Moving can often be stressful, with numerous tasks and countless boxes to pack. It's even more challenging when unpacking at your new abode, and you need help finding your essentials. This is where the concept of an ‘Open First' box comes into play. 

Our guide offers useful tips to help you arrange your essentials systematically. Remain stress-free during your transition, whether moving by yourself or engaging the services of local movers Miami. Planning your ‘Open First' box makes your first few nights in your new place comfortable, convenient, and just like home.

How to Pack an Open First Box When Moving

Following a moving checklist is important when getting ready to leave your house. This will help you ensure you get all moving tasks associated with a move.

It would help if you prepared a box of essentials, or an Open-First Box, to help you get through the interim until your other belongings arrive.

What is an essentials box, exactly? What is an Open First Box?

This guide will help you pack the essentials for your move so that you can easily switch into Survival Mode on a moving day and during the first few days of your new home.

Why Open the Box First?

Packing a box of essentials is based on the idea that you will be in limbo after your move. Why? You will be separated from your possessions for a long time. If you move across the country, you may not see your worldly possessions again for a few days or weeks.

If you use the services of an established, reputable, and registered moving company, you can be assured that your household goods will arrive safely at your new home. You'll still need to make the first few days of your new home or apartment more comfortable for you and your family.

This is where the essentials box comes in. Most of the time, only one or a few boxes should be kept with you during the move while the rest are placed onto the moving truck and delivered to your new residence.

When we say essentials, we mean the absolute necessities – items to have with you, whether you're moving locally, within a state, or across multiple state lines.

What You Need to Know Before Packing an Open First Box

Once the conditions have delivered all of your belongings of your moving contract, deciding which ones you need and can do without might be challenging.

We've created a checklist of moving essentials that you can use to create your moving survival kit.

Before we discuss the essentials for moving, let's talk about some basics you should know before packing your essentials box.

  • Last box to load and pack. The box containing essential items is the last to load and pack into your vehicle. Why? You'll need those useful items right up until the last minute. Wait to seal and close your Open Me First boxes until you're ready to leave home. Remember that you can always remove something from the box or add an essential item.
  • Sort your essentials starting on Day 1. It may seem impossible to sort through your belongings and decide which ones will be placed in a few essential boxes. As you pack your belongings into boxes, set aside items for your survival kit. This will keep your items separate from those in the moving truck.
  • Label it. It's crucial to correctly label your essentials box so that you can find it right away after you move into your new house and avoid accidentally loading it into the moving truck with your other ordinary boxes.
  • Unloading and packing the first box. Open First contains essential items you will need when you arrive at your destination. This box should be your first container to unload and unpack.
  • Your Open First box travels with you. Remember to take your essentials box with you when moving long distances. You may be separated from your daily items for a few days. If you are moving locally and your mover's truck arrives simultaneously, you can give them the Open Me First Box. Just ensure it is loaded last and unloaded before you so you can immediately access all your essentials.

How to Pack an Open First Box

Here's a list of items you may need both during your move and after you arrive at your new house. This ROOM-BY-ROOM checklist will give you ideas on what to include in your moving survival kit.

Essential boxes can vary greatly from family to family, even from one member to another. Each family member should own their Open First box, as your essentials may differ from those of your spouse and children.

You'll need to include these essentials in every room of your home:

Bathroom Essentials

You'll need to buy basic bathroom and toiletry items when you move into your new home or apartment. After a long and exhausting moving day, you'll want to shower to refresh yourself.

Open Me First Boxes, also known as First Night boxes, should include:

  • Hand soap
  • Shampoo, soap, and shower gel;
  • Hair Conditioner (optional)
  • Toothpaste, toothbrushes;
  • Toilet paper (at minimum two rolls);
  • Shower curtain
  • Bath Mat (optional);
  • Washcloths and bath towels
  • Essential personal care and cosmetics items
  • Deodorant;
  • Hair dryer (optional);

Bedroom Essentials

It's time to start adding some bedroom essentials.

Remember to take into account the importance of getting a good sleep. After you shower, all your thoughts will likely be on getting into bed for a long-overdue sleep after surviving the most exhausting moving day.

What to include in a moving essentials box for bedtime necessities:

  • Inflatable mattress if you don't have a bed in your new home
  • Bedding and linen include sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and pillows.
  • Nightwear;
  • Alarm clock (optional, as your smartphone is a reliable alarm clock);
  • Night Lamp (optional)

If you are moving locally, your movers will assemble your bed or reassemble it on the day of your move. If you are moving across the country, your bed will be delivered with your other household items. If your home is unfurnished and has no beds, you should pack an air mattress.

Kitchen Essentials

Most often, relocating families will find it impossible to prepare a home-cooked meal right after their move due to a lack of time, food, cookware, and silverware.

You'll be limited to only ordering pizza or other take-out foods. It would help to have some basic kitchen tools until all the other kitchen equipment arrives at the new house.

  • Bottled water or coffee, tea, or other beverages.
  • Healthy snacks;
  • Paper plates and plastic utensils are disposable.
  • Plastic cups
  • Kitchen knife;
  • Can opener;
  • Salt, pepper, and sugar
  • Coffee Maker (optional)

Extras to Include in a Box of Essentials

You've already packed the essentials from your three main rooms (BATHROOMS, BEDROOMS, and KITCHEN), but now it's time to fill in the rest of the Open First box with random items you must have.

  • Medicine. All prescription medications must be packed for you or a family member. Include allergy medications, pain relievers, and vitamins. Include a first aid kit.
  • Clothing and shoes. Packaging a change of clothing for every family member is a good idea. Pack according to the forecast and the weather conditions in your new location for the next few days. Also, pack socks, underwear, and comfortable shoes.
  • Cleaning supplies. Some basic cleaning supplies are good, even moving to a new place. Bring some cleaning essentials like all-purpose cleaners and floor cleaners. Also, bring antibacterial wipes.
  • Hand tools. Remember to include some basic hand tools in your essentials kit. Included in your essentials box are: a screwdriver set, pliers, an adjustable wrench—also, spare batteries, and a flashlight.
  • Essentials for kids and babies. If you are moving with them, you must prepare a special box for your children. This will ensure they remain safe and happy during the move and the following few days.
  • Essentials for Pets. Animal pets are often stressed and afraid when taken to an unfamiliar place. Pack your pet's essentials, including their favorite food, toys, treats, and blankets, to help them feel relaxed and comfortable during the move.
  • Miscellaneous essential items. Consider the small items you will need, even if they need to be added to essential checklists. These items include electronics, chargers, adapters, extension cords for electronic devices, books, games, and more.

Remember to pack your essentials for moving. This includes all important documents, small valuables, and jewelry. Include these valuables in an essentials box, and don't let them out of sight.


Thoughtfully packing your ‘Open First' box can make your first few days at your new home less stressful and more comfortable. The process should be manageable but should be done considering the moving rules and regulations for transporting certain items. With a systematic approach, you can have all your necessities at arm's length when you need them the most. 

Moving can be a breeze when you are prepared. If you're feeling overwhelmed, consider enlisting the assistance of Karma Movers in St Petersburg, FL. We are here to ensure a seamless transition to your new home, are well-versed in relocating essentials, and can guide you through the entire packing process. 

Why go through the trouble alone? Let our experienced team simplify your move. Contact Karma Movers St Petersburg, FL now; we will help you transform your moving day into an organized, stress-free process. Make your first steps into your new home happy and relaxed.