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Make a list: The last thing you need is to forget to do that one thing that you’ve been remembering again and again, but somehow forgot when the time finally came. Write down all of those little details so you can be sure that the power will get turned on in the new place, your son will make it to the new doctor’s appointment, and the box of old momentos in the attic won’t be forgotten.

Pack important documents together: Passports, marriage licenses, birth certificates, bank statements and more should all be packed in an easy to locate box in case you need one on the spot and so nothing gets misplaced along the way. Keep this box with you in your car so you always know where to find it.

Updating addresses and changing utilities: A simple address change will take just minutes on the internet or with the right forms from the post office, but it will save you a lot of headache when you know where your mail is going. Changing your utilities is just a quick phone call as well, but make sure you take care of it yourself so you know all of the details are correct.

Invest in good materials: Quality packing materials can mean the difference between dents, scratches, and broken valuables and the pristine arrival of your favorite items. Don’t compromise on them and don’t be afraid to shop around. There are so many different types of boxes and wraps to suit every need so you’ll never have to worry whether your favorite glass vase will be safe.

Start early: It’s easy to put off packing and planning when it’s usually the last thing in the world you want to do. But don’t fall victim to this common practice. Start with spare bedrooms and the top shelves of closets that tend to be the dumping grounds for items rarely used. Get these done and out of the way ahead of time and you’ll be thanking yourself later.

Don’t be afraid to throw it away: Moving is the perfect opportunity to clean out closets, drawers, and shelves that have been collecting unused junk for years. While you’re packing, get the entire family involved in building three piles: keep, toss, and donate. You may not love those old clothes and shoes anymore, but for someone somewhere, it may be just what they’ve been looking for.

Relocating with kids: Moving with kids always poses an extra challenge when you have new schools, new doctors, and extra things to pack. Add these things to your to do list and start early. Pack an extra box as well to keep close for the move. Birth certificates and immunization records are important to have on hand. Also include favorite toys, snacks, and clothes. These little details will help ensure that your little ones are as comfortable as possible during their journey.