When it comes to packing up your entire household for a move, the idea alone can seem daunting. Whether you’re packing up an apartment or mansion, here are some helpful tips to get organized, transition smoothly, and get off to an easy start unpacking in your new home.

The first thing to do is to gather the supplies you’ll need. Not everything has to go into a cardboard box, but having lots of these in different sizes on hand is a good idea. Plastic crates are also a nice packing item and make for great storage, as well. Pick up lots of packing tape to seal the boxes. Get bubble wrap or packing paper to wrap breakables and divide items within boxes. And one of the most important packing tools is a Sharpie marker! You’ll want to clearly label each box with its contents (be descriptive!) and which room it should be delivered to in your new residence.

When putting items into boxes, place the heaviest ones in first and be sure the bottom is safely sealed and can support the weight. Lift the box as you pack it and stop when it is heavy, not necessarily when it is full. Fill empty space with packing popcorn or paper to prevent items from shifting around during the move.

Another boxing tip is to get special wardrobe boxes from a packing store or your moving company (you might even be able to rent these for a lower price). These tall, upright boxes come with a bar across the top so you can simply remove your hanging clothes from your closet and place them directly into the box.

Keep like items together as you pack, making your unpacking job easier. You don’t want to put kitchen items in with bathroom products, for example. And don’t mix your children’s clothes because you’ll have to look at the size tags as you unpack and walk back and forth between bedrooms.

As you pack, think about each item and decide if you really want or need to keep it. This is a great opportunity to clear out clutter, donate clothes and kitchen items that you don’t need or use, pare down the kid’s toy stash, and eliminate waste. Most moving trucks base the price you pay on the weight of your stuff, so having less will save you money there.

Don’t put everything in the garage thinking it will save you time when you move. If the effort of carrying the boxes from each room and stacking them in the garage isn’t enough of a deterrent, think about how much easier it will be to keep your boxes organized by room if you just leave them in that room to begin with. When you get to your new home, allow the movers to place the boxes in the rooms where they belong instead of stacking in the garage there, too. Trust that you’ll be glad you did!