Things You Need on Move-In Day

Packing to move is a pain, and it’s easy for even the most organized person to lose track of things and forget which box has what in it. The problem is, there are some things that are fairly vital as soon as you get to your new place, and you may not want to (or be able to) spend ages digging around trying to find the stuff you need.

All of the things on this list should be easily accessible as soon as you park your car. Either keep them in a bag in the passenger seat, or make sure they’re all in an easily accessible box. That is, this box should be the last thing you pack into the car, not the first.


There’s something you still need to pay for.  There is. Keep your checks handy. There’s something you weren’t told about, or something you forgot about, or something. You will need your checks.


Don’t make this something you have to search for. Just don’t. Make your move a little easier. Speed along the crazy, tedious process and have any paperwork or documents you need in a convenient location.

Toilet paper

This one is pretty obvious, but it’s easy to forget. Chances are, before you have time to finish unpacking or run to the store, you or someone with you may want to use the bathroom, and your new place might not come stocked with TP. No one wants to experience that moment of reaching for toilet paper only to discover that it’s not there. Before you start your move, grab a spare roll from under the sink and bring it with you.


This goes right along with the toilet paper. You are going to want a way to wash your hands. Be it soap, wet-naps, or hand sanitizer, make sure you have some way to disinfect after making use of your new facilities. For me, this meant just snagging the toiletries from the hotel I stayed in the night before.

Water or a water bottle

Moving is tiring work. Unpacking is tiring work. If you’re like me, meeting your landlord and signing several dozen papers is tiring work. Have a drink on hand, or bottle you can fill from the tap when you get in the door, because chances are, it’s gonna be awhile before you remember what boxes your cups are in and manage to dig them out.


Just as moving is thirsty work, it’s hungry work, too. Sure, you can always run out for McDonald’s, but it’ll just be a whole lot more convenient if you just keep some food on hand. (Honestly, I put a bowl, a fork, and a couple packages of ramen in my purse, and before I even started unpacking anything, I sat down on the floor and ate my noodles).

Lamp & light bulbs

There’s a good chance that at least one of the rooms in your new apartment won’t have a ceiling light. There is also a very good chance that you will want to be able to see things in that room. Have a lamp and a bulb within reach so you don’t have to unpack your bedroom with a flashlight.

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Author My First Apartment

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Taylor LaSon is a recent Hamilton College graduate who is currently living in Memphis while seeking her Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology. She and her cat prefer a quiet, introverted lifestyle full of Netflix binges and arts and crafts, but when she does go out, she enjoys rock climbing and making silly faces at small children.

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