When prepping for a local or long distance move, it’s human nature to get caught up packing away all your personal belongings so there’s nothing left behind to scoop up at the end of an exhausting process. But what if you get to your new home and realize you need scissors, only to remember they’re tucked away deep in one (which one?) of the many boxes in the back of the truck?

We’ve been there, we’ve cursed ourselves for not being better prepared, and we’ve since compiled a list to keep you from suffering the same frustration. Here, we present a handy little checklist of the top ten things to have handy during the first 24 hours in your new home… just in case.

  1. A last-minute packing kit including a spare box or bag(s), scissors, tape and magic marker (because yes, you’ll likely have forgotten to pack something)
  2. Paper towels and toilet paper
  3. Toiletries for first day or two: soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, deodorant, razor
  4. A set of utensils for each person (because Murphy’s law will enact itself if you have takeout delivered to the new casa before you’ve unpacked your kitchen stuff)
  5. Pet food, bowls, leash and crate/bed
  6. Prescriptions, allergy meds, aspirin, contact lens solution
  7. Phone or iPod speakers (our completely unscientific research, i.e., personal opinion, finds the unpacking process to be approximately 97% more enjoyable when set to music)
  8. Phone and laptop chargers
  9. Snacks, snacks, snacks
  10. Any other items that can make your first night more comfortable: a shower curtain & hooks if the new home doesn’t have an enclosed shower, a water filter if the new fridge doesn’t have one… whatever helps you settle into your new place with as little hassle as possible.

Even though we live in a world where practically everything’s available 24 hours a day, inconveniences are bound to present themselves when moving your life from one home to the next. A little bit of prep work can go a long way toward keeping your cool in the midst of a move, and taking a few minutes to set aside the essentials can mean the difference between sleeplessness and sanity.

Want more tips? Check out our recent blog posts on how to make the moving process more eco-friendly, how to decide what to keep vs. what to toss, and how to make a temporary sublet feel like home.