Moving is one of those major events in life that can be overwhelming, and it doesn't matter if you are only going across town, or to the next town over. Even a short move can be a difficult to do right as moving to a whole new state, or even a new country. Carefully researching and planning each step to help make the move go smoothly is a time investment that pays off in big dividends, and we have some helpful advice to get you started.

Prepare

Begin getting ready for the big day by rounding up all the necessary supplies. You'll need boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape, scissors, box cutters and a few thick markers for labeling the outside of each box. Additionally, type up a blank inventory list organized first by room name (kitchen, bathroom, master bedroom, etc.) and then by number (1, 2, 3, and so on). Make sure each room is represented on your list. Then, when you're ready to start packing, simply number the box and handwrite a description of its contents under the correlating room and number on your list. Update the list on your computer later so you have a saved copy. Print the finalized version before you pack your laptop. It will come in handy later on.

Change of Address

Completing a permanent change of address form is very easy to overlook when you're knee-deep in bubble wrap, so add it to the top of your list as a reminder. You can drive to your local post office in person. Doing the in person change of address can be a hassle as long lines and traffic can eat up your day.  There are online options that will take care of the hassle for you. Checking this task off your list a few days in advance helps to ensure your mail gets forwarded in a timely manner. In the process, you may as well update the address change directly for credit cards and other organizations or bills that are moving with you. Read through the change of address form very carefully as all mail is not treated equally. For example, magazines and periodicals are only forwarded for 60 days.

Clear Out Excess Stuff

Whether you're moving to a larger home or downsizing, a pre-move clean out is the perfect time to sort through everything from the overcrowded kitchen pantry to dusty attic boxes and garage collectibles. If you haven't looked at something, or used it for over a year, consider selling it, donating it, or throwing it out today. Moving is expensive, so only take what you really want, need and currently use.

Essentials

Label and set aside a couple of plastic boxes to hold the essential items that you will use immediately at your new home. Pack kitchen items like snacks, paper plates, napkins, cups, eating utensils, coffee, trash bags, scissors, paper towels and a first aid kit in one and household cleaners, bathroom toiletries, toilet paper, rubber gloves and box cutters in the other. You may also want to use your suitcases to pack bed linens, towels and some fresh clothes to get you through the first few days while you get organized.