Using “Open Me First Boxes” With Your Move

Two of the things that always amaze me about packing are how many things I seem to have accumulated and how many boxes it takes to pack them.  This can lead to a number of challenges, including trying to figure out where critical items are when I arrive at my new place.

Fortunately, there are some relatively easy steps you can take during packing for a move that can make this process much easier.

What are Open Me First Boxes (OMFB’s)?

One of the best tips you can follow is to create “Open Me First Boxes,” or OMFB’s.  An OMFB is simply a box that is designed to be opened immediately after moving in.  That’s because there are certain items that hold more importance to daily life than others. 

Why make Open Me Fist Boxes?

The ability to find those critical items in OMFB’S quickly and easily accomplishes a few goals:

* Saves hours of time.  Searching through several boxes can consume a surprising amount of time.
* Reduces frustration.  Anyone who has ever searched in vain for the coffee maker or bathroom tissue the day after a move knows just how frustrating that can be.
* Simplifies unpacking.  By unpacking the critical items in the OMFB’s first, the rest of the unpacking I’d made much easier and can be done on a schedule that works best for you.

How do I make Open Me First Boxes?

There are really two different kinds of OMFB’s, and making both of them is easy:

* Traditional boxes. These are just like any other kind of moving boxes, but are labeled on all 4 sides and the top with a name or code for the room and a great big letter “O” so you can find them easily.

* Suitcases.  For each member of the family, pick out one suitcase for their personal items, just as you were packing for a 2-night vacation in a hotel.  Wrap several strands of red ribbon around the handles to identify them quickly.

How many Open Me First Boxes should I have?

Generally you should have a maximum of two per room, and only one wherever possible.  Otherwise you end up with too many and you lose the advantages of the system.

You should also limit the number of boxes based on the rooms of the house.  For example, a storage room or basement may or may not need an OMFB based on how much time your ordinarily spend there.  The same holds true for certain closets or storage areas.

What should I put in them?

The short answer is that you should only put in them what you’ll need the first few days after moving.  You want to focus on things that are absolutely necessary to meet the basic needs of civilized life.  Here are some suggestions, organized by room (please feel free to adjust these based on your family’s needs and lifestyle:

The Kitchen

   1.      Aluminum foil or plastic wrap
   2.      Break-proof or disposable flatware, cups, and plates
   3.      Coffee maker and coffee (don’t forget the filters!)
   4.      Dish detergent
   5.      Frying pan and spatula
   6.      Pet food and bowels
   7.      Scissors
   8.      Tea kettle

Main Bathroom

   1.      Bath mat
   2.      Bath towels
   3.      First-aid kit (aspirin, band-aids, hydrogen peroxide)
   4.      Shampoo
   5.      Shower curtain and rings
   6.      Soap
   7.      Toilet paper
   8.      Toothbrushes and toothpaste
   9.      Feminine hygiene needs

Tool Room or Drawer

   1.      Duct tape
   2.      Flashlight
   3.      Flat-head screwdriver
   4.      Hammer
   5.      Level
   6.      Phillips-head screwdriver
   7.      Picture hangers
   8.      Tape measure
   9.      Utility knife

Follow these general guidelines on Open Me First Boxes and you should be in good shape with your packing.  Good luck with your move!

For more great moving tips on movers, relocation, self storage and more, please click this link to be taken to  One of our most popular articles is our FREE Change of Address Guide.  Please visit us today!


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