On the day

Bare essentials pack

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To help you get through the chaos of Move day, it is a widely advised idea to put together a 'bare essentials' pack to take with you. The contents of this pack can be classed into four groups as follows:

Vital ingredients
There are a number of things that could cause problems if they are not readily available during or after your move.

  • Turning up at your new home without any keys is not very clever. The most basic of things to remember, this has to be first on the list.

  • Equally vital is any medication you may be taking.

  • Directions to the new home should be given to everyone going to the new place. This includes the removals men, yourself and anyone else coming along to help.

  • Similarly, if you are using the floor-plan and colour code method of distributing your boxes and packages throughout your new home, make sure you have enough copies to go round.

  • Take a list of important phone numbers with you. This should include the removals company, the seller, the estate agents and anyone else who you may need to speak to. This is easy enough if you have a mobile phone as you can just enter the numbers into it. If you have a mobile, the charger should also be included in the bare essentials pack.

  • Don't forget the kids or baby if you have any. Make sure that you keep enough toys or baby supplies available.

  • Don't forget the big kids either. Remembering the TV remote control will enable you to watch TV in the discomfort of your new home without having to stand up to change channels.


  • A completely bare fridge is not very welcoming, so it is worth taking along some basic food and drink to get you through the first day or so.

  • A kettle, tea bags, coffee, sugar, a carton of milk, teaspoon and mugs. All life may cease without a good brew (and you'll be very unpopular with the removals people).

  • A range of snacks is a good idea. They can help keep the kids quiet and provide a handy stop-gap for that hole in your stomach.

  • If you are involved in the physical side of moving, then it is important to keep well-hydrated, otherwise fatigue may set in. Take some soft drinks and bottled water.

  • Bacon and bread make a quick and tasty breakfast, which will also give your new home a friendly lived-in smell on the first morning. An alternative is beans on toast, but this means you will have to have the toaster handy, as well as a tin opener.

  • You should also have a box with some other basic foods - some tins, fruit and sandwich fillings.

  • Take at least one luxury food item so you can treat yourself when you feel like it.

  • A bottle or six-pack of your favourite tipple is a must for all drinkers.

  • Don't forget to have enough knives, forks, spoons, plates, cups and mugs available, as well as a saucepan if you are planning to cook some tinned food.

Living things

  • You should have some cleaning materials to hand in case the seller has not done a very good job on the place. Unpacking into dirty cupboards is not particularly pleasant.

  • Bed linen and bedding should be easily accessible, especially if you do not anticipate arriving until quite late in the day. If you have kids, they will probably need an early night.

Additionally, you need to take the standard overnight bag items, which really require no further comment:

  • Underwear
  • Towels
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Toilet and tissue paper
  • Make up bag
  • Deodorant and other toiletries
  • A change of clothes

Useful items
The final category is very creatively named and consists of things that you wish you could find, things that you may need, and things that are… useful.

This list will depend on your particular circumstances, but we suggest:

  • Screwdriver
  • Penknife
  • Pen and paper
  • Matches or lighter
  • Light bulbs
  • Candles
  • First aid kit (should include headache tablets)
  • CDs
  • Cash
  • Copies of important documents

Sometimes, despite very careful and thorough preparation, things can still go wrong. Find out how by reading rude awakenings, a section dedicated to the living moving nightmares of our readers.

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