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Moving into a care home: What to bring checklist

Moving into a residential care home can be a very daunting and stressful time for the new resident and the family involved. Deciding what to bring with you can be a very challenging and emotional process as you may be downsizing from a house to a single room. Often, what makes a house feel like a home are the tangible things that have been collected over the years that remind you of certain memories created within the home. 

It’s a care home’s priority to make you comfortable and feel at home in your new environment, so it’s highly recommended that you bring these sentimental items with you. To help reduce the pressure of deciding the other important or practical things to bring with you to a care home, we’ve compiled a list of our top suggestions and advice on things to take with you to make moving easier.

What clothing should you take to a care home?

Clothing is one of the most important things you need to pack! Just because you’re going into a care home, it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your sense of style. It is recommended that you bring a range of clothing with you, from comfortable day clothes to special occasion outfits. In general, care homes suggest that you pack enough day and night clothes for a two week rotation. Practical clothing that’s easy to put on and take off and doesn’t have special washing and drying instructions is recommended so that it can be easily laundered.

Some good examples of clothes to take with you are:

  • Jumpers, cardigans and sweatshirts (residents tend to feel the cold more so clothes that can be layered is important)
  • Tops, shirts and t-shirts
  • Casual day trousers, skirts or dresses
  • Special occasion trousers, suits, skirts or dresses
  • Pyjamas, dressing gown and slippers
  • Socks and underwear
  • Outdoor shoes
  • Comfortable activewear for exercise classes or outdoor activities
  • Accessories such as hats, scarves, gloves, purse, bag

What toiletries will you need to bring to a care home?

Care homes advise that you bring toiletries and personal care items that you’re familiar with and suitable for your skin. Many care homes provide these toiletries for you but many individuals have their favourites when it comes to soaps and shampoos. Care homes will be happy for you to bring these desired products if it makes the individual feel more at home.

Some examples of toiletries to bring with you are:

  • Soap
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Body wash and lotion 
  • Face wash and moisturiser
  • Shaving equipment
  • Perfume or aftershave
  • Makeup (if used)
  • Hairbrush or comb
  • Personal medicines

What personal items should you take to a care home?

An integral part of a smooth transition from the family home into a care home is decorating your new room to make it feel and look like home. Giving your room a personal touch will help you settle into your new surroundings easier. Personal items such as family heirlooms and ornaments can help you remind yourself of home.

Examples of personal items to bring with you are:

  • Paintings 
  • Framed photographs
  • Ornaments
  • Your favourite books or magazines
  • Your favourite hobbies, such as puzzles, knitting, crocheting, games or embroidery
  • Mobile phone, tablet and charger.
  • Home comforts such as your favourite cushion, blankets, quilts, throws or chair to personalise your room.

Which electronics should you bring to a care home?

Electronic devices are a great way to stay entertained and connected with your close friends and family. Devices such as a tablet can provide you with entertainment and information, such as digital games or reading the news. It is a great way for residents to stay connected and up to date in their own time. TVs are commonly provided in the communal areas of a care home but not in individual rooms, therefore it is recommended that you speak to the care home staff if you would like to bring one.

Examples of electrical items to bring with you to a care home are:

  • Radio
  • Tablet
  • Mobile phone
  • Chargers for electronic devices
  • Extension lead
  • Hair appliances

What can you do with items that you can’t take to a care home?

Inevitably, there are going to be items you will not be able to bring with you due to the limited space in a care home. It can be an emotional time parting with things of sentimental value or reminders of great memories. However, moving into a care home does not mean that you have got to get rid of everything forever. Items of sentimental value can be given to friends or family members, or put into storage. Storing items in a storage unit is especially appealing if you’re only going into a care home for short-term respite care. Items that don’t hold any sentimental value such as furniture or clothing can be given to charity or sold second-hand. 


Packing away your belongings and deciding what to bring with you for this new chapter of your life can be a very overwhelming time. It is recommended that you visit the nursing home before you move in. Seeing your new room in person will give you a great idea of what is included in your care home package. It’ll also give you some ideas on how to decorate your room to make it homely. The care home’s priority is to make you feel comfortable in your new environment, so make sure to pack sentimental and personal items to give your room a homely feel. 

To better understand how a care home can support the needs of those requiring care and to enquire about a care home or residential home within The Fremantle Trust contact us today.

We have care homes located across the Buckinghamshire county. Learn more about care homes nearest to you:
Care home Aylesbury
Care home Princes Risborough
Care home Chalfont St Peter
Care home Amersham
Care homes Slough
Care home Chesham
Care home Stoke
Burnham care homes
Care homes High Wycombe
Care homes Marlow