Moving into a new home or apartment can undoubtedly be stressful – rarely do we realize just how much stuff we’ve accumulated until tasked with packing it into a series of boxes, and it can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin. But moving doesn’t have to induce a panic attack and, with these helpful tips, might even be fun.

1. Clean out the clutter

Unless you have a photographic memory, you probably don’t recall every item you own, even with a meticulously maintained home inventory. Go through your closets, drawers, cabinets and bookshelves to determine what to keep and what you can live without. Then you can organize things into donation piles or host a yard sale to rid yourself of the items which you no longer want, minimizing what you’ll need to pack. While you’re at it, revise your home inventory and consider updating appraisals or getting items appraised where necessary.

2. Pack an overnight bag with necessities

Moving day is exhausting and, chances are, you won’t get everything unpacked in one day. Pack toiletries, a towel, sheets, pajamas and at least one change of clothes so, when you decide to call it a day you can shower, sleep in a freshly-made bed and awake refreshed to tackle a new day of unpacking. Planning ahead in this way will save you the headache of searching through boxes to find life’s every day necessities.

3. Organize what goes where

Use your new floorplan to help determine what goes in which room and pack accordingly. This is exceedingly important if you’re upgrading or downsizing your space. Use multicolored sticky notes to color-code your belongings by room before placing them in boxes. (This will also help identify where furniture, lamps, paintings and other standalone items will go.) And, by using the same color to label the boxes, it’ll aid in finding them in the back of a crowded moving truck. In addition to labeling boxes with the rooms in which they belong, unpacking becomes easier if its contents are listed the outside. If you’re using movers, another option is to number each box, then list its contents in a notebook so you aren’t advertising to strangers where your valuables are.

4. Call in reinforcements

Because that’s what friends are for! Host a packing party and treat your friends to dinner, drinks and conversation while they help you pack boxes or treat them to a night out for helping you load and unload the moving truck. If you’ve reached an age when that’s no longer a viable or reliable option, professional movers can be a great time saver who will make quick work of getting your stuff from point A to point B. Many aren’t as expensive as you might expect, but be sure to check their qualifications, online reviews and that they are properly insured before hiring them.

5. Set up your utilities

This may seem obvious but, with many tasks to take care of during a move, this is one that you definitely don’t want to get lost in the shuffle. Contact your existing provider to set a date to shut off service at your current residence and be sure to activate service at your new home in time for move-in day. If you’re moving locally, your provider should be able to transfer your service from your old place to the new. The last thing you want to have to do is unpack by candlelight and flashlights (although with your properly-labeled boxes, at least you’d know where to find them!)

Moving is a great and convenient time to assess all of your belongings and determine how much insurance coverage you would need in the event of damage, theft or another unforeseen loss. No one wants the added stress of worrying about replacement costs so be sure to notify your insurance agent before your move to discuss any necessary changes to your coverage limits.

These tips will set you on your path to an easy move. It’s up to you to determine your next chapter.