As you’re packing each room you should not only label the boxes but pack the boxes with things that will probably not be used right away such as different seasonal clothing, shoes, etc.
As for the first night, I would pack a suitcase or duffel bag as if you were planning on going away for a night or two. If you do not have kids this would probably just be a bag with a change of clothes, a toothbrush, and other hygiene products. It’s different when the kids are involved! Depending on the age of the kids it will vary on the items you will pack for them. I am someone who creates a packing list for everywhere I go, even if it’s just an overnight trip. I am guilty of overpacking though as I’m always thinking well “what if”. If you have animals, you also need to think about them as well.
Here is how I create my lists for when planning an overnight or weekend trip. I simply start with the clothing I will need, and you want to cover all the basics, from top to pants to underwear and socks. Side by side I would have my items and then my children’s items. Same thing for them, all the clothing they need. Then my brain thinks about what I need or use to sleep. Sometimes I like to take a melatonin gummy, so I usually bring those with me. Maybe a nice blanket and pillow as well. As for my kids they will also need a sleep sack, blanket, a stuffed animal or perhaps a pacifier depending on if your child still needs it or not. A sound machine for white noise, and either black out curtains or trash bags can be used as well too. (don’t forget some tape). Also, a portable crib such as a pack and play, again depending on age of children. Another thing you may want to consider packing in your overnight bag is your baby monitor if you use one. We have the nanit and absolutely love it! It will require an Internet connection in order to work properly so it may be a lost cause if internet is not hooked up right away. There may be other options if you are someone who will only sleep comfortably if you have a camera. However, keeping the baby in the room with you in their pack and play wouldn’t be that bad for one night!
Next, I think about bathroom necessities, which include shampoos, body wash (the babies too), toothbrushes, paste, body lotion, towels, and wash cloths for all family members. Of course, toilet paper! Some extra things may include a bath toy, or a portable tub if the new place only has showers.
Then I start to think about anything that I would need out of my kitchen/ living room. (Kids playroom). For me, I would need bottles, sippy cups, suction plates and rubber bibs, dish soap, paper towels, and a couple cleaning supplies just in case. From the playroom I would probably grab a few of the kids’ favorite toys but if all is boxed up already and you can’t find them easily, maybe improvise and use kitchen utensils, paper towel roll, or something you can easily grab out of a box that would be safe for a little one to play with. Kids love things that are not toys (or at least mine do). If I gave my son a dustpan and broom, he’d have himself a blast!
You also want to think about things that you’ll need as far as babies, either formula or a breast pump. You may need to make sure that you have a healthy supply of whole milk and juice in the new fridge ready to go. Depending on the time of day you get into the new place, it would be easiest to order out for dinner and plan something out easy for breakfast. The shake and pour pancakes work great especially when adding fruit or yogurt (or both). You can get a bag of groceries from the store the night before and just makes sure you have the basics in the fridge for next day!
Now here are some extra things to think about especially if you have pets as well. For us, we have 2 dogs, and they basically go everywhere we go so I always pack for them too. They are the easiest out of the bunch but still require some planning. Of course, you need bowls for the food and water. Then you need to pack enough accessible food for however long you need and make sure you have fresh water. I also make sure to bring their leashes, collars or harnesses and doggy bags! Don’t want to be that new neighbor who doesn’t clean up after their dogs! Now my dogs sleep in bed with us but if they didn’t’, you would need to bring their bed or have some extra blankets to put on the floor. Which reminds me, if your beds are not set up and made for the first night, an air mattress will do the trick. Or which I have done in the past if you’re exhausted, is just bring the mattress in off the moving truck and worry about the rest the next day. My husband and I also like to watch tv before we go to bed so we usually will bring a laptop with pre-downloaded movies in case the internet isn’t hooked up yet.
Let’s be real, moving is just not a fun process at all. Packing for yourself for a big move is hard enough work, but when adding children and pets, things can get out of control very quick. All the tips listed here will reduce the stress of the move and make for a much more comfortable first couple of nights while patiently waiting for all of your items to arrive from the move.