Whether you’re moving across the country to Bend or just across town, packing your whole life into a truck never seems easy – but it can be. These tips give you a place to start when packing to make the big move no matter how far.

1. Start packing early

Getting a jumpstart on the process gives you ample time to fix any roadblocks with less stress and makes your move day more relaxed. Start packing as early as three weeks out for one hour each day to make it more manageable.

2. Gather the right materials

As soon as you know you are relocating, the hunt for boxes is on. Ask local stores if they have any extra boxes and go for the gently used ones. Heavily worn boxes could lead to faulty bottoms and rips during the move.

You may think you have everything you need for the move around your house, but making an initial list reduces the number of trips you’ll be making to the store. Packing paper and clear packing tape are necessities.

3. You can’t take it [all] with you

Moving is the perfect time to lighten your load. Get rid of the things you no longer need or use so that there’s less to pack. A good rule of thumb is if it doesn’t serve a purpose, then it’s time to let it go.

4. Clearly label your boxes

Make it easy on yourself and other movers by marking the top and sides of each box. Descriptive labels like “kitchen – plates” will help you when loading and unloading.

5. Pack room by room

Your process may be more organized and manageable by focusing on one area at a time and packing like items together. Place fragile knickknacks in colorful paper so they are not accidentally thrown out among the shuffle.

6. Determine what moves separately

Keep important documents, photos and valuables out of the boxes and consider making photocopies. Pack cleaning supplies and other liquids in plastic bins with lids to prevent messy spills and leaks.

7. Take pictures of your electronics

Before you unplug the XBOX, TV, phone and other appliances, take a picture of the ports and wires to help during set up.

8. Don’t overpack a box

Keep your boxes under 50 pounds to prevent sprains and strains. Pack books in small containers to manage the weight and pack lighter items in larger boxes.

9. Use household items for packing

Save money on extra boxes by storing clothes and linens in containers around the house like laundry bins, suitcases and ottomans. Place spices and kitchen basics inside of pots to save space.

10. Pack an overnight bag

After a day of moving, you may feel worn out and unmotivated to start unpacking. An overnight bag ensures you have everything you need until you’re ready to unpack.

The most important thing you can do is keep an open mind – things rarely go as planned. Relocation companies specialize in making your move less stressful and help you settle into your new surroundings. If you’re unsure where to start, we’ll point you in the right direction.