Moving into a new house – whether it is an actual house or just an apartment – takes a lot of time and energy and usually a fair bit of aggravation unless you are ready beforehand.

Here are a few tips on what you should do to prepare before the big day arrives:

Start as early as possible – It may seem like the simplest advice in the world but take it. Whether you get a group of friends to help or hire a professional moving company, get them to your old place as early as possible. If you have ever moved before, you know that things always take a lot longer than originally planned for.

Have a well thought-out plan in place – From knowing what stuff to first put in the truck to where everything is going to go is essential for having a relatively stress-free moving day. Checklists are wonderful things to have but do not rely on just one. Make several and ask some of your friends or family to oversee those chores. That way, a lot more gets done simultaneously rather than one at a time.

Have the smaller stuff packed already – Your moving date shouldn’t come as a surprise so take advantage of that two weeks or even a month before to start packing up the smaller items in your house or apartment. It is far easier to have friends or pros move a properly labeled box – and place in its final destination – than to stand around and watch you pack dishes.

Get a cooler and ice down some drinks – Even in winter, the folks helping you will need to stay hydrated – this includes the help as well as your friends. Keep everybody happy and you will get a lot more work out of them in a shorter period of time. You may even want to consider adding a few beers towards the end of the project to keep a few more hands around for just a little longer.

Don’t forget to eat – In a similar vein, it pays to buy a few pizzas or sandwiches for everybody. Moving is actually quite hard work and without some nourishment through the day, people’s energies will fade. We also recommend leaving out a few plastic bowls of peanuts or other carbohydrate-rich snacks so people can munch while still remaining constantly on the move.

Place items as close as possible to their final destination – If there is one rule that professional movers live by is that you should move a single object as few times as possible. So, get your carpets down first, then place the furniture if possible in their final location. Finally start moving boxes into the appropriate rooms. Even at the end of evening, try to avoid just placing everything in the garage. You will undoubtedly pay for it the next day.

Hire the right moving company – If your budget allows, the use of a skilled moving company can alleviate many of the problems associated with a move. This will efficiently handle many of the above chores for you but, of course, it comes at a cost. Decide on what you can do yourself and then get a bid on the remaining work. You never know, you may save money in the long run.