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Moving and Packing the Essentials - Checklist of Supplies



I know.You're tired of tape after all of that packing you've been doing. Regardless, it's a good idea to include a roll of tape in your essentials box. I usually pack duct tape - it's strong, durable and will fix almost anything.

Emergency/Medical Kit

A small medical or emergency kit is essential. Small cuts and injuries are a possibility when unpacking so you'll want to keep a good supply of bandages, gauze and ointments close at hand. You can also check out our moving safety tips for more information on staying safe while you move.

Flashlight and/or candles

It's always a good idea to pack some kind of emergency lighting. A few years ago, we spent a long day moving, arriving at our new home late at night. We quickly discoverd that the former residents had removed all the lightbulbs, leaving us - literally - in the dark. We were just glad we had a few flashlights on hand.

Shower curtain

This might seem like a silly thing to pack into your essentials box, but there's nothing more frustrating than wanting to shower after a long day of moving only to discover that you can't remember where you packed the shower curtain. This has happened to me a few times before I learned to pack it with the essentials. Of course, this only applies if your new home needs a shower curtain...

Shampoo, conditioner and bath soap

I've included these essentials in the family box instead of the personal boxes, just to cut down on weight and volume. Again, you can pour small amounts of liquids into plastic bottles to reduce the amount you need to pack. Just remember to label the bottles.

Garbage bags

Garbage bags have all kinds of uses, besides being used for trash. Once when we moved, it started to pour rain before we'd finished so we we were glad that we'd packed enough garbage bags into our essentials box that every person helping us move had some protection from the wet weather in the form of a garbage bag poncho.

Laundry soap

If I were to leave anything off the list of essentials, it would be laundry soap. I'd pack it if you have very small children who require a lot of laundry. Otherwise, most laundry can wait until after you unpack. Or if you have room in your essentials box, put a few cap-fulls in a baggie or plastic container rather than including the entire box or jug.

Emergency Contact List

An emergency list should be the last item you pack into your essentials box so it'll be the first thing you unpack at your new home. Place it in a prominent location in your new home - on the fridge or bulletin board or right beside the home phone.

Find out how to create and who should be on your emergency list before you move in.


Most of us have cell phones so our home telephones don't tend to be our main means of communicating. However, it's a good idea to pack your home phone in the essentials box in case your cell phone's battery dies. Most phones are small and compact and won't take up much room.

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