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Is your upcoming move stressing you out? Organizing, packing and keeping up with daily life can make you feel a bit crazy and a little tempted to pile everything onto the top of your car, tie it down, and hope for the best. I’m here to help. As an experienced mover, I’ve learned a few tips that make your move simpler. Take a few minutes now to learn how your next move can be a less stressful experience.

Create a Master List

Work, soccer practice, making dinner and a million other activities happen every day. How will you find time to move too? You schedule and organize it. On a spreadsheet on your phone or in a three-ring binder, make a moving checklist, record the moving company’s phone number, and set reminders to turn off the utilities. Located in one convenient spot, the master folder and its contents help you stay sane and accomplish everything on your moving to-do list.

Sort One Room at a Time

Packing and moving anything you don’t love, use, or want doesn’t make much sense. Start sorting through all your stuff as soon as possible to reduce your inventory and clutter. To make the process easier, schedule a room a week or a floor per weekend. Let your kids partner up to sort their bedrooms and the playroom, and ask your best friends to tackle the basement, living room, and garage. Be sure to place garbage cans in each room so that everyone can toss broken items. Separately marked boxes hold unwanted, gently used items for charity.

Organize the Packing Process

If you hire the moving company to do the packing for you, then sit back and relax. If you prefer to oversee this task, implement an efficient and color-coded packing process that goes room by room. Organizing the packing process takes a bit of effort, but it saves time and reduces stress in the long run.

1. Start by placing packing supplies like boxes, newspaper, tape and a colored marker in each room. When you’re ready to pack that room, all your supplies are waiting for you.

2. Pack similar items together, that way you’re not unpacking a box with items that belong in the living room, bathroom, and attic and instead are unpacking items that belong only in the room you are currently setting up.

3. Color code and label each box. As an example, the boxes from the dining room could be labeled DR1, DR2, et cetera with a blue marker, blue colored duct tape or blue colored dot stickers, while bathroom boxes could be labeled BATH1, BATH2, and so on in red.

4. Track the boxes on a master list. When you record that box DR1 holds fine china and DR2 holds silverware, you know exactly where to find anything you need with a single glance.

Pack a Travel Kit for Family Members

Identification, cash, prescription medications, cellphone and charger, a water bottle and snacks, an extra set of clothes, and toys help your family members stay sane and healthy on moving day. Pack those bags as soon as possible, and store them somewhere away from the main pile of boxes so that they don’t get placed on the truck accidentally.

In addition to individual travel bags, prepare a box with supplies for the first days in your new home. Stock it with paper plates and silverware, the coffee maker and coffee, toiletries, bedding, cleaning supplies and medicine. This way, you won’t have to dig frantically through packed boxes looking for essential supplies like toilet paper or toothpaste.

Trust me, I understand the stress, chaos, and busyness associated with moving. Follow these simplified moving tips, however, and you’ll be ready to transition easily and in an organized manner to your new home.