No matter how excited apartment movers are about your new apartment, moving is pretty much the worst. You can spend days packing up everything you own and hours lugging heavy boxes and furniture onto a truck, only to repeat the process in reverse in your new place. It’s exhausting. Fortunately there are some ways you can make your next move easier.

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Don’t pay for boxes (unless you really have to).

With a little bit of effort, apartment movers can easily score all of the moving material you might need. If a friend or family member has moved recently they would probably be thrilled for you to reuse their boxes and packing paper. You can also check Craigslist or your local grocery store for free boxes.

Before you start assembling boxes, go through everything you own and purge, purge, purge.

Send the items you no longer want, need or use to a thrift store (or the trash). There’s nothing worse for apartment movers than getting into your new apartment and cutting open a box to see a pile of junk you don’t even like staring back at you (especially if you’ve just hauled it up and down a few flights of stairs). If you plan to sell larger items on Craigslist or eBay, plan to do this about 6 weeks before you move so you’re not leaving it to the last minute.

Think visually and color code your boxes with duct tape.

As you pack, assign each room a different color (like green for the bathroom and blue for the kitchen) and wrap a strip of duct tape around the corner of each box. This makes it easier for apartment movers (hired or volunteer) to know where each box goes and also gives you a fighting chance of finding your hair dryer the next morning.

As you’re unplugging your electronics, snap a quick photo with your phone so you can easily remember how everything is connected. 

Thirty seconds could save apartment movers a lot of frustration later when you’re trying to figure out how to hook it all up.

Determine your priority room.

Sometimes having one room completely unpacked and functional makes it easier to live amongst the mess of moving. For some people it’s the kitchen (no digging around for the coffee pot), but maybe for you it’s your bedroom. Whichever room it is, it will probably be the last room you pack and the first room you unpack. You’ll also want to pack a box, bag or laundry basket (whatever you have available) with moving day essentials that you’ll need when you get into your new apartment (a box cutter, hand soap, paper towels, trash bags and toilet paper), as well as anything you need for your first night in your new place (pajamas, toiletries, bedding).