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Building the Best “First Night” Box

by Mar 2, 2018

Moving can be a hard lesson on preparedness; even with all that planning, you must learn how to roll with the punches (and you’ve spent all this time boxing so there isn’t anything to worry about). This idea is so perfectly embodied through the handy tool known to moving sages as the ‘first night’ box. “Sounds great,” I’m sure you ask, “now what aisle can I find it on?”

The aisle in your heart, of course.

This level of preparedness doesn’t exist in stores (but if you call now we can get it to you with a snazzy cooler and $5 off shipping), so you’ll have to plunge deep into your soul for items to store inside of the box. And what is the point of this thing anyway? If you couldn’t tell from the name, the ‘essentials’ box or the ‘first night’ box is a collection of every day items that will make your first few days in the new house run smoothly. You’ll be dedicated to unpacking, cleaning, and making minor repairs, so its smart to have a ready kit within reach.

Most people can come up with a list of things to add on the spot, but can you trust its comprehensive? Being stuck in the middle of a move, its hard to see anything else. It’s like a horse stumbling around with cardboard box blinders, bound together by contracts and the previous homeowner’s mail. Fortunately, Mobile Attic is here to help again with a list of items to include, categorized for you convenience. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have readiness kit business to pitch to investors…

There are two major requirements for the first night box…

  1. Must be assembled so that the items help you maintain your daily habits.
  2. Absolutely must be easily accessible (otherwise, it’s pointless)

Essential Essentials:

  • First Aid Kit – always a good idea to keep one on hand, but it becomes crucial in the early unpacking stages. You may not have access to all your care items, which will be a problem when an accident happens.
  • Medicines – Fairly basic, but here as a reminder.
  • Box cutter – this is your Excalibur; now free your land from the ever-imposing power of cardboard boxes!
  • Quick change of clothes – You may get sweaty, or you may make a mess; either way, keep a new outfit nearby.


  • Household cleaners (glass, surface cleaners) – One of the first things you’ll want to do when you move is to clean the house. This is best done as you go along so the task isn’t so intimidating.
  • Rags – Not just for cleaning up after yourself, but getting some extra dirt off the walls, or off yourself. Buy a set of disposable rags for the moving process.
  • Bleach – just in case you come across a pair of rad jeans you want to customize.


  • Tool box – Boxes within boxes. Make sure you have the basics like a hammer, screwdriver, pliers, and maybe a drill, depending on how handy you’re feeling. You never know when a crooked electric outlet cover will drive you crazy.
  • Flashlight/extra bulbs – You may encounter light fixtures that aren’t working. Extra bulbs are nice, but the flashlight is the bread and butter of preparedness.

Meals? Keep some non-perishables on hand, in addition to some bottled water. The first few nights may be a good time to eat out; this puts less stress on you to make food. It may also give you a better feel for the new community.


One great idea is to pack an emergency first day box for everyone in the family. A large shoebox will do. Instruct everyone to put in a change of clothes, toothbrush (and other toiletries), books and some electronics. This will keep everyone prepared and entertained for the move-in!