No one likes moving — you have to uproot your family, figure out what school your kids will be zoned for in the new house and pack up all your stuff, not to mention the loading and unloading of the moving truck. It’s such a hassle that we often put off packing until the last possible moment, then end up scrambling to get everything done before moving day.

Here are five tips and tricks to help make even the most last-minute move a little bit easier.

1. Crank up the Music

Tedious tasks are always made more manageable — if not more enjoyable — if you’ve got the right music playing in the background. This isn’t just something we’ve experienced first-hand, either. Science is backing us up on this one.

Music causes your brain to release dopamine, which allows you to be more efficient even at tedious tasks like packing — or work, for that matter. For the crazy ramp-up to the move, pick songs you love that are upbeat and fast-paced. They’ll encourage you to work faster and longer. For the unpacking phase, mellower songs that are more relaxing are the order of the day. You’ve already done all the hard stuff, so all that’s left to do is unpack — and you can take your leisurely time with that.

2. Purge Your House

How long have you lived in your house? Chances are, you’ve had months or years to accumulate a bunch of stuff that you really don’t want to take with you. Take the time before you move to go through each room and purge it of things like furniture, clothing and general clutter you don’t want or need anymore. Check with your local thrift stores, Goodwill or Salvation Army — many will pick up your donation for free, so you don’t even have to find a friend with a truck to get the stuff out of your house.

3. Set up a Checklist

Everything is easier with a checklist or a to-do list — even moving. Before you start packing the first box, write out a checklist of everything you need to do before, during and after the move. If you are planning on using movers, call them first — they might even have a checklist of things they need you to complete before they can move your belongings.

Include things like:

  • Shutting off your utilities or transferring your account to your new home on or just before the day of the move
  • Filling out a change of address and submitting it to your local post office — they can take up to three weeks to take effect
  • Creating a list of people who will need to know your new address — friends, family, credit card companies, utilities, cell phone company, etc

4. Start Packing

Once you know the move is happening, it’s never too soon to start packing. Start with things you don’t use every day or won’t need between now and the move. For example, if you’ve got a cabinet of pots and pans you only use for Thanksgiving and you’re moving in June, box them up. As you start getting closer to your move date, you can begin packing things that you use more frequently.

Don’t pack things you use every day until the night before moving day — you don’t want to pack your toothbrush two weeks before you move, only to have to dig it out of the box every time you need to brush your teeth.

5. Reward Yourself

When the move is over, the movers have left and the unpacking is done, take some time to treat yourself. Take a bubble bath with a glass of wine in your new tub, or cook a nice dinner in your new kitchen. Reward yourself for a job well done, because moving is stressful no matter how prepared you are.

Hopefully, these five tips and tricks will help you make your next move a little bit easier — and maybe, just maybe, a little bit more fun.