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Whether for work or personal reasons, an astounding 43 million Americans move every year. If you are one of those people relocating, you may be stressed about the upcoming change of address. Moving can be stressful, but there are a few tips that will make your experience run far more smoothly.

Donate or Sell Unwanted Items

The weeks leading up to your move is the perfect time to assess your possessions and decide which items you can sell or donate. Decluttering will save you the headache of moving multiple items that you will never again use. Sort through your things and make some extra money with a garage sale or by listing online. Whatever is left over can be donated for a tax write off.

Pack a Bag of Essentials

The average mover is between 25 and 44 years old. If you are a 25 year old embarking on your first real move, you may not realize that there are a few essential items you should keep handy for the first night in your new home. Pack a bag that contains, snacks, toilet paper, an all purpose cleaner, paper towels, a shower curtain, linens, toothbrushes and toothpaste. You may also want to throw in a change of clothes for each family member. This will tide you over until you can get into your boxes.

Replace Old Furniture

Nearly one-third of the population do not live in the same house they did five years ago. If it has been five years since your last move it is probably time to purge worn out furnishings. Replacing damaged and worn furniture will allow you to begin life in your new home with updated decor.

Store or Ship

Do not make the mistake of thinking you must move all your items at once. If you are one of the 63 percent of Americans that move within your current location, renting a storage space to put your least used items while you make the transition can remove a lot of stress from the process. If you are moving farther, consider shipping as many items as you can ahead of time.

Turn on Utilities

When you get to your new home, you don’t want to face a dark house with no running water. The time to get your utilities up and running is before you even set foot in your new home. Call these companies and make an appointment to turn on essential services the day before your expected arrival.

Hire Professionals

One of the top ways to simplify a move is to hire help. The average person moves around 12 times in their life. While that may seem like a lot, it can’t compare to the vast experience that a moving company can offer. They know exactly how to pack and handle your breakable items, expertly transport large, bulky items and efficiently load a truck to maximize space. Your truck owning friends will breathe a sigh of relief when you tell them you are leaving the difficult parts of moving to a professional.

Label Everything

Very few people immediately unpack all their boxes. It will likely take you months to get everything unpacked. Plan for this by clearly labeling all your boxes and crates. You will be able to pinpoint exactly where the items you need are located instead of digging through dozens of boxes.

Entertain Your Kids

According to statistics, the average mover has children between the ages of two and eleven. Moving with young children can be tricky. Not only are they leaving the safety of their familiar space, they often have short attention spans that do not pair well with travel. Plan ahead for fussy, cranky kids by bringing a few toys and games for entertainment as well as simple snacks.

Moving can be exciting with a lot of planning. Pro-tip: During a move, consider updating and replacing overused household items – like your mattress! Companies like Casper help make the move process stress-free and as easy as possible by shipping the big/heavy items directly to your new doorstep. Move Better. Sleep Better.

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Tom Philips

Thomas Philips is a writer and content marketer with a keen interest in the moving industry. As a travel enthusiast and logistics expert by training, Thomas has been working with various moving companies for the past 16 years. He currently writes for Roadway Moving and applies his expertise through his written works. Thomas makes it a point to give practical moving advice to both clients and readers to help transform their moving experience into an unforgettable one