Everyone has these wonderfully horrific stories about moving. Whether it’s because your lease is over or you’re relocating to another city, there seems to be a common consensus that the whole ordeal borders on nightmarish. However, if you’ve done your homework, and you’re armed with an arsenal of tips and tricks to make your move easier, then it doesn’t have to be as bad as you think.

That’s what we’re giving you here: The top 7 packing and moving tips that will make your home relocation less of a hassle.

1. How you Pack Speaks Volumes

The moving extravaganza begins with the packing. It’s pretty much the first step that gives you an idea of what the rest of the journey is going to be like. There are a lot of things you can do to make this particular step easier for you and the family.

First and foremost, it’s all in the way you pack. When it comes to gathering your things together, keep in mind that you’re also going to be unpacking them. So, divide your boxes according to the rooms in your new home. That way, when everything’s delivered, you’ll be able to get settled in quickly. Also, you don’t want to dig around for the important things, so when packing, make sure that the most important stuff is on top, and the least important at the bottom of your boxes. And of course, we can’t say this enough: Label, label, and label! Clear labels, legible to anyone with an elementary degree. Trust us; you’ll thank us later.

2. Help is on its way

Never be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s from friends, family, or neighbors, there’s bound to be someone willing to lend a helpful hand on your moving day. More often then not, you will even be given cash or other housewarming gifts like cleaning products and toiletries to make the adjustment easier. Pick up that phone and make the calls. The more, the merrier, after all, and if you’re lucky, they’ll have a few tips of their own. 

Having help comes in many forms. You can have a friend or two, help you pack your stuff in boxes, and maybe even move some of the smaller stuff that won’t be going in the moving truck. They can offer an extra vehicle, so there aren’t too many trips back and forth. Not to mention muscle! Some things just can’t be carried by one person alone, and having an extra pair of hands will always come in handy (excuse the pun).

3. Pack a Travel Bag

You never know what may happen when you’re moving, especially when your whole world is being transported from one city to the next. Naturally, trucks travel at a slower pace than cars, and if you’ve gotten a head start before your movers, you don’t want to end up waiting for hours without anything at hand in your new home. Things like an extra change of clothes, a few snacks, and the electronics you need like your laptop, should be in the trunk of your own car. 

4. Book in Advance

Chances are, you’re going to need to hire professional movers. If that is the case, you need to really do your research. Read reviews, ask around, and really look at the different options various moving services provider. When you’ve finally settled on one, give them a quick call and try to get a feel of who they are and how they operate. Ask any questions you want (no question is a stupid question), and be sure to book them in advance. Usually, you’ll be able to get better prices and actually find your required date when you do this as early as possible.

5. Find a Sitter

If you have children, you have no idea how valuable this tip can be. Imagine, for a second, the hassle of moving day made so much worse because your little monkeys just can’t sit still. Whether they’re in the way of the movers, or are constantly interrupting and harassing you with requests, at some point during the moving day you’re going to want to throttle them or find a noose for yourself. Having a sitter to watch your kids is immensely useful. Whether that sitter comes to your home and watches them there, or their friends or family, you can drop your kids off with for a day or two, don’t ignore this step. This goes double if you have pets.

6. Overlaps are Helpful

The overlap is when the day you have to vacate your current premises is a few days after the day you receive the keys to your new place. Naturally, this makes things much easier, because you can move back and forth between homes (especially if you’re in the same city) and pack/unpack without hassle. Overlaps really make things a lot easier, and if it’s an option when relocating, go for it. If you don’t have that option, being able to rent storage space for a few days can also be quite helpful.

7. Documentation

This is something that most people forget, and it causes quite a few problems during relocation. Basically, many forget to check the terms of their lease, and whether or not they’re required to clean the home they’re vacating, or that the landlord needs to perform a proper inspection before you leave. Also, forgetting to change your address can be a complete disaster, so keep that in mind, especially when it comes to your postal services, bank, or insurance. Make sure you also leave your forwarding address with a neighbor or your landlord, in case you’ve forgotten to notify anyone.

Nightmare or not, all horror stories aside, relocating is a bit strenuous. A lot of care and preparation needs to go into it if you want it done right. With the tips we’ve given you here, we can assure you that moving day will be just like any other day that you can look back upon and laugh about. Besides, you’re moving to a new home, a new haven that you can call your own, and you definitely don’t want to start a new chapter of your life on the wrong foot.