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How to Get Ready for Your First Night in Your New Home


Updated 4/19/22

Summary: Your first night in a new home is exciting — and exhausting. But there are a few things you can do to make sure it’s a smooth and easy (even enjoyable) night for you and your family. Top tip: preparation is key.


You’ve packed up everything you own. And whether you’ve moved down the street, to the other side of town, or across the country, the end of the process remains essentially the same: unpacking it all and getting everything set up. There are a few key things you can do on your first night (and even before) to make sure it all goes smoothly.

Here are EarthLink’s top nine tips to help you get ready for the first night in your new home. Or, download our handy first-night checklist for an analog version.

Pack a first-night bag for you and your family (including the pets)

What will you need to get through the first 24 hours in your new place? Toothbrush, medications, device chargers, a change of clothes — think about what you use every day and make sure it’s packed in a bag that you can easily access for yourself and every family member (including Fido). Throw this in the back seat of your car or carry it on the plane: it’s what you can’t live without.

9 Tips from the article in graphic form

Pack a box of essentials for the next 48 hours

You’ll also need a few must-haves on the first night to help feel settled in. This includes things like trash bags, cleaning supplies (more on that in a minute), toilet paper, snacks, bed linens, night lights, coffeemaker, towels, a shower curtain, and soap. Think about everything you’ll need at your fingertips to get things up and running — and what you’ll want when you’re ready to call it a night.

Deep clean everything while you can

While your things are being moved in, it’s the perfect time to deep clean your new space. Scrub down the surfaces in your bathroom, kitchen, and other spaces while they are empty. Chances are, the former occupants left everything in good condition, but nothing feels better than a freshly cleaned home. But, since there’s bound to be quite a bit of foot traffic as things get put in place, leave the floors for tomorrow.

Get things organized

Once everything is off the truck, it’s a good first-day project to get everything into the right places. We know some folks who even use color-coded tape on their boxes so everyone knows which ones belong in each room. Looking for more ideas? Get our downloadable PDF of EarthLink’s Moving Checklist.

Plan for takeout for an easy first meal

We’re big fans of ordering in on the first night (pizza is a top choice for many movers) because it’s a great chance to get to know your local restaurants. Grab your phone and see what’s available from one of the many food delivery apps. Remember to ask for plates, napkins, and utensils with your order if yours are still boxed up. If your place is a train wreck, this might also be a good night to go out to eat and get away from it for an hour or two.

Get your internet set up so you can relax

Sometimes, what you need at the end of a long move is a little escapism. But you can’t stream much of anything if your high-speed internet isn’t set up. We recommend letting your internet provider know you’re moving about two weeks in advance so your service can be installed on the day of your arrival. That way, you’ll be able to get connected right away (and enjoy the peace and quiet of your kids enjoying a movie).

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Find a little analog entertainment

We know your digital life is essential, but it’s also a great idea to plan for some offline distractions like playing a board game or a quick hand of cards or dominoes. Plus, playing cards take up hardly any space in your essentials bag, and there’s a game for practically every age group.

Make sure the toolbox is handy

Even if your new place is new construction, there’s bound to be a first-night punch list — those little fixes that require your immediate attention. This might include things like childproofing or hooking up your washer and dryer. Or, if you’re setting up a smart home, this might be the night to make sure your cameras are set up (and connected to your high-speed internet) before packages start arriving. It’s not a bad idea to consider getting the locks changed if that hasn’t already been done.

Take before pictures – and plan for after photos

Moving into a new home is exciting, and we’ll bet your family and friends are excited to see the new digs. Take a few “empty home” photos when you arrive, so you can show off just how much progress you’ve made as you settle in. These can be fun to share on social media but be sure you’re being smart about your safety with how much you share in a public space.


Congratulations on your new place! We hope these tips have been helpful to you as you get packed up, moved, and settled in. Be sure to download our checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything. Still on the hunt for fast, reliable internet in your area? EarthLink can help. We cover more households than any other internet service provider in the U.S.

Erin Ellison

Erin Ellison

Erin Ellison is the Director of Content Marketing for EarthLink. Her superpower is translating complicated tech jargon and concepts into language we can all understand. Erin has more than 15 years of writing experience for businesses, agencies, and the media. She currently lives and works in Atlanta.

See all posts from Erin Ellison.