There’s no other way to say this: moving is a pain. Packing up all of your belonging into boxes to be shipped or move into a new space is tedious, exhausting, and might even leave you in tears.

After moving 11 times in the past six years, through trial and error, broken lamps, and misplaced valuables, I have learned a thing or two about how to make the moving process easier.

10 Tips to Make Moving Easier

1. Start early.

Everything takes longer than you think it will and moving is no exception. You might want to estimate twice as long as you were originally planning.

For example, if you think it will take you two hours to pack your bedroom, plan for four — at least! In larger rooms, add another hour to your estimates.

And on that note…

2. Start in the room you use the least.

The living room, the library, the dining room, the kitchen… wherever it is, start there.

3. Label everything.

Think more than just “Hall Closet” or “Dining Room.” Being specific will let you know exactly what is in each box. Trust me, this will be helpful when you’re standing in your new place searching for your cupcake pan.

4. Give up on the kitchen.

Seriously, don’t wait until the last minute to pack up the kitchen. You have more kitchen supplies than you think you do. Between cleaning out the fridge, packing everything, and attempting to cook… you really aren’t going to want to do dishes afterwards. Pick up take-out for two days or so before your move.

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5. Throw things away.

Packing and moving is the perfect opportunity to clean out your closet or get rid of those 87 magazines you’ve let pile up. Recycle and donate the things you can.

6. Buy a metric ton of bubble wrap.

You have fragile things and they need to be protected. Don’t skimp on covering edges of furniture as well as glasses, dishes, lamps, etc. Saving on moving supplies isn’t worth losing important things or damaging your furniture.

7. Utilize reusable shopping bags.

These are handy for more than just groceries. They are easier to manage than bulky boxes and you can fill them us with miscellaneous things like the contents of your desk drawers.

8. Leave time to relax.

Packing and moving is often a multi-day affair. Don’t let yourself get too overwhelmed and entirely focused on moving to forget to breathe. Get out of your place and go out to dinner or to a movie for a few hours. It will help you stay sane.

9. Enlist your friends.

The more helping hands, the better. Call up your friends and offer to pay them in pizza and beer. It will make the process go faster and take some stress off of you.

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10. Pay someone.

Sometimes moving is just something you can’t do yourself. If you are moving cross-country or have more boxes than you can count, let professionals take the reins. Step back and focus on how you are going to organize and decorate your new place.

Photo via GoodStuffMoving