Moving is stressful. Between coordinating move-in and move-out dates, securing a moving truck, and completing mounds of paperwork, it can get hectic. It’s no wonder moving is often declared to be the next most stressful thing after losing a spouse or getting divorced. But it doesn’t have to be. Tone down the nerves and lighten the load with these tips:

Get Rid of Your Collectible Junk

A good way to cut your moving stress in half is to get rid of anything and everything you can, first. College notebooks, that lotion you never used that’s five years old, or that funky décor piece you couldn’t find a place for. There’s no sense in packing up junk that you plan to sort through “someday.” Need more incentive? Think of it in terms of cost: Don’t pay to move junk.

Get Smart with Your Labels

Arrange a system for labeling your stuff, because once it’s in boxes, it all looks the same. A good system to avoid the chaos is this: Label each box by room and number as you go, starting with one and counting up. This serves to show what’s lower priority (what was packed first), versus what’s used more regularly. Then, when it’s time to unpack, simply reverse the order. Be sure to put bright red duct tape on any boxes that contain essentials (such as everyday dishes and pantry items) or valuables.

Pack an Overnight Bag

On the first evening in your new place, the last thing you’ll want to do is start unpacking. Prepare an overnight bag that’ll hold you over for a few days. Include toiletries and clothes, but also bed sheets, blankets, towels, and a washcloth, plus some paper plates and plastic utensils. Tip: Throw some K-cups in the bag for a big hug from your future self.

Avoid Embarrassment: Learn How to Lift

It can feel pretty awkward to grunt and squat your way through the day with moving buddies. And navigating tight hallways and stairwells adds to the discomfort, especially when you don’t know what you’re doing. Come prepared: Secure some furniture sliders and a dolly for heavy items. Also be sure to wear sneakers, and bring along work gloves for a better grip. And above all, do not get in a hurry! Allow plenty of extra time on moving day to avoid slapdash injuries.

Focus on the Light at the End of the Tunnel

When things get stressful, take a minute to stop what you’re doing and conjure up a relaxing image. Imagine yourself unwinding in your new home, with everything in its place, with a nice fire and a mug of hot tea or coffee. Imagine the steam from the tea, the smell of the logs burning in the fireplace, and the feel of warmth on your face.

Plan for Relaxing Down Time Afterward

At the end of the day, take your buddies out for dinner to unwind. Or settle on the floor with champagne and takeout (in Solo cups and paper plates) to christen the new place. It’s a fun and relaxing way to say thank you and cast off the stresses of the move.

Prepare for the Unexpected. And Laugh.

When you can’t find your shoes in time for work. When you can’t get internet hooked up the day it’s scheduled. When it takes 12 attempts to back the moving truck into that tight space. And when all else fails? Laugh. A good sense of humor can mean the difference in sanity and losing it on moving day.

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