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15 Steps to Take Before Moving into Temporary Housing

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

what to pack for temporary housing

what to pack for temporary housing or what to pack for Airbnb

1. Find Out What is Included in Your Housing Before Packing Your Things

Before you start packing, it's crucial to find out what's included in your temporary housing. Many temporary housing options, such as furnished apartments, come with essential furniture, kitchen appliances, and sometimes even bed linens and towels. Knowing what's included can help you avoid packing unnecessary items. For more information on what's typically included in a furnished apartment, check out our post on What is Included in a Fully Furnished Apartment.

2. Pack Only Items You Definitely Want or Need

When packing for temporary housing, space is often limited. Therefore, it's important to pack only the items you definitely want or need. This might include essential clothing, personal care items, and any work or hobby-related items you can't live without. Remember, the goal is to make your temporary housing feel like home without cluttering it with unnecessary belongings.


Pack enough clothing for your stay, considering the climate and your daily activities. Don't forget items like workout gear, swimwear, and comfortable loungewear.


While some temporary housing options might provide basic toiletries, you'll likely want to bring your own, including toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, and any other personal care items you use daily.


Don't forget to pack any prescription medications you take regularly. It's also a good idea to bring a basic first aid kit with band-aids, pain relievers, and any other over-the-counter medications you might need.

Electronic devices:

Bring any electronic devices you'll need, such as your laptop, phone, and chargers. If you enjoy reading on an e-reader or watching shows on a tablet, pack those as well.

Books/reading materials: If you prefer physical books, bring a few along. You might also consider packing magazines, journals, or any other reading materials you enjoy.


Check with your temporary housing provider to see if linens are provided. If not, you'll need to bring your own sheets, towels, and possibly pillows.

Special cooking utensils or appliances:

If you have dietary restrictions or prefer to cook your own meals, you might want to bring special cooking utensils or appliances. However, keep in mind that many temporary housing options come with fully equipped kitchens.

Important documents:

Bring any important documents you might need, such as your ID, passport, insurance cards, and any necessary rental or work contracts.

Visit this blog post to learn more about corporate housing.

what to pack for temporary housing

3. Pack Appropriate Clothing

Consider the climate of your temporary housing location and pack clothing accordingly. If you're staying for an extended period, you'll also need to consider the changing seasons. Also, think about your daily activities and pack suitable outfits. For example, if you're working, you'll need work-appropriate attire. If you plan to use the gym or pool, don't forget your workout gear or swimwear.

4. Sort and Label Your Belongings

Sorting and labeling your belongings can make unpacking much easier. You can sort items by category (e.g., clothing, kitchen items, work materials) and then label each box or bag accordingly. This not only helps you find things quickly when you arrive at your temporary housing but also makes repacking easier when it's time to move again.

5. Make Mail Delivery Arrangements

If you're expecting mail or packages during your stay, make sure to make delivery arrangements. This might involve updating your address with the post office or setting up mail forwarding. If your temporary housing doesn't accept packages, you might need to arrange for them to be held at a local post office or delivery center.

6. Make Decisions Regarding Storage

If you have items that you don't need at your temporary housing but don't want to get rid of, you'll need to make storage arrangements. This could involve renting a storage unit or leaving items with a trusted friend or family member. Remember to label boxes clearly and create an inventory so you can easily find things later.

7. Make Permanent Moving Arrangements, If Necessary

If your temporary move is part of a larger relocation process, you might need to make permanent moving arrangements. This could involve hiring a moving company, arranging for the transportation of large furniture items, or coordinating the sale or lease of your current home.

8. Do a Final Check to Make Sure You Haven’t Forgotten Anything

Before you leave, do a final check of your home to make sure you haven't forgotten anything. Check all rooms, closets, and storage areas. Don't forget to check the dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer. It's also a good idea to have a checklist of items to double-check on the day of your move.

9. Create a Budget for Your Move

Moving, even temporarily, can come with unexpected costs. Creating a budget can help you anticipate these costs and manage your finances effectively. Consider costs such as moving services, storage fees, deposits for your temporary housing, and any necessary purchases you'll need to make for your new place.

10. Notify Relevant Parties of Your Move

It's important to notify relevant parties about your move. This includes your employer, your children's school (if applicable), your bank, and any other institutions or individuals who need to be aware of your change in location.

11. Set Up Utilities and Internet

If your temporary housing doesn't include utilities or internet, you'll need to set these up. Research providers in your new area and schedule installation or setup for shortly after you move in.

12. Plan for Your Pets

If you have pets, you'll need to make arrangements for them. Check the pet policy of your temporary housing and make sure you have a plan for moving your pets safely. You'll also need to pack necessary items for your pets, such as food, toys, and their favorite bed or blanket.

13. Pack an Essentials Box

Pack a box or suitcase with items you'll need immediately upon arrival. This could include toiletries, a few changes of clothes, essential cooking items, and important documents. Having these items easily accessible can make the first few days in your new place much easier.

14. Take Care of Your Health

Moving can be stressful, and it's important to take care of your health during this time. Try to maintain a regular sleep schedule, eat healthy meals, and take time to relax and de-stress. If you have regular prescriptions or medical appointments, make sure to plan for these as well.

15. Understanding Your Lease Agreement

Before you move into your temporary housing, make sure you fully understand your lease agreement. This includes the length of the lease, the cost, what's included, and any rules or restrictions. If you're unsure about anything, don't hesitate to ask your landlord or housing provider for clarification.

Ultimate Guide on What to Pack for Temporary Housing

Ultimate Guide on What to Pack for Temporary Housing

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on what to pack for temporary housing. Whether you're a business traveler, a digital nomad, or temporarily relocating for other reasons, knowing what to pack can make your stay comfortable and stress-free.

Understanding Temporary Housing

Temporary housing is a flexible living arrangement that caters to individuals who need short-term accommodation. It's a popular choice for business travelers, people in the process of moving, or anyone in need of a temporary place to stay. To learn more about temporary housing, check out our detailed post on What is Temporary Housing.

Preparing for Your Move

Moving, even temporarily, can be a daunting task. It's essential to plan and organize your move to ensure a smooth transition. Here are some tips to help you prepare:

  • Create a checklist: This will help you keep track of tasks and ensure nothing is forgotten.

  • Prioritize tasks: Some tasks are more urgent than others. Prioritize your tasks to ensure the most important ones are completed first.

  • Stay organized: Keep all your moving-related documents in one place. This includes rental agreements, utility setup details, and more.

Evaluating Your Living Options

When it comes to temporary housing, you have several options. These include extended stay hotels and furnished apartments. Each option has its pros and cons, so it's important to choose the one that best suits your needs. For a detailed comparison, read our post on What is a Furnished Apartment.

Sorting and Purging Your Belongings

Before you start packing, it's a good idea to sort through your belongings and decide what to take with you. Here are some tips to help you sort and purge your belongings:

  • Make piles: Create separate piles for items you want to take with you, items to store, and items to donate or discard.

  • Start early: Sorting through your belongings can take time. Start several weeks before your move to avoid last-minute stress.

  • Consider storage: If you have items you don't want to take with you but can't part with, consider using a storage facility.

Packing Essentials for Temporary Housing

When packing for temporary housing, it's important to focus on the essentials. Here are some items you should consider packing:

  • Personal care items: This includes toiletries, medications, and any other personal care items you use daily.

  • Kitchen essentials: If your temporary housing doesn't come with a fully equipped kitchen, you might need to bring some kitchen essentials. Check out our post on What is Included in a Fully Furnished Apartment for more information.

  • Comfort items: Bring items that make you feel at home. This could be your favorite pillow, photos of loved ones, or anything else that brings you comfort.

Making Your Temporary Housing Feel Like Home

Living in temporary housing doesn't mean you can't feel at home. Here are some tips to make your temporary housing feel more like home:

  • Personalize your space: Bring a few personal items to decorate your space. This could be photos, a favorite blanket, or anything else that makes you feel at home.

  • Create a routine: Establishing a routine can help you feel more at home in your temporary housing.

  • Stay connected: Keep in touch with friends and family. This can help you feel more connected and less homesick.

Managing Utilities and Address Updates

When moving, even temporarily, it's important to manage your utilities and update your address.

Here are some tips to help you manage this process:

  • Update your address: Make sure to update your address with the post office, your bank, and any other institutions that need your current address.

  • Manage utilities: If you're responsible for utilities in your temporary housing, make sure to set them up in advance. If you're moving out of a permanent home, don't forget to cancel or transfer your utilities.

  • Manage subscriptions: Don't forget to update your address for any subscriptions or regular deliveries.

For more tips on managing utilities and address updates, check out our post on The Benefits of Staying in Corporate Housing vs. Traditional Hotels.

FAQs on What to Pack for Temporary Housing

Here are some frequently asked questions about what to pack for temporary housing:

  • What should I pack for a short-term move? For a short-term move, focus on packing essentials like clothing, toiletries, and any necessary electronics. If your temporary housing is furnished, you won't need to bring any furniture or kitchenware.

  • How to make temporary housing feel like home? Personalize your space with photos or decor items, establish a routine, and stay connected with friends and family to make your temporary housing feel more like home.

  • What is a temporary living arrangement? A temporary living arrangement is a short-term housing solution for individuals who need accommodation for a few weeks to a few months. This can include furnished apartments, extended stay hotels, and more.


Moving to temporary housing can be a daunting task, but with the right preparation and packing, it can be a smooth and stress-free experience. Remember to prioritize your tasks, pack only the essentials, and make your temporary housing feel like home. With these tips, you'll be well-prepared for your move to temporary housing. Remember, every move is unique, and what works for one person might not work for another. So, take these tips as a starting point and adjust them to fit your specific needs. Good luck with your move! For more tips and advice on temporary housing, check out our other posts:


  • American Moving and Storage Association - Professional Moving Services

  • National Apartment Association - Apartment Living Tips

  • Real Simple - Organizing Tips for Your Move

  • U.S. Postal Service - Updating Your Address

  • Better Homes & Gardens - Home Decorating Ideas

  • Consumer Reports - Choosing Home Appliances

  • WebMD - Managing Medications During a Move

  • Food Network - Easy Recipes for Temporary Housing

  • Travel + Leisure - Travel Tips for Temporary Moves

  • The Spruce - Home Organizing Tips


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