What do I need to remember for the first night when moving?

The removal men have finally gone, and you look around to survey the scene. Chaos. This is the point at which your mood can dip, as you realise the extent of the work you have ahead of you. If you have small children then the task can seem even more daunting. How on earth are you going to get sorted for the night ahead? Here is our emergency survival guide to your first day in your new home.

Plan Ahead

Most people think ahead to the extent that they have packed a kettle to be readily accessible, which says a lot about us as a culture. A majority will also have added biscuits, which says even more. There’s not a lot you can’t face without a mug of tea and a biscuit, and these two items should be at the top of everyone’s ‘Have Handy’ list. There are other items it would be wise to have ready to unpack immediately. Print off the following list and collect items for your overnight bag:

Instant coffee (not all man and van removal men like tea!)

Loo roll

Clean clothes for everyone. Two sets for toddlers

Clean Bedding

All-purpose cleaner and sponge – for unexpected horrors

Rubber gloves, two pairs


Dog/Cat food and bowls



Plates, cups and cutlery for each family member

Tea towel

Washing up liquid

Basic tool kit

Important documents and utilities contact details


Mobile phone chargers

This emergency kit will see you through almost any eventuality, or at least until you have had time to locate your everyday supplies again.


Dependents are your priority on day one. That means that the first rooms to tackle are the children’s bedrooms. If you have sleeping bags, it might be a good idea for the children to use these on the first night, to save you making beds up. But there is nothing quite like your own bedding, particularly in unfamiliar surroundings. Allow them to unpack one box of their favourite toys on the first day. Any more than that and you will have chaos. Distract them by assigning small fetching and carrying tasks. Kids love being put in charge of something, so make lists and issue pens.


Other dependents include pets, of course. Pay particular attention to your pets, especially cats, who have a tendency to become disturbed by a house move. The best idea is to shut your cat into one room while you unpack. Give it some food, water and its own bed, and let it relax out of the way of the chaos. Don’t let it wander around as it may get spooked and run off.


Have a takeaway for your first supper – you will be too tired to cook. Cosy up with children before bedtime, as they will be overexcited. Calm things down with a story, then make for your own bed before it gets too late. Unpacking through the night will leave you bleary the next day. Tomorrow is the first day of your new life in a new home, so relax and be thankful the move is over. You have plenty of time to get straight.

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