During those first few exhausting hours in your new home, you might not have the energy to do any unpacking at all. In fact, you might arrive in your new house well before your belongings do – this is the unfortunate case with some international moves. Without your usual household conveniences at hand, you may struggle to relax and adapt to your new environment with ease. However, there is a way to ensure that you regain your energy and optimism for the next stressful moving day: an “open first box”.

 You need a refreshing shower, a healthy meal, and a good rest – whether in your empty old home or in your empty new one.

Open First Box

Think of this box as a mini survival kit. You need to be able to provide basic meals, toiletries, some entertainment options, an extra set of clothes for each family member, and provisions for small emergencies. This should be the last box you pack when moving out of our old home, but should be one of the first things you prepare for in advance.

Open First Bag

What to Pack in your Open First Box

 Kitchen items

  • paper plates and plastic utensils for a makeshift first-night dinner

  • a few mugs and cups

  • paper towels (extremely useful for various purposes)

  • non-perishable food – a jar of jam or peanut butter, some pasta and pasta sauce, or a bag of bagels may also come very handy;

  • bottled water

  • light snacks and drinks to get you through moving day – it’s a good idea to place them in a cooler and bring along some refreshments not only for yourself, but for the moving crew as well

  • Small kitchen appliances a coffee maker (and coffee, of course), a toaster or a small toaster oven

Bedroom items

  • a set of bed linen for every family member – sheets, pillows, pillow cases, etc.

  • enough blankets for everyone (according to the weather conditions)

  • an alarm clock (unless you are going to use your mobile phone’s alarm feature)

  • a set or two of clothing for every member of the family

Bathroom items

  • hand soap and hand towels (you can use paper towels instead)

  • toilet paper

  • shower gel, shampoo, and hair conditioner

  • bathroom towels

  • blow dryer

  • shower curtain and bath mat


  • prescription medicines

  • first-aid kit

  • allergy meds

  • pain relievers

  • hand sanitizers

  • glasses or contact lens and contact lens solution

Personal items

  • Personal documents – passports, birth certificates, driver’s licenses, credit cards, medical records, school records, professional certificates

  • Personal hygiene items – toothbrush and toothpaste, hair brushes, cosmetics

  • Electronic devices with their charges and adapters– phones, laptops, tablets, cameras, players, and any other electronic gadgets that can be used to stay in touch, find information, or entertain yourselves

  • Books, games, or any other comfort items you’d rather not part with

  • Some cash

Additional Essentials

  • Children’s items

  • Pets’ items

  • Basic tools

  • Cleaning supplies


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