Congratulations! Exhaustively poring over website tutorials, YouTube videos, and article after article of “Tips and Tricks” has paid off in spades, and the dream house you’ve always wanted is yours.

Finally, you can stop dreaming about things like “best mortgage rates” and “FICO score rehab,” and start dreaming about lawn care and the joy of pulling into a garage all your own.

All that’s left is a quick move, and…

Oh, right—packing.

It’s the universal “Ugh” of modern life, but it doesn’t have to be completely awful. In fact, with a little bit of pre-planning—and maybe a slight leveling up of your organizational skills—packing can actually be a fairly straight-forward affair.

So let’s get to it. Here’s a list of eight tips to give you an easier, maybe even almost painless, way to pack up your belongs.

1. Throw Your Stuff into the Thunderdome

Many enter, but only one (or maybe a few) will emerge triumphantly.

It’s the math embraced by Marie Kondo fans the world over: The less you have to start with, the less you have to eventually pack.

So, if you haven’t worn it or cooked with it in a year; if you can’t remember why or where you where when you bought it; if you no longer have the widget, whatsit, or whosit to make it work: into a “Donation”/“Garage Sale”/“Things for Friends” pile it goes.

BONUS TIP: Some moving companies offer free pickups for places like Goodwill, and many charitable organizations actually will come and pick up larger items for free.

2. Spend the Money on Packing-Specific Materials

You can probably buy all of the super-sturdy, uniform-in-size, not-stained-with-who-knows-what boxes you need for around a hundred bucks. Throw in painters and packing tape, fat markers, bubble and cling wrap for another hundred bucks and you’re done.

No driving all over the city looking for cast-offs. No assembling towers of boxes that look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book because no two are the same size, shape, or condition.

Ask any crafts-person the world over, and they’ll tell you the right tools for the job make all the difference.

3. Picture It

Use your smartphone’s camera to snapshots of things you already know where you want to go in your new home.

You can email them to yourself with notes, or just keep them in your phone to jog your memory.

4. Ziploc All the Things

Gallon bags can hold bottles of shampoo, conditioner, olive oil and anything else that might spill in transit.

Quart bags can hold all of the screws, bolts, and associated miscellany for everything you have to disassemble.

BONUS TIPS:

  1. Buy the bags with a write-able label area to note what bag goes with what.
  2. Use painters tape (not packing) to attach bags to associated furniture, so you don’t have to dig for them when it comes time to re-assemble everything.

5. Big Garbage Bags = Easy Closet Packing

  1. Cut a small hole in the middle of the closed end.
  2. Grab a bunch of clothes off the rack (keeping the hangers on).
  3. Pull the garbage bag over them.
  4. Repeat until closets are packed.

6. Heavy Items in Small Boxes

Packing the anvil and the unabridged dictionary in the same box with, well, anything else is a sure recipe for back problems at the very least.

7. Start Small

“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” as the saying goes. So take a tip from history and spread your packing out over a week or two. Or even a month.

Packing an entire house is a daunting, dispiriting task. Packing a box? You can do that during a commercial break.

8. Know What Can’t Go

By law, some things like pesticides, paint cans, and even charcoal can’t be shipped by movers. Check with them for a complete list of what’s off-limits to help keep everyone—and all of your worldly possessions—safe.

“Well Begun Is Half Done” It was old advice over 2300 years ago, but it’s just as true today. The smarter you pack, the less you have to work, and the easier everything will be.

Ready to start packing up for your dream house?  Answer a few questions here, and a home lending expert will contact you.

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