Checklist: What You Should Pack in a “First Night” Moving Kit

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When you’ve moved into a new home, your first night can be a joy…and a struggle. You’re finally in a place where you feel comfortable, but you haven’t yet set it up as yours quite yet. Not to mention the fact that you haven’t even put together the essential spaces yet, like a place to eat breakfast, or a home for your toothbrush. One of the ways you can make this easier is by packing a moving kit for your first night in the new place.

A first night moving kit is sometimes called a “first night” box or “unpack first” box. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a kit to get you through the first night in your new place after move-in. All those creature comforts you take for granted at home should be inside to help you adjust to the new place without needing to unpack in a hurry

Before you finish packing up your items for moving day, set aside these items for your first night moving kit.

Your “First Night” Box Moving Kit Checklist


Toiletry supplies, specifically shaving cream and other shaving accessories, being placed in a leather case.

After a day of lifting boxes and breaking a sweat, you’re going to look forward to a shower. That doesn’t mean you need to stop all your unpacking to set up your bathroom in full. These essentials will give your bathroom enough of the basics to survive your first night. Make sure to pack the liquids in a plastic, zippered bag to avoid spills. 

  • Hand soap
  • Hand towel
  • Toilet paper
  • Body soap
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Comb or hairbrush
  • Ponytail holder
  • Razor
  • Shower curtain and hooks (if your new shower doesn’t have doors)
  • Washcloth (one per person)


Linens stacked on top of each other.

Alongside taking a shower, sleeping is the top activity you’d like to do at the end of move-in day. But a naked mattress probably isn’t what you have in mind. These first night moving kit essentials will make your home a bit more welcoming and will save you unpacking work down the line. 

  • Mattress cover (get this on right away to avoid bedbugs and dirt)
  • Pillows
  • Sheets
  • A blanket or comforter (pack multiple if moving in winter)
  • Bath towel (one per person)
  • Bathmat


A suitcase in the process of being packed as part of a first night moving kit, with clothing, shoes, a laptop, and more miscellaneous items.

No need to unpack your entire clothing collection on move-in day. Keeping a few essential pieces in your first night moving kit will make the adjustment much comfier.

  • Pajamas
  • A pair of house shoes or slippers
  • An outfit for the next day
  • A sweatshirt, in case the house is chilly

Unpacking Tools

A toolkit comprising nails, pliers, a tape measure, a hammer, a wrench, and a screwdriver.

You’ve got your creature comforts, now you need the tools to tackle unpacking. While you might not need all these items in your first night moving kit, you should keep them handy. They’ll make unpacking a breeze. 

  • Scissors or box cutter
  • Tool kit for furniture assembly
  • Trash bags
  • Small first aid kit in case of scrapes

Cleaning Supplies

A dustpan, brush, rag, and dish cleaner, all first night moving kit essentials.

You may have cleaned out your old apartment before you left, but that doesn’t mean the past tenants of your new place afforded you the same luxury. Keep some basic cleaning supplies on hand in your first night moving kit to make your new place comfortably clean in a flash. 

  • Paper towels
  • Disinfectant (wipes or spray)
  • Toilet cleaner & brush
  • Rags
  • Dustpan & broom


Multiple pizzas in boxes being shared by a group of friends after moving into a new place.

Your first night in your new place will also include your first meal. While it’s fun to eat pizza straight out of the box, you may want to have a few essential kitchen pieces to help you feel civilized through the takeout diet. 

  • Fast snacks (cereal bars, crackers, etc.)
  • Napkins
  • Paper plates
  • Disposable cutlery
  • Disposable cups

How to Pack Your First Night Moving Kit

Depending on which items on this checklist you deem essential, your first night box might be numerous boxes. You may find it’s easier to pack all these items in a suitcase, or a reusable storage container. The type of box you use is completely up to you, what’s important is that you know where this box can be found.

Make sure to mark your first night box clearly. If you’re using movers or Dolly Helpers, let them know that this box should be separated from the others and left somewhere easy to find in your new place. 

Once your moving kit is put together, you’ll find your first night is a breeze in your new place. And if you’re looking to make your move even easier, book a Dolly for on-demand moving help. Our Helpers provide the truck and do the heavy lifting, so you can get moving in no time.

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