What to pack in your essentials bag for a long-distance move?


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People do not know how many stages there are in one relocation process. Yes, for the basic ones, you must plan, pack accordingly, and search for the best Ottawa movers to help you relocate your belongings safely. But next to the mandatory steps, there are a few small details that can turn the whole deal upside down if neglected. One of such topics is how and what to pack in your essentials bag. But worry not, we will explain in detail how you should cover this stage. Let us begin!

What we mean when we say, “the essential bag”?

You can call it whatever you like. An essential bag, essential box, the unpack-first box, etc. The point is that it is a bag containing all the essential items you might need on the way and on the first couple of days in your new home. You can have a smaller bag with essentials and a box with other equally important items. It is your choice entirely how you’ll pack it but as long as you have it, you’ll be good.

A cellphone laying on the jacket next to the pair of glasses
Your essential bag should contain all those items you can’t live without. It can be anything you like.

So, you should think about the adaptation period and what you’ll need to settle in. For example, basic bathroom items like toilet paper, toothbrush, soap, medicine, etc. Along with all the kitchen items like a full disposable dining set, plastic glasses, and a few cans of food. And you’ll surely want your personal and moving documents with you as well.

Note that you will have all your items packed in moving boxes and spread across the apartment. Therefore, all the items we mentioned you should pack in your essentials bag and they will be needed if not the very first day, then that same night or the morning after. Hence, have your essential bag with you and be ready for any situation.

Organize and prepare on time

To avoid any troubles while packing, you should organize the whole process on time. Firstly, inspect your home, furniture, and other household items. This way you will know how many packing supplies you need and you can calculate moving costs easier. Note that you will need cardboard boxes, packing tape, blister packs, and labels. And remember, while packing, you should set aside all those essential items you’ll pack in your essential bag. You do not want to pack something important and then later chase for it. Be sure the essential bag is packed gradually along the way.

Hence, you should create a moving checklist for the whole moving project and a list for the essential bag as well. Then tick and remove the items on the list once you pack them inside the bag. This way you won’t forget a thing. And remember to label each box so you can find your items easier. Just in case you might need something along the way. On the other hand, if you are purchasing packing services from your long distance movers Ottawa, you want to pack your bag entirely beforehand. Once it is packed, place it somewhere safe to wait for your moving date.

What are the most important items to pack in your essentials bag?

Now, let’s go into details and explain which items are most important. Some people won’t need half of it, while others will need more. It all depends on your needs and preferences. So, check out the following items to pack in your essentials bag and ensure you always have most of it easily accessible:

  • Kitchen – You want to have some food for the very first night. Also, as we mentioned above, something to eat with. A disposable set with plastic glasses is the way to go. Maybe you can bring a few cans of food or already prepared meals. If you do, remember to have a can-opener with you. You will probably need a knife, some kitchen cloth, and an all-purpose cleaner. Add whatever you think is relevant and useful to you.
  • Bathroom – You should bring a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, a few towels, and a roll of toilet paper. Bring a full set for each member of the family.
  • Items for any occasion – You never know what might happen the first day. Therefore, ensure you have a flashlight, lighter, set of tools, and scissors or pocket-knife. And remember to check the forecast in case you are moving in bad weather. In that case, you might need a change of clothes, a pair of boots, hats, gloves, and an umbrella.
  • Important personal items – This one varies from person to person, but some are mandatory for everyone. A good example is your ID, medical records, bank records, school documents, and important moving documents. Also, the whole medical cabinet along with the homemade first-aid kit. If you have a prescription and you are taking medicine, have it all prepared for at least a week in advance.

Cover the needs of your family members

We briefly mentioned that the content of a personalized essential bag can vary from person to person. This means that your kids, elders, or your spouse, might need a few more items. It can be a book, a toy, a piece of electronic, or something else. Therefore, maybe it would be best to have a box with items you are using together, like food and toiletries. And an essential bag with documents, valuables, credit cards, etc.

Credit cards and personal documents are among the items to pack in your essentials bag
Keep your credit cards and personal documents in check. Cover this part for each part of the family.

Some things can be obtained along the way

You can make the whole deal a bit easier if you avoid packing food and chemicals. Those can be obtained at the nearest hardware store. So, visit your place a few days before you relocate and find a convenience store. Check the working hours and browse a bit to be sure they have everything you’ll need. Once you relocate, pay them a visit and obtain everything you need for the first week. If you do it this way, your essential bag will be much easier to pack and move.

Things you pack in your essentials bag should be transported by you and you only

You will have your movers and other helpers inside your home on the day of the move. Moreover, if you purchased moving services Ottawa and you have movers packing you, you should pay special attention. Do not let movers handle your essential bag or pack any of it. You must pack your bag yourself and be safe, handle and transport it yourself as well. The best solution is to use your own vehicle to carry everything over.

Fruit and vegetable stand in the supermarket
Do not bother bringing too much food. You can obtain the essentials at the nearest grocery store.

But if you do not have one, carry the box/bag yourself until you reach the destination. Items packed in the essential bag are far too valuable for you to let anyone else handle them. You do not want anything missing, get stolen, lost, or damaged. Besides, you’ll need it at some point and when you do, you can’t search for it inside the moving truck. It must always be next to you.

Now you know what to pack in your essentials bag and how to handle the whole process. It is not so hard at all. As long as you keep up with your list of important items, you shall be fine. And always remember to have your bag with you and have it ready as soon as you arrive at your new address.

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