When you’re moving house, you tend to focus on getting the larger, more obvious things into your new home, like the sofa, beds and that fifty-inch LED telly you treated yourself to last year. But it’s often the smaller things that really can make your first night, or even the first few days, in your new home easy and stress-free. Whilst you might well need that sofa and telly on your first night, you’re going to really regret not having any toilet roll or light bulbs.
Here’s a rundown of some of the essentials to make sure you have before that big moving day.
Food and Drink
Tea, coffee, biscuits, bread, milk, butter, and snacks. Moving house is hard work: you’re going to get hungry and thirsty so make sure you’ve got easy access to food and drink as well as mugs, glasses, plates and cutlery.
Foil, cling film and food bags. You won’t appreciate how much you rely on these until you’re without them so keep them handy for wrapping and preserving food.
Kitchen appliances and utensils. Although you won’t be doing any ambitious cooking straight away, it’s well worth have a basic collection of pots, pans and utensils at the ready.
Light bulbs. Don’t assume that every light fitting will be left with working light bulbs: be ready to replace one or two, or the whole lot.
Fuses. Electrical sockets have a habit of failing at the most inconvenient times and when they do it’s usually because a fuse has blown. Take a selection from 3 amp to 13 amp.
Torch and batteries. Even if the new house is well lit, there may be dark corners and cupboards you need to access so a torch will be indispensable.
Extension leads. When you’re working out how to configure your electrical appliances, you may find there isn’t enough socket capacity where you need it so extension leads will be lifesavers.
Candles. Again, be prepared for any lighting problems with a good supply of candles.
Matches. You’ll need these for the candles of course, but you may find that at least temporarily you’ll need them to light gas rings, the grill or the oven.
Smoke alarm. Most homes are fitted with smoke alarms but since there is no binding obligation to fit them unless other refurbishments are being undertaken, it’s well worth coming with a set of your own – if you keep them in their packaging you’ll be able to return them should they prove unnecessary.
Toilet roll. The call of nature won’t wait, so make sure you have a plentiful supply you can lay your hands on easily.
Toothpaste and toothbrushes. Treat yourself to a new set of toiletries: toothbrushes straight out of the blister pack and a brand new tube of paste will set the right tone for your new bathroom.
Toilet brush and plunger. Prepare for problems. Toilets and plugholes may be spotless and flushing or draining well, but just in case they’re not, give yourself the tools to clean them and clear any blockages.
Dustpan and brush. Hopefully, you won’t need a full-size yard broom unless your vendors have seriously neglected their duties, but there are bound to be places where you need to sweep up dust, dirt, fragments and fibres, even if they’re things you accidentally brought with you.
Towels. You’ve packed them of course, but make sure they’re not buried because you may need them sooner than you planned.
Toolbox. Any number of small, unexpected DIY jobs may present themselves, from changing plugs and fuses, securing shelves or floorboards, fixing creaky doors: arm yourself with screwdrivers, hammers, nails, screws, gaffer tape and 3-in-1 oil.
Tape measure. There are a lot of items, big and small, to fit into your new home. Even though you’ve probably taken basic measurements before moving, a tape measure will make it much easier to estimate and plan the arrangement of the smaller objects and appliances.
Super glue. Even the best-maintained house will have some areas of disrepair. Gorilla glue or any other super glue that bonds all surfaces will give you a quick, temporary fix.
Cleaning, Clearance and First Aid
Bin bags. Even if the house has been thoroughly cleaned out there will always be some kind of rubbish left behind, and you’ll soon be adding to it with the tape from your boxes, for example, or other disposable packing materials and kitchen waste
Bins. Rather than ending up with rubbish bags littered around the house, you’ll find it more convenient to put bins in place, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms.
Cleaning cloths and products. Your vendors may have done their best to leave the house spotless but don’t count on it – there will be things they’ve missed, surfaces that are hard to get to, bathroom mirrors, smeary windows and dusty cupboards. Be prepared for a good clean.
Painkillers and plasters. Unpacking and moving furniture is very physical work which means there is always the chance of picking up cuts, knocks and bruises, so having a simple first aid kit to spare will be very handy. A travel first aid kit would be ideal.
Communication and Entertainment
Phone and tablet chargers. Make sure you keep fully connected at all times: take enough chargers to keep all your devices powered up.
Other cables. You may have your hands full with everything else that demands your attention on moving day but it would be wise to get the television set up on your first day. This is especially true if you have young children, but even adults could do with a break from the hard work with half an hour in front of the box.
Radios or portable speakers. You’re going to be very active all day long, carrying things from room to room, up and downstairs, mending, moving and rearranging. Who wants to work in silence when you can have the accompaniment of a radio or Bluetooth speaker to pump out some tunes.
The Things You’ve Forgotten
Pens and paper. However well prepared you are, as you unpack and distribute your belongings around your new home, you’ll realise there are things you’ve forgotten or didn’t anticipate needing. Write them down as they occur to you and you’ll end up with a list of important items you can pick up locally the day after you move in.