orange cat in bubble wrap

The prospect of moving is often accompanied by an emotional cocktail of excitement and anxiety over starting a new phase in life. It also leads to a list of to-dos to complete before the moving van pulls up.

Don’t stress! Here are ten tips to help keep you calm and in control of your move. After all, you have places to go.

1. Make a master list of what you need to do.

The first item should be to reserve a mover. Then, prioritize checking off items on the list each day. Also, consider making a bucket list for people and places you want to see or things you want to do before you leave. Try to work in as many of these activities as possible before you go.

2. Purge what you won’t use or need in your new place.

Many sites and services allow you to identify buyers for things you no longer want. Some services/apps, like Everything But the House, will even send someone to your home to conduct an online estate sale for you. ThredUp, a clothing reseller, will pay you a flat fee for your unwanted clothes. Similar options exist for books. For larger items, charitable organizations will often come to you to pick up used furniture and household goods.

3. Start collecting boxes.

Most grocery stores are happy to have you relieve them of boxes. Those left over from the liquor department are the best—not only are they reinforced, but they come with dividers to protect glass items.

4. Pack gradually.

Start packing unnecessary items as soon as possible. Gradually working room by room, makes it less overwhelming when you are packing a home you’ve lived in for a while. By moving day, you should be down to what you need with you as you travel to your new home.

5. Use cling wrap in new ways.

To protect against leakage, remove the caps of any open containers you are moving. Put the wrap over the opening and screw the cap back on. Cling wrap can also be used to “seal” dresser drawer contents so you don’t have to pack their contents separately.

6. Use smaller boxes for heavier items.

Limiting the weight of each item helps reduce the probability that the box will fail. Also, your back will thank you later.

7. Take photos of anything you are dismantling.

It helps to have a photo of any items that need to be broken down and reassembled in your new place. That way you’ll have a head start on putting it back together. It will also be easier to see if something is missing or a connector needs to be replaced.

8. Invest in bubble wrap.

Cushion fragile items with bubble wrap instead of newsprint or paper. It will keep your items cleaner. Where dishes are concerned, pack them on their sides rather than stacking them to reduce the risk of damage.

9. Label boxes.

The more specific you are, the easier it will be to unpack. At a minimum, label each box with the name of the room it is being moved to and number it. This way, you will know the order in which to unpack the boxes.

10. When it comes time to say goodbyes, don’t.

Friendships don’t have to end with a move. Instead, tell people you’ll see or talk to them later. Given apps like FaceTime and texting, it is easy to maintain relationships at a distance.