Moving houses is an extremely exciting task, but one that comes with many checklists, tiny problems, and a lot of back and forth. If you’re reading this, we’re sure you’re someone who prefers carrying tasks out in an organized manner, even with moving.

But imagine this – you arrive at your new home, tired but happy to start settling in. You start looking for the keys to your house and oops! You can’t find them!

We all have a facepalm moment like this at least once during the moving process, where you remember to pack everything possible but forget the small but crucial things. We’re here to save you the trouble of racking your brains with a list of things that people usually forget to pack during a move.

1. Toilet Paper

Didn’t expect this here? That definitely means you haven’t packed it yet, and it’s time you do! Most people forget to take toilet paper along because while you might pack food and sheets for the first few days at the new place, you won’t think of toilet paper.

It’s a common mistake and one that can be solved easily by visiting a nearby utility store. But there’s a possibility that you might reach your new place in the middle of the night when stores are closed, or you might not have a car to drive all the way just for toilet paper. Whatever the scenario, pack a roll or two in your essentials bag so that you’re well-stocked for the first few days in your new home.

2. Documents

Not all of us have our documents arranged in immaculate files or folders with colorful labels that give joy to the heart. But when you’re moving, your documents are the first things you’re forced to get in order, and while you do that there’s a chance you might forget to pack something important.

It’s not something that won’t happen at all even though you’re extremely organized. If you’ve a family, you’re also responsible for your kid’s documents, so leaving something behind will mean making a trip back, and you don’t want that!

Let’s go through the important documents that you should be packing and checking off your list –

  • Housing – these include your insurance policies, mortgage documents, and property deeds among others.
  • Personal – these include passports, birth certificates, professional qualifications, marriage licenses, voter ID, and driving licenses among others.
  • Financial – these include tax receipts, loan documents, and bank statements among others.
  • Work – these include reference letters, work contracts, offer letters and evaluation reports among others.
  • Vehicle – these include registration, title, and auto insurance policies among others.
  • Kids – these include certificates and records for transferring schools among others.

Don’t forget to keep the folders that have these documents with you at all times. Don’t put it in a box and hand it to the movers because then you risk it getting misplaced and you might require these documents yourself at some point. We suggest you don’t keep the task of getting your documents in order for the end because many times people realize that there are documents missing, and figuring out where they went can add to the moving-related stress you already have!

Tip: Make photocopies of important documents like passports and birth certificates and put them in a separate folder so that you have a copy of something that gets misplaced.

3. Chargers

Another item that we’re all guilty of leaving behind are chargers, and while you might scoff at this, it’s something that you might just leave behind and regret later! There’s a very simple explanation for why people forget such an important item behind – you don’t pack it with other electronics because you’re using it till the last hour to charge your phone, and then in the hullabaloo of moving, you leave it plugged to its socket!

We suggest you pack your charger the minute you unplug your phone or laptop, instead of waiting till the last minute. Take it off and pack it in our carry-on bag no matter whether you’re going to use it again before you move or not. Don’t make the mistake of leaving it behind in case of which it will only result in you losing your phone or laptop battery rapidly with no opportunity to buy another charger in sight.

Tip: Charge power banks and keep them with their cables in every person’s carry bags way in advance for additional precaution in case you can’t find your chargers during your move.

4. Medicines

Medicines are something you have to be careful about packing because this is one item you will not find in a random medical store, especially if they’re prescription drugs. You don’t want to be en route to your new home and feel sick or remember to take your blood pressure pill only to find that you left it behind in your medicine cabinet.

Since medicines are so important, we suggest you pack a case with all the medicines that you have to take on a daily basis and keep that case in your carry-on. Take time out in advance and get this in order because you can always take your pills from the case rather than leave it till the last hour and forget to pack it.

You’ll also have to go through your medicine cabinet in advance so that you can throw out everything that’s expired. Try purchasing extras of the medicines you need and might not find en route as well. Also, don’t forget to keep your medicine case out of sunlight when you’re moving or leave it behind in your heated car because that can spoil the medicines.

Tip: If you want to go the extra mile, try getting your prescriptions transferred before you move. CVS, Target, and Walgreens will do that for you and transfer your prescriptions to the nearest outlet they have to your new home.

5. Scissors, Knives, Box Cutters

While these are items your movers might have, there’s no harm in checking if you’ve packed them or not. Be it opening a box of linens once you settle in or cutting an apple, knives, scissors, and box cutters are items that you will need for something or the other.

Pack them using saran wrap or cloth so that it doesn’t cut into anything or harm your fingers when you reach for it.

6. Items You’ve Lent To Others

Be it books, DVDs, or a baking tray, there will always be some item that you’ve lent to someone and never asked for it back. Or maybe you lent it in the last few weeks and forgot all about it. Whatever the reason, this is the right time to call friends and family and get these items back so that you can pack them.

Many times you end up loaning items you actually need like an iron box or a blazer, so leaving it behind will serve you no purpose. There’s a high chance you might not be able to get a lot of these loaned items back in time since you might have to go collect them, but it’s best to get what’s important – especially if you’re moving cross country.

Tip: Do you have items that you borrowed from other people? If yes, then it’s time you keep an hour or two aside to travel and return these items to your family and friends before you move.

7. Hidden Valuables

Let’s not deny this, we all have a tendency to hide something or the other of value in random places in the house we call a secret hiding spot. It doesn’t have to be jewelry or cash, it can also be items that we hold close to heart. But while this might be the case, we often tend to forget to retrieve them when the time comes to move.

You might want to keep it for the end because what if it gets misplaced or stolen while you’re packing your house up? What you can do is put them in a box and label it as someone of no consequence like “living room items” so that they can be kept away from strangers who come in and out of the house before a move. But don’t forget to keep this box with you when you move and not in the truck if it has jewelry or cash.

Another thing you must do if you have children is to ask them to check if they have items hidden anywhere. In most cases, they will have trinkets hidden here and there which they could have forgotten and been upset about later. So don’t forget to remind them, and you can ask them to put it in their own backpacks themselves if they want to keep it a secret!

Also See : How to Pack Jewelry for Moving | How To Pack Boots For Moving

8. Items In Storage

While you’ll definitely go through your storage space or unit before you move, it’s also highly likely that you won’t go through it all in a storage unit. If that’s the case, it’s also highly likely that you might leave something behind that you’ll actually need in your new home.

Be it a winter jacket or a new set of linens, if you’ve kept these in your storage unit and forget to visit it, you’ll have to make the journey back to get it. Even with storage areas in your home, you’ll have a hoard of miscellaneous items lying around that you’ll have to sort through and pack.

So, save yourself the trouble and go through your storage unit and the storage spaces at home in advance.

Also Read: 5 Best Self-Storage Companies of 2021 | Storage Unit for Storing Clothes

9. Keys

You read it right, keys are an item you think you’ll be the most careful with, but as we mentioned before, they’re also items that people most likely forget. This isn’t a situation where you leave your keys to be packed till the end but forget to instead.

It’s a situation where you forget something essential and small because of all the stress surrounding you on the moving day. We suggest you keep your keys in your handbag in advance, even before it’s moving day. Make a note of the different keys you have that are of importance like your new house keys, bank locker keys, car keys, etc., and tick them off when you keep these in a pouch in your bag.

10. Clothes At The Dry Cleaners

Most of us have clothing at the dry cleaners that need to be picked up before we move. You might have also given a few items to dry clean when you started packing your clothes in order to have fresh clothing when you arrived at your new home.

If that’s the case, don’t forget to collect these clothes before you move. You can also ask your dry cleaners to give you a call once your clothes are ready so that you can go pick them up at the moment itself.

See Also: Pack a Suitcase for your Move


While our list has the top 10 things that people forget to pack when moving, there are many things you can add to this list. Be sure to make a checklist as and when you remember the things you might forget. Also, don’t forget to estimate how much time you’ll take to pack because usually, you forget to pack tiny things when you’re short of time.

See Also: 20 Moving Mistakes To Avoid


What is the first thing you should pack when moving?

Always pack seasonal clothing and extra linen and towels first thing when moving. Seasonal clothing because you won’t be needing it in the months to come. Extra linen and towels because there’s a possibility they might need to go to the laundry. So do that and pack them first thing because you won’t be needing them till the day of the move.

Related: Packing Hacks

When I move, who do I need to notify?

Since your address changes when you move. you’ll have to notify the post office, tax agencies, your employer, state DMV if needed, Social Security Administration, home insurance office, and the people who supplied your old home with internet, gas, and other utilities.

Does the IRS know when you move?

It’s your responsibility to notify the IRS when you move. To do this, either give them a call to update your address or fill a form and mail it to them.

What should you not pack when moving?

Never pack flammables, chemicals, arms, valuables, and frozen foods in your boxes when you’re moving. You will realize that most moving companies have a strict policy against them anyway.

See also: Cheapest Moving Companies in U.S.