I’m going to do you a solid here and share a few tips and tricks I’ve learned from moving 11 times in 9 years. Use them if you dare, or follow my #1 piece of advice to NEVER, EVER MOVE. Not from your parents’ house, not from your 10×10 college dorm room, not from living next door to that guy you saw on “To Catch a Predator.” Just be happy to have the sum of your life’s possessions safely scattered about your living space and not teetering on dangerously constructed piles in the back of a moving truck speeding over pot holes at 50mph.

I’ve organized them by chronological category. Can’t you already tell how awesome I am at this?

Prep
Eat any previously opened food while packing, namely chocolate covered Oreos, chewy granola bars and trail mix. Not only will you be exceptionally fueled for the day, you will have to pack seven less pounds of food. In 24 hours, those pounds will become new additions to your thighs that you can name after the reality TV star of your choosing. “Jeff” and “Probst” are already taken.

Create a pile of stuff. Grab a box. Close your eyes and put stuff in box. Whatever doesn’t fit goes in the trash. (This works best with boyfriend’s/husband’s/significant other’s stuff. Of course you need every article of clothing, mismatched sock and five year old bottle of mascara in your possession, so bring it along, sister.)

Stop to read a few blogs every 45 minutes. There’s a scientific article somewhere that proves this is good for you.

If you’re tired of it, want a new one or think it’s just too heavy to waste your time on, sell that ish on Craigslist. Make sure big, barking dog is home when sketchtastic purchaser shows up at your door.

I don’t care if you’re moving across the country or next door, shut up, pay the money and get the U-haul.

Dust the things you haven’t dusted since your previous relocation BEFORE friends/family arrive to move said objects. No one likes a hairball/dust avalanche in their face when they pick up your hanging shoe organizer.

Be annoyingly specific about how the strong folks are supposed to be packing your things. Deep down, I think they appreciate it. I’m pretty sure that’s what they’re muttering under their breath.

Don’t mislead anyone. Moving comes with enough disappointments as it is.

Day-Of
Bribe friends to help with pizza and beer. Move until the wee hours of the morning or fake an injury so you don’t actually have to follow through with this promise.

If you have a back, knee, shoulder or similar medical concern (or if you don’t, I’m not judging), mention it loudly and often. Repeat as needed when the furniture transport begins, so you don’t look like a tool when you grab the cushions rather than the futon itself.

Always have more boxes than you assume you’ll need. Inevitably, the last walk-throughs will create the world’s most random assortment of leftovers that need to be carted away.

Lotion, Trader Joe's coffee can filled with nails, mug o' pens, important legal documents, necklace, Dolphins decal

Real shoes, people. Flip flops are ticking time bombs for legitimate injuries and trips to the E.R. that will really eat into your designated U-haul reservation time. And no one is volunteering to rummage through the mound of boxes labeled in your husband’s hieroglyphics in that hotnasty truck to find the first aid kit.

Use the U-haul ramp. Don’t make up “X-treme Moving” games in your head and cannonball it off the back of the truck with two Rubbermaids in your arms. No one likes a show-off.

Don’t stack clean linens so high that they touch your sweaty, unwashed face in transit. Your future guests would prefer not to land face first in old, dry, flaking sweat when they lie on your fancy throw pillows.

Lock your dog in a basement. Retrieve in 3-6 weeks.

Leave plenty of room for company.

Settling In
Never trust a lease, landlord or management company. Keep those boxes handy so that you can reuse them 4 times.

Unpack only the essentials: coffee maker and coffee for morning-after-moving exhaustion. Though you feel like it, I can assure you—in most cases—you were not actually run over by the U-haul.

Beware of previous tenant’s spot cleaning. Clean the bathrooms and the kitchen before using either. The last thing you need right now is a case of the itchies.

Organize the bedroom first. You can close the door to all that madness in the common areas and have at least a small amount of familiarity.

Wait to schedule cable hook-up until determining if you’re receiving it illegally. If so, grab the beers your friends never got and flip on some 30 Rock.

Stock the kitchen.

If you can’t find what you need, use what you can find.

Bryson is about to be served on a crystal bowl that weighs as much as he does that was purchased for wedding decor. Brat.