If you’re moving soon, you might be feeling overwhelmed or unsure where to start. In addition to coordinating all the logistics, rooms full of furniture and personal items might make moving seem like mission impossible. However, simple organization practices can make your move both simple and quick. Look at these 11 essential moving tips:

1. Pack the Essentials First
Move all essential items, such as food, your bed, dishes, clothes, personal hygiene items and the like, to the new location first or pack them last if you are moving a long distance. If you’re hiring movers, set these essential items aside and pack in well-marked boxes (preferably clear plastic) so they are easy to find at the end of moving day. If you are moving out of state, keep these boxes with you throughout the move, so you’ll have everything you need when you arrive at your new home.

2. Pack Plates Vertically
Plates that are packed vertically in a box are far less likely to break. You can use clothes and socks to save on bubble wrap. While many people tout the use of recycled newspaper over packing paper, be aware that newspaper can leave smudges on your dishes. It’s best to wrap your plates and bowls in ink-free packing paper.

3. Sort Boxes for Each Room
Label boxes according to what room they’ll be going to, such as living room, bathroom, master bedroom. Also include a list of the contents inside the box, such as “Grandma’s China” or “Suzy’s books and toys.” After boxes are packed, only ‘hard’ items, such as furniture, mattresses and the like, should be left over.

4. Take a Photo of Electronics
Taking a picture of your electronics where the wires connect will make reassembly at your new place a whole lot easier. Be sure to wrap wires neatly and keep in a plastic baggie affixed to the device, so you’ll know which wires go to each of your electronics.

5. Get Rid of Junk
What’s our definition of junk?  It is stuff you haven’t touched, used, or thought about in the past year. Those boxes you haven’t unpacked since the last move likely qualify as junk too. The idea is to minimize and then minimize some more. You’d be surprised to find how much ‘junk’ has accumulated over the years. Cutting down on these items will help you cut down on the cost of your move.

6. Move on the Right Day
Most people tend to move on the weekend, when they’re off work, so moving rates tend to be higher. Moving in the middle of the week can save you both time and headaches from traffic. Moving companies also say it’s advisable to avoid moving during the summer and at the end of the month (when leases are up).

7. Get Boxes from the Local Liquor Store
Many liquor stores have an excessive quantity of boxes that they don’t use, so be sure to check there. You can also check with big box retailers, your local grocer, or family and friends who may have recently moved.

8. Use Small Boxes for Heavy Items
It’s bad enough lifting a heavy box, but you don’t want to lift a box that’s both heavy and bulky. Save the big boxes for lighter items and put your bulky items in smaller packaging.

9. Stop Buying Groceries One Week Prior to the Move
Make sure you stop buying groceries at least one week prior to moving because you don’t want to be worrying about a bunch of food perishing. If you’re moving a long way and don’t feel like toting the whole pantry with you, donate your non-perishables to a local food bank.

10. Use Every Bit of Space
This includes using every inch of space in your moving boxes, moving van, and any other moving space you encounter. Make as few trips as possible.

11. Make a To-Do List
Making a to-do list will break the entire move into smaller, more straightforward steps each day. It’ll also prevent making unwanted mistakes or trips.

There are many other tips that you can utilize to your advantage. The whole idea is to keep the move as simple and efficient as possible.  A little organizational can go a long way and help the task of moving feel less stressful.

Find out how much your move costs!