Planning is the key to any move. Knowing what’s getting moved or taken apart, and what’s getting thrown out or sold is of utmost importance. Get a pad of sticky notes or masking tape to mark things in each category. Moving things you’re just going to throw out later is a time-waster. Have a yard sale or donate your unwanted furniture, dishes, or other household items to a Salvation Army or thrift store. It’s less for you to pack and it helps someone else.
Having the right materials is paramount when moving. It’s impossible to pack without the right boxes, bags and stuffing. When possible, use the original boxes things came in. If you’re not the box-saving type, get boxes from a local business on recycling day or purchase them from a storage facility. Books should be packed in small boxes, because their weight adds up quickly. Large, soft things like blankets and stuffed animals can be piled into larger boxes, but be aware of what’s in each box, as you don’t want to pile very heavy boxes on top of ones full of soft or breakable things.
To this end, label your boxes. Write the room the box belongs in (e.g. kitchen, bathroom, bedroom) as well as what’s in the box. Try to be specific, or use shorthand you will remember. Everyone thinks they’ll remember where they stashed the Christmas gifts for next year or the tax receipts, but in the flurry of moving, it’s easy to forget. If you’ve got illegible handwriting, try typing and printing labels to tape on each box.
Try to remember that everything in those boxes is your property. It’s easy, when moving, to get sick of the boring tasks of lifting, lugging, and stacking. When you’re not paying attention, you could stack a box of books on top of a box of dishes, or lockimportantpapers into a difficult-t0-access desk drawer. Take frequent breaks and eat well to ensure you’re at your full mental capacity when moving, packing, and unpacking. It’s better to get things done right eventually than wrong immediately.
If all else fails, hire some professionals. Moving is a stressful and difficult task. There’s no shame in hiring someone to do it for you if it’s really freaking you out. Just make sure you choose a company that’s reliable and conscientious. Checking with friends is the best way to assure you’ve got a trustworthy company, because you can’t trust everything you read online. That said, it’s much more common for moving companies to be honest, reliable business people than common crooks, so don’t stress too much. If you’re unsure that you’ll be able to fit all of your stuff into your new place, consider a storage facility for both a short, and long term solution.