Whether you’re heading to another city or state for a new job, change of scenery, or with the hopes of new opportunities and adventures, this is likely an incredibly exciting time. Before you can start enjoying all that your new home has to offer, however, you must first endure the dreaded moving process. Even for the most organized individuals, moving always presents unexpected obstacles that can leave you frustrated, exhausted, and maybe even wondering whether you really want to relocate. Fortunately, there are easy hacks you can implement to transform the moving process from stressful to simple.

Start Early

When it comes to moving, there is no denying that the packing process always ends up taking longer than expected. It is therefore highly recommended that you begin packing as soon as the details of your move are finalized. Consider sorting and packing your belongings over the course of a month or two. Using a calendar, map out the tasks you need to complete to keep you on track. Instead of pulling all-nighters in the days before your move, you’ll find yourself relaxed and ready to enjoy your new home.

Find Moving Materials

Before you begin packing up your belongings, be on the lookout for packing materials. In order to save some money during the pricey moving process, check in with friends or family members who have recently moved to see if they have extra moving boxes still in decent shape that you could reuse. You can even visit local grocery stores and restaurants to see if they have boxes ready to be recycled. Don’t forget to stock up on shipping tape, bubble wrap, and any other moving supplies you might need. By getting these items together early, you’ll save yourself last minute, time-consuming trips to the store as you get your home organized for the move.

Get Rid of Items You No Longer Need

It’s only during a move that realize how much stuff you actually accumulate over time. Old books, barely used equipment, and clothes that haven’t fit for years often clutter closets and garages leaving homeowners overwhelmed come moving time. The first and most important step to getting your home organized before a move is to get rid of items you no longer use or simply don’t need. In the weeks leading up to your move, take note of items in your home that go untouched, or pieces of clothing that remain unworn. These items are great candidates for the donate or sell piles.

By being ruthless with your belongings as you sift through all that you own, you will have less stuff to pack, load and unload, and transport across town or to another state.

Sort Your Belongings by Category

One of the easiest ways to organize your home in preparation for a move is to sort your belongings by category, instead of by room.  For example, focus on only clothes, books, shoes, or important papers at a single time. Using this method will help during the packing process as you identify and collect the items throughout your home that should be packed together. Further, focusing on a single category of item makes the sorting and packing process a little less overwhelming, offering a methodical way with which to make your way through your home.

Set Aside Items to Sell

Once you’ve gone through all of your things, you will likely find items you no longer want, but that might make you a few extra bucks. Clothing in good condition, well-maintained pieces of furniture, and no-longer-needed baby items often sell quickly on various online marketplaces or even a garage sale. If you have barely worn brand name clothing or shoes, you might consider visiting a consignment shop to sell your items for you. When it comes to furniture, “Craigslist” and “Offer Up” are always trusted resources for quickly unloading these bulky items to others who need it. For any other items you’d like to get rid of before the move, consider reaching out to your friends or social networks.

Set Aside Items to Donate

As you organize your items, you may also find items to donate. Clothing, shoes, books, toys, and furniture are often sought after by many different charities. A number of charities will even save you a trip by stopping by your home to pick up donated items. Simply schedule a pickup time and leave the items you wish to give on your doorstep. If you have the time to make a few trips, drop off unwanted items at your local Goodwill.

Schedule Disconnect Time for Utilities

One of the final steps to organizing your home before a move is to schedule disconnect times for all your utilities. At least a week before your move, make sure to call your electricity, internet, cable, and gas providers to inform them that you will be relocating. They will help you determine the exact date on which everything will be shut off, and may even help you with set up in your new home.