If you are planning on moving, or are in the process of moving, it can feel like a daunting task. You may find yourself staring at the rooms in your home or apartment and thinking, “where do I start?”. It takes a long time to make a home feel like home, and it can take a long time to pack everything up to get it all moved into your new space. Thankfully, there are a few sure-fire ways to make moving a little less stressful.

Start With A Plan

Maybe you are tempted to start filling boxes in an effort to get packing out of the way as fast as possible, but unless you have minimal belongings or a knack for organizing on the fly it’s a good idea to start with a plan first. Take a visual inventory of your belongings to get an idea of how many boxes and what type of packing materials you’ll need. Do you have a lot of delicate objects or antiques that will need to be handled and packed with care? Do you own an entire bookshelf of heavy books that will need to be transported in durable boxes? Is there a closet, garage or storage area in your home that you haven’t gone through in years and will require extra time to organize? Starting with a plan gives you a sense of what will take the most time or need extra care and attention to pack. You might even find that you have things you’ll need to donate or get rid of before moving. Getting these steps done early can help to save you time (and headaches) later on.

Find packing materials

After taking inventory of your things, you should have a sense of how many boxes and other packing materials you’ll need. Malls, grocery stores and liquor stores are resourceful places when it comes to finding boxes of all shapes and sizes. Start collecting newspapers and magazines to use as extra packing materials. Towels, bedding or old clothes are also an inexpensive alternative to wrap and store your more fragile items when moving. If you don’t have the extra time to source packing materials, things like bubble wrap, boxes, and tape can be purchased at stores such as Lowes and The Home Depot. Pack your things according to the rooms they are in, ie. kitchen, living room, bedroom, and bathroom items grouped together. Lastly, don’t forget to label those boxes and all you’ll have to do is unpack room by room in your new home instead of having to sort through everything later on.

The Move

When moving day arrives it’s nice to have extra help from friends and family to get the job done. Just make sure to plan ahead and ask your loved ones for help in advance so you’ll know who is available to help you out on the big day. Consider how much time you’ll need, how many trips you might need to make, and if you’re going to clean your old home or apartment yourself after moving or whether you’ll need to hire a cleaning company for the task. You can also hire a professional moving company to make things even easier and they’ll do all the heavy lifting for you. Uhaul is another great, budget-friendly, D.I.Y. option that offers a range of rental trucks and trailers for local and long distance moves.

Starting with a plan for packing your things, taking time to get the right packing materials, and organizing help from friends, family or a moving company early on will ensure moving day goes as smoothly as possible and in no time you’ll be enjoying your new home.