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Moving can be complicated, time consuming, frustrating and overwhelming, but planning and organization can make it easier. Once you have a moving date in mind, sit down to make a list of everything that needs to be done and create a detailed plan. If you want, you can use one of the many moving apps available to help you strategize and stay organized.

Figure out What to Take and How to Get It There
Before you move, go through your house and decide what to sell or donate. When you reserve a moving truck, the company will need to know what you plan to take to give you a quote. Book a truck as far in advance as possible so you can get a team of movers on your chosen date at a competitive rate. Ask if there are any items the company won’t transport in the truck so you can make other arrangements. Figure out what types of packing materials you’ll need and how much.

Decide How to Arrange Your New House and Pack Accordingly
Think about where you want to put things in your new home. Make a detailed inventory including every item you plan to pack and where it will go.

Many experienced movers find that color-coding boxes helps. Use colored markers, labels or index cards so you and the movers will be able to tell at a glance where to put each box once you arrive at the new house.

Numbering boxes is also helpful, especially if there are a lot of them. When you pack, make a list of what you put into each box and its corresponding number. Then, when you get to the new house, you’ll be able to consult the list to find an item you need instead of digging through stacks of boxes.

First pack things you won’t need before you move or immediately after, such as holiday decorations and off-season clothes. Then figure out what you can live without for a short period of time and pack those items. Pack essentials last and take them with you in one or more boxes or suitcases so you’ll have them as soon as you arrive at your new home.

If you want to recreate the layout of a room, if you will have to disassemble furniture and aren’t sure you know how to put it back together, or if you have cords connected to electronics in a specific way, take pictures before you take them apart to move. Having a visual reference will make it much easier to put things back together. Place cords in sealed plastic baggies so they don’t get tangled up.

Make Moving Manageable
Moving is stressful, but with planning and organization, you can make sure things go smoothly. Make a list of everything that needs to be done, then break it down into a series of manageable tasks so you can stay focused and work through them efficiently without feeling overwhelmed.