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  • The Chopping Blog

A Chef's Moving Checklist

Posted by Jacqueline on Aug 24, 2018

So, as the saying goes, life happens while you’re making other plans. I was all set to write a follow up to my blog The Only Four Knives You Need in Your Kitchen. And then life happened, and we moved into our new home over the weekend, much earlier than anticipated. Yay on the new home! Boo on the lack of planning ahead both for my writing and for what tools to have ready for the first few days in the new kitchen. But that got me thinking, "What items had I wished I packed sooner to have ready for a new house before most of my stuff arrives?"

Now I realize most of us will have takeout and pizza on speed dial during this time, but that didn’t help when we wanted to open a bottle of wine the first night, or cook a simple egg and toast breakfast the next morning. We had to buy a corkscrew (even though I have 5!). We ended up getting packets of salt and pepper from the McDonalds drive thru, which was kind of embarrassing. A chef should never forget those!

So here is a list I have compiled of basic kitchen tools/ingredients to pack at least 3 weeks before you expect to move, and have the box(s) ready to throw in the car with you so that you can at least cook basic meals before the movers arrive. 


Cooking Vessels


  • 10” skillet (non-stick, if you prefer)
  • 2-quart pot with lid
  • 1 sheet tray with rack
  • Large fine mesh sieve
  • 1 pour-spout mixing cup
  • A few plastic/glass containers with lids
  • A few Zip-loc baggies of varying sizes
  • Aluminum foil
  • Pot holder 


Utensils / Tools 


  • Large rubber spatula
  • Small rubber spatula
  • Wooden spoon
  • Metal spatula
  • Can opener
  • Bottle opener/corkscrew
  • Whisk
  • Large spoon
  • Pair of tongs
  • Peeler
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cups (dry)
  • All-purpose Chef's knife
  • Kitchen shears (You’ll probably be using these more to open boxes, etc. but they are handy to have!)


Pantry Items


  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Favorite hot sauce
  • Extra virgin olive oil*
  • Vegetable/Canola/Grapeseed oil
  • Favorite vinegar (apple cider, red wine, balsamic, etc.)
  • Cooking spray
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Italian dried herb mix*
  • Dijon mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup
  • Soy sauce
  • 1 cup sugar in container*
  • 1 cup flour in container* 

*If you’ll notice, these are missing from my picture because I forgot them and then realized I could have easily made a quick pasta meal if I had them on hand. 


Here are a few other non-cooking items


Coffee lovers:

  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee filters
  • Ground coffee
  • Sugar packets/creamer cups from your last breakfast at the local diner


  • 2 kitchen towels
  • Sponge/scrubber
  • Dish soap/couple of dishwasher pods (if applicable)
  • Roll of paper towels (throw in a toilet paper roll too, just in case you forget to pack a toiletries bag, and the sellers leave the home truly empty.)


1 of each per person in household unless otherwise noted:

  • Large dinner plate
  • Salad plate
  • Bowl
  • Drinking glass
  • Wine glass
  • Fork
  • Knife
  • (2) Spoons
  • Coffee cup/mug 

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and depending on the types of cuisine you regularly cook, your items will be different. It was easy to make a list of eggs, butter, a box of pasta, etc., but it was the staple items I forgot because I don’t think of them as “food” in the same way, and assumed they would be in the cupboard. I also didn’t want to buy new jars of spices/herbs because I already have perfectly good ones at the old home, and was going to be getting them in a few days.  So from one cook to another in the middle of a move, I hope this list helps you think about how to best prepare for your upcoming move. 

While The Chopping Block doesn't offer a specific class for cooking during a move, we do carry many of the pantry items you would be looking for in our retail stores, as well wine and spirits. What better time to treat yourself to some delicious Maldon Sea Salt, Vilux Champagne vinegar or a lovely bottle of wine than moving to a new kitchen? Another idea is to sign up for a class, specifically one of our demonstration classes a night or two after you move in. It’s a great way to escape the mountain of boxes (and takeout!), relax, enjoy some delicious food and drink while letting us do the cooking and the cleanup for you.

Topics: retail, Cookbooks & Tools, Ingredients, tools

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