Packing is one of the most daunting tasks before a move. The process of taking all of your worldly possessions and stashing them in orderly boxes–without breaking or losing anything–takes forever. If you have experienced this, are dreading your next move, or are currently in the middle of one, take a deep breath. Here are a few tips to help ease your stress and get things moving a little quicker for you.

Throw out stuff you don’t need

The first step, and a painful one, is to discard everything you don’t need. This includes clothes, decor, workout equipment, food, utensils, furniture, and just about anything else. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself if you have used the item in question in the last three months, six months, or year. If the answer is no to all of those questions, do yourself a favor and chuck it. Having less stuff to pack is the easiest way to cut down on your packing stress. Find a place to donate old clothes, sell your stuff online, or recycle them to cut down on waste.

Get boxes from grocery stores

If you’ve ever moved with a collection of different sized boxes, you know what a headache that can be. Things don’t fit together, some boxes are too small or too big to be useful, and placing them in a truck or a storage unit is a pain. But, purchasing uniform boxes costs money, and no one likes that. So, an alternative is to go to grocery stores or bookstores and ask them for their boxes. They are just going to throw them away, so you can usually get a bunch of uniform boxes for free.

Ask for help early

If you are moving your stuff to a storage unit or to a new place, you are probably going to need help. Professional movers are a great option, but they also cost money. If you do go with professionals, you’ll want to hire them early, and set a moving date. If you are looking for volunteers to help you should follow the same procedure. Give yourself, and your moving helpers, plenty of time to make arrangements.

Use a number system

There are few things more annoying than needing a certain item, but having to dig through three boxes to find it. If you are in desperate need of toilet paper in your new place, you won’t want to have to raid all boxes labeled “bathroom” to find it. Instead, consider using a number system to label your boxes. Give each box a number and then, on a Google doc or something similar, keep an up to date list of what is in each box by number.