USAA Community Must Haves for the First Day in Your New Place.jpg

It’s the time of year for discussions around PCS orders. Many folks will be getting orders in the next couple of months for a summer time PCS. If you or your spouse are up for orders, the time will go by fast. During this waiting time is a good time to plan and get ready.


There are a few items that you should pull aside for a “first day box” during a move. I think back to the first nights in our new homes over the years and coffee always makes the top of my nice to have list! Whether you are having the military move you, doing a PPM (personally procured move) also known as a “Do it Yourself” (DITY), packing a first day box will make your initial night in a new home a lot more comfortable. Never again will you be stranded in a new place without the essentials!


Here is what you need for a successful first day (and night) in a new home:



Toilet paper

Shower Curtain

Towels: hand towels and large towels

Hand soap

Travel size shampoo and toothpaste



Dish cleaner

Trash bags

Toilet bowl cleaner and brush

Disinfectant spray/wipes

Paper towels

Single use dishwasher and laundry pods



Small tool kit/ screwdriver


Box cutter

Painters tape

Utility Knife

Tape measurer

Hardware for your furniture (aka the parts box)



Air mattress or camping cots with bedding

Bottled Water Snacks (and more snacks if you have kids!)

Coffee pot, filter and grounds

Crockpot (if you plan on cooking a meal)

Paper plates/napkins and disposable silverware


Odds and Ends:

Chargers for all of the electronic devices

Camping chairs


Corkscrew or bottle opener


Remember you can still do this with some items even if you are moving overseas- set aside an “open me first box” labeled with colorful tape so you know to start with that one on arrival!


If you have a pretty solid move in date, order some of the bulkier items above from an online retailer like Amazon, to be delivered on move in day. That way, you are not wasting precious space in your car or baggage for toilet paper and paper towels!


What can’t you live without your first day in a new home?



Official DOD Move Page

Tips for Staying Overnight in an Empty House


About the Blogger: Briana Hartzell is a Navy spouse, mother to two beautiful girls (4 and 2 years), a former full time USAA employee and a graduate of Texas A&M University. Briana writes at Being Briana, a blog focused on the joys that military life and parenthood can bring.