As a transition specialist who orchestrates client moves each week, one key tool I cannot live without is the preparation of how to pack an organized “Open-First” bin and suitcase.
Ideally, pack two Open-First containers. One will be a clear-lidded bin to hold all the house stuff. The other is a suitcase, and it will hold clothes, bathroom stuff, toiletries, and personal documents.
The clear bin with a lid should hold things like basic tools, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and clean bedding. Using a clear container looks different than the regular boxes you’re packing, so it will stand out easily if it gets lost in the shuffle. And for the suitcase, pack it in the car, not the moving truck, so it stays with you at all times.
Your suitcase should be packed as if you were staying in a hotel: travel-sized toiletries, a change of clothes, medicines, pet food, phone chargers, and small bills in cash for tips.
Open-First Bin Planning Tips:
Take a few minutes to plan out your list of what you will actually need in your Open-First bin and suitcase. For example, take a look at the beds in your home and note the tools you’ll need to reassemble them.
If you can’t arrange for your kids and/or pets to stay with a family member while moving, plan on taking a backpack of activities/toys/snacks for them so they can stay occupied. Take a crate and food for pets so they don’t accidentally get lost or in the way of movers.
Upon arrival at your destination, put both the Open-First bin and suitcase in an easily accessible bathroom at the new house on moving day. It is the best central location, because everyone will be able to find it, and it won’t get lost among the other boxes in other rooms.
What to Put in the Open-First Suitcase:
Consider keeping this Open-First suitcase in your car with you rather than in the moving truck.
• One towel for each family member
• Clean sheets, mattress pad, throw blanket or quilt for each bed
• Clean set of clothing, socks, underwear, supportive shoes
• Travel-sized toiletries, Tylenol, allergy meds
• Medications will be best to be with you in a purse or backpack.
• Important papers in a binder or folder
What to Put in the Open-First bin:
• Shower curtain liner, hanging rings, and shower curtain rod (if needed)
• Small tension rod and temporary window curtain for bathroom privacy (if needed)
• Toilet paper and paper towels
• Paper plates, cups, plastic cutlery
• Disinfectant wipes
• All-purpose cleaner (unopened)
• Microfiber cloths
• Hand-sized broom and dustpan
• Trash bags—two sizes
• Masking tape and scotch tape
• Basic tools (flat and Phillips head screwdrivers, wrench, hammer, level, drill/bits/charger)
• Scissors, box cutter, flashlight
• Phone chargers
• First aid kit
• Ziploc bag of pet food, bowls, favorite toy/stuffie
• Bottled water, instant coffee, and snack bars
• Fresh notebook and pens/pencils
• Cash (typically $50 to $100 in various bills)
Once you are settled in your new home, I think you will agree that packing two Open-First containers did make the move flow smoothly. In addition, I am here to make your move less stressful with many tips and tools, plus a very detailed step-by-step master timeline!
Contact me for a free 30-minute consultation to residents in the Phoenix Southeast Valley.