What to Put in Your Open First Box

We’re all strangely familiar with this movie scene: someone has just moved into their new home, their furniture hasn’t arrived yet, and they’re joyously eating pizza on the floor using paper plates. But, what the movies don’t show is the reality of the soon-to-be struggle of initial unpacking – how does it even start? And what’s the sequence of tackling all those boxes?

Enter the Open First Box. Putting together one of these is an absolute lifesaver when it comes to unpacking, so here are the must-have items to pack in your own Open First Box.

For the Kitchen

That first day of settling in will certainly tire you out, and you’re going to need sustenance to help last you throughout the day.

  • A water bottle

  • Disposable cups or mugs

  • Non-perishable snacks

  • Paper towel roll

  • All-purpose cleaning spray

  • A twist-off bottle of something fun to celebrate!

For the Bathroom

The last thing you want is to feel constantly sweaty throughout all the heavy lifting and organizing. Shower essentials and toiletries are a must-have for your box.

  • Soap, shampoo, and conditioner

  • Toilet paper

  • Shower curtain and liner

  • Towel

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

For the Bedroom

Never underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep. No matter how tired you’ll be, you’re still going to want to feel comfortable.

  • Sheets, a blanket, and pillows

  • T-shirt for sleeping

  • A phone charger

  • An extension cord

For the Next Day

You’re up for the day and ready to get going. These items will ensure you’re getting a good start to the rest of your unpacking, and will help get off on the right side of the bed.

  • A comfortable change of clothes

  • Instant coffee or bottled cold brew

  • Comfortable shoes

  • Extra cash for tipping movers!

Finally, don’t forget to make sure that your Open First Box stands out from the crowd! Cover it in colorful tape, or even put it in a Rubbermaid bin so that it doesn’t get swallowed up in the sea of other brown boxes.

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Comments (3)

Thanks for these excellent tips! I am a Move Manager. My Open First box for the bedroom is usually a suitcase to distinguish from boxes. A great idea to put Kitchen/Bath essentials in a clear tote. I create an essential docs box which travels with the client containing IDs, accounts, medical info, contacts, insurance, new home paperwork, extra glasses or hearing aids, extra car keys, the tv remote & the laptop or pad. This avoids the panic of “OMG! Where’s my [fill in the blank]?” The Move Manager becomes the hero of the day with the reassuring words: “In the box next to you. No Worries!”

Things missing from this list after years and years of moving as an army brat and adult.

First aid kit
Asprin/Tylenol/Moltrin
Any prescriptions
Light bulbs
Tool kit, including cordless drill or screwdriver

Thanks for sharing this handy open-first storage box list! During a hectic moving day, there are just so many things that we will definitely overlook. Having this open-first box would really help especially if we have kids and pets around. They would definitely appreciate the immediate refreshments instead of us having to search high and low for their daily needs.