The terms “stress-free” and “moving” don’t usually go hand-in-hand. That’s because relocating is filled with small and big reasons to worry: What if you break or lose something important? What if the place you are moving into is wrong for you in some way? What if your life is plunged into chaos?

It’s common for the stresses of moving to give people severe anxiety and mental anguish for weeks or months. However, this doesn’t have to happen. You can avoid the stress of moving and enjoy a relatively pleasant, easy move. Here’s how:

1. Plan and Prepare

Any time you have a plan, your stress levels will fall. The vast majority of move-related stress comes from the unknown. By preparing beforehand, you can reduce the unknowns associated with your move, which means you can feel more confident and in control of the situation.

You should start to prepare by drafting a timeline of the move, which should include a checklist of tasks you need to complete.

For instance, two months before you move, you should gain quotes from moving companies. Focus on movers that serve your destination as well as your origin. So if you are going from Nashville to Philadelphia, moving companies should have solutions for both cities.

These are considerations to make early, so you don’t get bogged down in details when you should be focusing on other activities for your move. Even knowing this, many people still struggle to plan effectively for their move. If planning isn’t one of your strengths, you can find online checklists that you can modify to fit your situation.

2. Organize Essential Information

An essential and often overlooked aspect of preparations should be organizing the information you will need before, during and after your move. Compile a moving file where documents, dates, contact information and more is stored. Always keep this file at hand — so it doesn’t get lost in the sea of boxes and other paperwork flying about during your move.

Some important things to include in your moving file include:

  • Your old and new addresses
  • Moving contracts
  • Home service provider contact numbers
  • Child caregiver contact numbers

3. Ask for Help

Though moving professionals add to the expense of moving, the service they provide in packing up valuables, lifting and carrying heavy boxes and safely transporting your things from here to there will reduce your moving-related stress significantly. Because they have the knowledge and expertise of performing dozens of moves every week, they know the best ways to protect your possessions and make your move fast and easy.

However, if you are reluctant to ask for professional help, the least you can do is try to corral your friends and family into assisting with your move. Your loved ones will make the time spent packing and carrying boxes go faster and be more enjoyable, even if they aren’t experts at efficient truck loading.

4. Avoid Simple Mistakes

Simple mistakes lead to major mishaps. Here are a few blunders you should avoid this move:

  • Heavy items go in smaller, sturdier boxes.

    Larger boxes are awkward to hold, which means when you put heavier items in them, you might never be able to pick them up. Plus, standard boxes aren’t built to hold heavy things, so you will need double cardboard or plastic.

  • Linens should go in plastic bags.

    This will protect them from spills, drips and other potentially staining problems.

  • Hanging clothes should go in wardrobe boxes.

    You might need to purchase these, but they are worth the investment for the wrinkle-free wardrobe you’ll enjoy after you move in.

  • Dishes and glassware also have specific boxes.

    These include dividers that prevent fragile items from clanking together and chipping or cracking.

  • You should use more tape than you think.

    The center seam at the bottom of boxes should be taped twice and extend four to six inches up each side. You should also tape the edges of your boxes.

5. Unpack Properly

Once all your belongings are at your new place, the move isn’t over. Now comes the process of unpacking, which is arguably the most important step.

Chaos during the unpacking phase will pursue you for years into your life in your new space, so you need to stay organized and think long-term. Many people choose to hire professional organizers to assist with unpacking to ensure that their new home is tidy from the get-go.

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