How To Prepare An Essentials Box For Moving Cross Country

Posted by SWE Inc on 1st Dec 2021

Regardless of how eager you might be to start fresh in your new home, there is still that overwhelming relocation process to go through. Packing everything requires time and planning since good organization is essential during this time. Thus, after decluttering and devising a clever packing strategy, it’s time to get to work. You mustn’t forget to separate the supplies and tools you’ll be using first, right after arriving. If you’re unsure how to prepare an essentials box for moving cross country, here are some basic guidelines.

What should the essentials box have?

Before you start packing for the move, make sure to create a checklist. Whether you decide to pack the boxes based on the rooms or the purpose of the items, work on the essentials first. This should be the first box/bag you pack and unpack after you reach the destination. Usually, it consists of items required to survive the first night, week, or perhaps even the trip to your new home. Everything else from your old home will be in the moving truck, while that special box stays with you during the whole process. Thus, to make the exhausting packing and moving process easier, you should take care of the list of necessities first.

Make sure to include all family members’ wishes and needs when packing an essentials box for moving cross country.

The things you can’t go anywhere without

Some things that would usually go in the essential box, like cleaning supplies, tools, and snacks, you can buy on the way to your new home. However, there are other items that you need to have on you every day:

  • Personal documents such as ID, passport, driving license
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Regular and car chargers

A first aid kit is something everyone should have in their car at all times. Perhaps you think you won’t need such a thing since you’ve chosen one of the safest family neighborhoods to settle down in New York. However, minor mishaps like cuts and bruises happen during unpacking more than you’d expect, especially when moving with kids. So, at least pack some rubbing alcohol and band-aids, if not the whole kit.

Also, make sure to have your moving checklist, contract, and the rest of the paperwork related to your relocation. You will need all of this when the moving crew arrives with the rest of your stuff.

Bathroom essentials

The bathroom is the first place everyone visits after a long trip. Thus, make sure to have the necessities:

  • Toilet paper,
  • Soap,
  • Towels,
  • Shower gel and shampoo,
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste,
  • Deodorant,
  • Lotions and essential cosmetics.

Whether you’re spending a night or a week in your new home before the rest of the items arrives, your basic toiletry set will help you keep your hygiene in order.

If you’re starting work right after the move, don’t forget to pack your toiletries in your essentials box since you’ll need to look presentable on your first day of work.

Bedroom necessities

You don’t have to worry about having your bedroom items with you when moving locally because the moving truck will likely arrive there before you do. However, things are a bit different with a cross country move. Here is what you need:

  • Inflatable mattress (with a pump),
  • Sheets,
  • Blankets,
  • Pillows,
  • Spare clothing.

Transferring stuff long distances can sometimes last longer than a week. That’s why, to avoid wasting money on accommodation, you’ll need to improvise a sleeping area. Investing in a quality blow-up mattress is an excellent idea since you can use it on many other occasions as well.

Kitchen items

Every essentials box for moving cross country should have a couple of kitchen items in it too. Whether you use the kitchen often or not, you should have some essential cookware like a pot or a pan with you. In addition, bring some disposable plates, utensils, cups, a proper kitchen knife, and multifunctional scissors. You may opt for a take-out or have some easy-prep meals and snacks in the first couple of days before you unpack. Therefore, there is no need to overfill your box of essentials with heavy stuff.

If you’re taking pets with you, think about their needs as well. Make sure to have their travel bowl for water and food with you.

Cleaning supplies

The only way to sleep calmly after arriving at your new home is to thoroughly clean the place. The previous owner probably left the home in decent condition. Still, it won’t hurt to go over everything again. Cleaning the bathroom and kitchen should be a priority since they are the most used areas. After you finish with them, move to the other rooms and hallways. Remember to separately pack all cleaning supplies and load them in your car.

  • Broom and dustpan,
  • Bucket and mop,
  • Microfiber cloths, sponges, wipes,
  • All-purpose cleaner, soap, glass cleaner, vinegar, baking soda,
  • Trash bag, rubber gloves, protective masks,
  • Spray bottle,
  • Alcohol and disinfectants.

Perhaps some of the surfaces in your new home require special treatment. Make sure to have the proper type of solution for their maintenance. If you’re not sure about it, use mild soap and water.

Cleaning supplies are essential when moving.

Moving across the country

Moving across the country is significantly different than relocating down the street or to a neighboring town. It requires hiring reputable long-distance relocation services, which can be difficult to find, especially in a city you don’t know well. To avoid mishaps during the process, you’ll need to research recommendable local companies or let experts do that for you. Various database websites such as offer such help. You’ll not only get the best services in the area, but you’ll also have different moving estimates to compare.


Moving is a time-consuming procedure that requires good organization to make it less stressful. However, if you were to ask different people how to prepare an essentials box for moving cross country, you’d probably get a dozen different answers. The answers depend on the size and needs of your family. Still, all of them share the basics mentioned above.