Whether you plan your move for three months, three weeks, or three days, the final hours leading up to your relocation are generally frantic and a bit exhausting.

Though you can’t entirely prevent moving stress, you can limit it with good planning and organization. In fact, failing to take a few essential steps before packing up and heading out can cost you time and money.

Here are just a few pre-move strategies anyone can adopt for a smoother transition to a new home:

Step 1: Make a Budget

Moving itself is expensive, and often, relocating means many of your regular expenses are going to change. A new house means a new monthly mortgage payment; a new commute means new gas expenses; and even switching internet providers can impact your current budget.

Before moving, sit down and construct two budgets– your moving budget, and your new home’s anticipated budget. Plan out how much you think the move will cost, and how much money you’d like to save during your first few months at your new place.

Also take time to understand your long-term financial situation. If you’ve taken out a mortgage, learn the difference between common loan terms, and how your finances will be impacted over time by your 15-year or 30-year fixed interest rate. A thorough understanding of your long-term financial situation can help you ensure a brighter future in your new home!

Step 2: Get Organized

Once you’ve established a budget, it’s time to get your other belongings organized. The average American household has 300,000 items, so downsizing is essential to an efficient move. Purging unwanted items before packing expedites the moving process, and reduces the stress of unpacking once you’ve arrived at your new home. Either throw away, give away, sell, or donate items that you no longer need, and then get ready to pack.

Be sure to pack intelligently to save headaches and time. Use labels to denote what each box contains, which room it belongs in, and whether or not the contents are fragile. Use quality boxes, packing tape, and space-fillers like packing peanuts to ensure your items stay safe en route.

Step 3: Do Your Paperwork

Finally, don’t forget to complete necessary paperwork before heading out of town. If you do not submit a change of address 14 days prior to your move, your mail may end up in the wrong hands, which could compromise your personal information. Head to the post office early to avoid frustration. Additionally, consider sharing your new address, phone numbers, and other contact information with friends, family, and your place of employment as a way to keep in touch and avoid confusion.

Changing your address isn’t the only paperwork you’ll need to do. Transfer your internet service, phone, and electricity at least a week in advance. This quick but crucial step will save you the trouble of setting up utilities while surrounded by boxes in the dark!

Good planning and preemptive action may not make your move easy, but it can make your move a bit simpler. Get your budget, belongings, and paperwork in order before you move to ensure a joyful transition to your new home!