Moving can be such a crazy time — it is so easy to forget the most simple things. The old saying “If my head wasn’t screwed on, I’d forget it” rings true in situations like this. Your overnight bag of essentials that you will need immediately upon move-in really should be packed ahead of time. There is nothing like arriving at your new apartment dying for a hot shower and some sleep, knowing you can only get that as soon as you find a towel and your pillow.
There are of course the standard list of items that make everyone’s short list — the ones that should stay with you en route from your old place to the new one (in no particular order):
Toiletries and medications
Condensed tool kit
Cell phone and charger
Paper plates, napkins and silverware
Water bottles or soda
Easy snacks: granola bars, fruit, beef jerky or trail mix
Valuables: priceless and sentimental irreplaceable items
Important documents: birth certificate, auto title, marriage certificate, etc.
Book or magazines to read
Pen and paper
If you have kids or pets, don’t forget that favorite blanket or toy that they need at night, and your pet’s food and supplies.
I thought I would ask people if they had any brilliant ideas from their experience and decided what a better group to ask, but military families? They move all the time. In addition to the above list, this is the feedback I got:
Tammy from Milton, FL said that she always takes one pot that can also go to the oven. Anything can be cooked or warmed up in a pot if it really had to be. This also reminded me that a can opener may be a good idea if you wanted easy cheap canned goods. She also said she also always takes a folding chair. Waiting for movers, cable guys and telephone installers can be painful without something to sit on.
Jodi from Whidbey Island, WA, said she has her kids pack a backpack of items to entertain themselves. She said she makes sure they are not group games or stuffed animals, but actual individual entertainment. She also said she always brings an all-purpose cleaner, paper towels and trash bags. This is always needed after movers leave, in transit, and to wipe down counters and bathrooms upon arrival.
Sheryl from Virginia Beach, VA, said that they make sure they pack enough laundry detergent in a zip-top baggie for a couple of loads, in case they need to do laundry before they unpack the laundry supplies. She said it also comes in handy if you need to quickly treat a stain in a sink. Sheryl said the next time she moves, she will bring a basic first aid kit. Her husband cut his finger pulling hardware out of walls once, and they had nothing handy to treat the cut.
The easiest way to avoid forgetting things is to start a list. I like to keep two lists going on notepads located throughout my house. I do so well remembering things that I say to myself, “When I get the kitchen, I need to remember to add towels to the list.” Then, when I get to the kitchen, I have forgotten already, and it is not until I take my next shower that I remember. Sometimes this cycle will continue for days. I like to leave a notepad in my bathroom and one in the kitchen. They are always fairly close by and honestly, it shows truly where the best thinking most often takes place.
Please share the items that you remember to put on your list below. If the items that you have on your list were realized with a great story, please include that, too!