Finding new opportunities and starting a new adventure are exciting experiences that many people search for. However, once you find that next step, it can be a daunting task to pack your entire life into boxes and transport them to your new home. Moving can be stressful, but there are ways to make the task easier. Here are a few ideas.

Get Rid of Clutter

Before you start packing anything, go through items in your home and sort them into different piles. These piles should be organized into “sell”, “donate”, “throw away”, and “keep”. You’ll be surprised how much you’ve accumulated over the years and how much of it you can get rid of. Throw a yard sale for the things you can sell or put up ads on eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook. Donate what you can to Goodwill or another local thrift store. If you have items they won’t accept, simply throw them away.

Set Aside Time

One of the hardest aspects of packing is simply finding the time to do so. Most people will pack in small chunks of time, but this is actually less productive than spending a larger amount of time and doing it all at once. To accomplish this, request a day off work or clear your weekend schedule. Get a sitter for your kids or ask a family member or friend to take them for a few hours. 

Accumulate Moving Supplies

In the weeks before you begin packing, stop by your local grocery store and ask if they have any boxes you can have. Costco and Trader Joe’s both tend to keep their large boxes in store, so these are good places to check. Keep newspapers and magazines that are mailed to you, and ask your neighbors if you can have theirs as well. You can also use old socks and shirts as a substitute for bubble wrap.

Take Care of Furniture

Depending on how far you’re moving and how your things are being transported, you may need to disassemble your furniture. Keeping furniture intact means less hassle with set up on the other end, however, it can also lead to unnecessary damage. To prevent this, it’s best to at least take off table and chair legs, take removable shelves off shelving units, and disassemble any awkward or oversized items. To keep track of hardware, simply put it all in a ziplock bag and then tape the bag directly to the item they belong to. If you know your furniture has weak spots or previous damage, be sure to point this out to movers or your friends helping you and wrap them appropriately.

Label Clearly

Take time to label each box clearly. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself frustrated when your dishes end up in your bedroom and you can’t find an extra shirt. To avoid this, label each box with what room it belongs in and a short list of its contents. This will make it much easier to unpack when you get to your new home.

Pack Essentials Separately

Keep a small suitcase for each person of thing they’ll need to access immediately. This includes items such as clean underwear, socks, toothbrush, and a phone charger. Doing this will allow you to access what you need as soon as you get to your new home instead of having to dig around in boxes trying to find a pair of socks after a long day.