Once your moving date has been determined, tackling the logistics of the upcoming move can cause even the most energetic among us to put off even thinking about getting started. As you look around at everything that’s going to have to be packed up for the move, the magnitude of the task is intimidating. But take heart: there’s a simple way to squelch the urge to procrastinate. You can start by simply sitting down with pencil and paper to organize one specific item—a gotta-have fixture that’s prominent in every moving day expert’s “how-to” planning list before you pack the U-Haul.
It’s the “Open First” box (sometimes called an “overnight bag”). Despite universal agreement on its indispensability, opinions differ widely on precisely what needs to go into the box. Realistically, given the wide range of who is making the move, that’s not surprising. Families with infants will prioritize the baby’s needs, while those with children will include very different items depending on the kids’ ages. Likewise, a watering bowl may be essential for moves including pets, while the necessity for including snack foods may vary by how readily available takeout or delivery services are at the new house.
Composing a respectable Open First box list is something you can do far in advance of the actual moving day. That’s what makes it such a good starting point. As Your Modern Family points out, you can begin the process by thinking about what you might pack for an overnight trip—with the end goal in mind that, come Moving Day, having the box at hand “…cuts down on the chaos when you don’t have to dig around for the essentials.” That move to a new house may be a daunting enterprise, but with thoughtful planning, it’s an occasion destined to become a milestone in any family’s story.