You might be happy about the idea of moving into a new home. But if you’re like most people planning a move, you’re probably not so thrilled about the idea of actually having to get your stuff from point A to point B. After all, packing for a move can be a daunting and sometimes stressful task. However, this doesn’t have to be the case if you keep the following tips in mind when you’re moving.

1. Get Started as Early as Possible

Avoid the feeling of being rushed by starting your packing efforts as soon as you make your plans to move. There are many things you’ll likely be able to cross off your to-do list early in the packing process, some of which include:

  • Packing non-essentials items (e.g., seasonal clothing and other things you don’t use on a regular basis)
  • Sorting through your belongings to get rid of clutter or unwanted items you don’t really want to take with you
  • Getting all of your necessary packing supplies together, so you’re not scrambling around at the last minute for boxes, tape, and other essentials

2. Go Room-By-Room

Avoid the temptation to do a little bit of packing here and there. The more orderly your packing methods are, the easier it will be to get everything set up in your new location. The better method is to do one room at a time. This way you won’t be mixing things from different rooms. Go a step further and use brightly colored tissue paper for breakables and other special items to reduce the risk of them being lost in the shuffle or damaged.

3. Label Everything

It’s easier than you may realize to get things mixed up when you move, so be sure to label everything. Labeling also helps the movers ID boxes that require a little more TLC and know where to put stuff in your new home. Also with labeling, it can be helpful to:

  • Use quality markers not likely to fade or smudge
  • Use different marker colors for each room
  • Write down the specific room and a brief description of the contents of each box

4. Go with Packing Paper, Not Newspaper

Yes, newspaper may be cheaper, but it can also bleed and produce stains on some of your belongings. Instead, go with white or brown packing paper. Another option is to pack certain items within clothing or blankets for added protection.

5. Use Quality Moving Boxes

Again, it might be easier to snag some free boxes from some local stores. However, doing so might result in unpleasant surprises as you move, especially if you end up with boxes of varying sizes, or ones that are already damaged or weak. Moving boxes, on the other hand, are designed to be durable and sturdy in the right spots.

6. Don’t Overload Boxes

On a related note, just because you use actual moving boxes doesn’t mean they will be indestructible. Be mindful of how heavy you are making each box as you pack. One way to do this is by doing a self-check when you finish packing a box. If it’s too heavy or too awkward for you to carry, err on the side of caution and move some of the contents into another box.

7. Know What Shouldn’t Be Packed and What Needs Special Care

Not every item in your home can be neatly packed into boxes. With hazardous materials like cleaning products, some grilling equipment,  garage supplies, or even nail polish/remover, Great Guys Moving suggests checking with your moving company to see what can be safely transported and what will need to be disposed of. Also, you may want to either personally transport or make special arrangements for the following items:

  • Valuable items or heirlooms
  • Irregularly shaped items
  • Important papers (e.g., wills, legal documents, medical documents)
  • Electronic devices that have your personal information stored on them
  • Houseplants

As for how long it will take to complete your move, use the size of your current living space as a guide. For instance, it normally takes about 3-5 hours to complete a two-bedroom move, although factors such as how many boxes you have and logistics issues will also determine how long the process will take. Still, the more prepared you are ahead of time, the more likely it is your moving experience will be pleasant and productive.