The mountains of boxes surrounding me as I stood looking at all of my worldly possessions in disarray was overwhelming and I thought about putting off packing once again in exchange for some funny cat videos online.  Then I realized that the papers were signed and I was moving whether I wanted to or not!  While my husband and I’s housing situation was a little different than average (our current house sold before we had anywhere else to go) we still faced all the normal questions and trials of moving, albeit in a more hurried fashion.  Regardless of whether you are moving for the first time or the seventh, I’ve compiled some suggestions for the soon-to-be-mover.

First, begin with sorting through everything in your current house or apartment and see which things your willing to part with before you have to lug it all to your new home.  Sort these items into piles of the various locations they will end up.  For example, you might want to sell some larger ticket items online or in a printed publication; You also may want to pass down special heirlooms to other family members. Or, maybe it’s just time to get rid of some things and make a large donation to your local Goodwill store.  Whatever the case may be, de-cluttering before you move means you have that many less items to move on moving day.

Once you’ve rid yourselves of all unneeded items, start packing your nonessential items such as vases, photo albums and books or off-season clothing.  Bonus points if you already know where they will be residing in your new home and you can label the boxes as such!

If you have somewhere in your old house to stack all your packed items instead of having them all over the place in every room, it may help your sanity when trying to still maintain a residence in your current home.  You can also stack those items by room for where they go in at the new house so that when you and your family or friends pick them up on moving day, everyone will be able to see what room they should be carried to once there.

To gain additional boxes, check with grocery stores in the late morning hours to see if they have any extra boxes before they cut them down to recycle.  Many times they are glad to help someone out and it makes less work for them.  I have to say that I did this and the cartload of boxes I was given was a tremendous help. And – even though I only had one small car with me, every one of those boxes fit before I was done!  I know the other patrons of the store in the parking lot that day had a good laugh watching me try to fit them all in there like a Tetris game.  Your tip for this part, take the largest vehicle you have to pick up boxes.

On moving day, remember, if it’s family and friends helping out, they are not expert movers so be lenient and provide plenty of free snacks and drinks!  If your best friend carries your XBOX into the kitchen with the toaster, let it slide and quietly rearrange and move things after they’ve gone for the day.  Also, assembly lines cut down on time and energy spent in moving boxes from vehicles to the house if you have enough people on hand.

Before you know it, everything will be at your new home and you’ll start the process of unpacking. Make it fun by trying out your possessions in different rooms and places from your previous house. You never know when you might come up with a great idea you hadn’t thought of before.  Remember that everything doesn’t have to be unpacked in one day.  Find your essential items and then make a goal for yourself to unpack a certain amount of boxes per day after that.

Happy moving!