For some people, leaving home is one of the most exciting things in the world; for others, it’s the most terrifying. Whether you had to or you want to, for most people, the (often) taxing process of moving house is inevitable. But just because it’s an unpleasant experience for some people doesn’t mean that your experience should be the same. You don’t need to take a big chunk out of your monthly expenses, nor do you need to go through much headache on your way to your next adventure. All it takes is a little know how and a few smart moving house tips:

1. Hire a truck

Of course, some people would prefer removalists but more often than not it’s a lot cheaper and a lot safer for your belongings to rent a truck than it is to have it done for you. You’ve heard all of the horror stories of items going missing and furniture and fragile items being damaged. If you pack and move your belongings on your own, you can make sure that nothing goes out of place or gets damaged. You can organize how everything is loaded to make sure that you get the important things out of the truck and into your new home first.

2. Arrange all paperwork 2 weeks BEFORE the big move
This is for everything, and I mean, everything. From setting up new and disconnecting old utilities, to informing Human Resources, to changing mailing address, informing your bank and credit card company, and all other paperwork; all necessary paperwork should be arranged ASAP. The same goes for even things like online subscriptions (like Amazon) and magazine subscriptions. There’s nothing worse than getting to your new beautiful home, filled with all of your things but without electricity, running water, a phone, or internet connection. Don’t forget how inconvenient it would be not to receive important mail like billings just because you didn’t change mailing address ahead of time.

3. Help your tired self tomorrow by preparing today
Make sure that you go to your new home a day or two before you move to clean the bathroom and the loo. You’re going to want to rid yourself of all the dirt and grime after fixing up your new home the entire day. You’d also want to pack a bag with 2 pairs of clothes (for the night and for the next day) and toiletries so you don’t even have to think about these things after a tiring day of unpacking.
4. Make your existing storage work for you
From furniture to storage bins, to covered garbage bins, to beer/wine crates, to even suitcases; save space and money by letting your existing storage work for you. Just make sure that you seal all of them properly to keep everything in place.

5. Organize and strategize
Label, color code, and number every box or storage bin. Keep nuts, bolts, cords, and all other loose items from furniture or equipment you have to take apart in labeled re-sealable bags, and tape them to their respective furniture or equipment. This way you know where everything goes. It also helps to strategically unload and place your items. Unload your bed first, so you have a place to sleep when you’re too tired, then furniture next so you don’t end up moving boxes inside as you move your furniture in.

6. Dealing with food and fridge
Empty, defrost, disinfect, and and wipe dry your fridge a day before so you don’t end up with a stinky, wet mess as you move. If you’re really smart, you’ll double your fridge as storage for books and other things as well. You save yourself from being irrate the next day, space in the truck, and money on buying boxes.