You’ll often hear everyone say how hard and stressful moving is, and truthfully, it can be. However, taking some steps beforehand and creating a moving plan can heavily change the pace and cost of your move.

1. Get rid of unwanted items

Before giving your moving company of choice a call, consider decluttering your belongings and determining how much stuff you’ll be taking with you. Even before packing, you can help yourself by donating, selling, or throwing out your unwanted items, and also save some money when your movers arrive. You’ll be happy you saved yourself immense amounts of time while packing, and both your movers and your pockets will appreciate the effort as well.

2. Hire your movers

Once you have a rough idea of what items you’ll be relocating to your new home, you should think about hiring your moving company. You always have the option of moving yourself, but that would only add an unnecessary amount of stress and consume a lot of your time. Research moving companies in your area in depth, and gather all the necessary information before hiring a specific company. Consider which professional moving company will best satisfy your moving needs, and hire them as soon as you find out the exact date of your move. Moving with a professional moving company will provide you with a moving crew that has many years of experience of carefully packing, handling and loading delicate and heavy items so they arrive safely at your new home.

3. Packing strategy

Once you’ve compared the numerous moving quotes you have gathered and decided on the best moving company to handle your relocation, it’s time to sit down and think over the packing process of your move. Some moving companies do offer packing assistance along with their moving service, but the service of packing does usually come with an additional cost. Therefore, if you want to save some money by packing by yourself, construct a detailed plan of action, moving checklist and list of packing materials before you actually dive in this task alone.

4. Create an inventory

Creating a detailed inventory will save you a lot of nerves and time, therefore you should focus on this detail before anything else. Keeping an eye on all your belongings and possessions to make sure nothing is lost or forgotten during the whole moving process is an essential part when both moving alone or with the help of a professional moving company. If you’re hiring movers to pack your items, you can ask them to handle this for you, but if you’re packing on your own, grab that pen and start making that checklist. Make sure you mark every room individually, and leave no item forgotten.

5. Packing materials

When it comes to packing materials, it is essential to buy quality materials to ensure the safety of your belongings during their relocation to your new home. You’re going to need an estimate of how much you should buy, what kind of materials you should buy, etc. Ask your professional moving company for some packing advice, and if they might sell packing materials as well, or do your own research and DIY it like a pro. Also keep in mind that you can cut corners when searching for packing materials and save some money, so make sure that you aren’t buying overpriced boxes or bubble wrap, but think about gathering enough materials so you don’t have to take another trip to the store during your packing process.

6. Pack least to most used rooms

The spare bedroom you might have, attic or garage are the best and easiest places to start packing. You also aren’t risking the possibility of desperately needing anything from these rooms once you’ve packed them. Leave your most important items until the day before your move and keep any essential items such as medication separately. You could also make a moving emergency kit or essentials box, which can help you tremendously during and after your move.

7. Cancel your utilities

It is very important to call your cable, internet, electricity, and gas providers at least ten days ahead of your move to figure out when you need to shut everything off. Make sure you leave enough time in your schedule to gather any necessary items, such as cords, remotes, or cable boxes that you might need to return. The same thing also goes for your new home, make sure everything is up and ready for you to settle into your new house as soon as all of your belongings are transferred.

8. Label your belongings

Labeling your boxes with the particular room it’s going into and adding a brief summary of the contents of the box will diminish the confusion while unpacking everything in your new home. Also, labeling boxes with fragile items will help your movers when handling your items, ensuring everything makes the trip safely. Consider using colored stickers or colored labels if you don’t want to endure the hassle of writing everything down.

9. Leave you drawers open

Keeping your drawers, cupboard and cabinet doors open couple of days before and on the day of your move will give you the chance to keep everything in check and make sure that you’ve packed everything. This way, you’ll get an easy glimpse of everything or if you might have possibly left some items inside. Also, make sure to empty everything before your movers arrive, because most professional moving companies would advise you not to add any unnecessary weight, and therefore jeopardize the safety of your belongings during the move.

10. Moving essentials box

Pack a moving essentials box with items that you use every day and night and keep this box or bag with you at all times. Medicine, face cream, toothbrush, phone chargers and a change of clothing will come in handy during your move. Make sure to keep your important documents and papers by your side, and also consider preparing some food and drinks for the trip and moving day.

11. Take photos

Consider taking some photos of the wires at the back of your television or any other electronic sets ups that you might need help with when setting them back up in your new home. This will also save you a lot of time and nerves when moving in, and keep in mind that if you have any wall displays, shelving units or ornament placements that have grown on you in your current home, taking a photo of their exact placement and state can help you recreate everything easily at your new place.

12. Visit your new neighborhood

Once you’ve settled in, you’ll easily get to know every corner of your new home, but what about the neighborhood? Book your desired moving company and go and spend some time in your new neighborhood, exploring the parks, bars and shops around town and getting to know the community.

13. Finishing touches

If there is anything left to be done at your new place, it would be best to finish everything done before your move. It is a lot easier to paint the walls of your new home, plug in power strips or clean the floors if there is no furniture around. It will never be this easy again, so make sure you’ve handled all the details before your movers arrive.

14. Update your address

It is best to start changing your address and updating companies and organizations at least a couple of weeks before your moving day. This will help you settle into your new home stress free, knowing that you’ve finished everything up and can enjoy your new house and address in peace.

15. Food

Start emptying your food out a week before your moving day without replenishing it. Consume meat, veggies and fruits, while caned and boxes foods can even be packed if you haven’t consumed them by the time of your move. Also consider donating your food to a food bank.