pass, and when you’re finally out of energy, you’ll want to quickly lay your head. Having some clean sheets easily accessible will be appreciated later.


Paper Plates and Plastic Silverware

You’ll need these items to eat your meals and snacks before and after your move. Even if your belongings show up, it might be a couple of days before you have your kitchen squared away with all of the dishes and utensils you need to eat with. Plasticware and paper plates will give you something to use in the meantime.


Make Inconvenience a Little More Convenient

Moving is full of aspects that make your life very inconvenient for a period of time. You can make some of it a little bit easier to deal with by packing an essentials box. Start with the items on this list, but then add whatever things you can think of that you will miss. Put in the things that you deem to be essential.


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