Make Moving easy on your family.

Moving is stressful. So stressful, in fact, that mental health experts rank it right up there alongside divorce, death of a loved one, job loss and major illness as one of the most stress-inducing life changes people encounter.

Sure, there’s the thrill of a new house, but that’s often partnered with the uncertainty of new jobs, schools and social circles.

While no one can promise your transition will go without hiccups, a little extra planning can help relieve some of the stress. Before the moving truck pulls up to your house, consider these tips to ensure your moving day goes as smoothly as possible:

1. Make it a kid- and pet-free day

You love your children. You adore your puppy. You’ll love them even more if they’re not underfoot on moving day. Hire a sitter to watch your children, preferably off-site. Pets need to be put in a room where they will not be in the way of the loading process; even better, board them. This alleviates stress for your kids and pets, and you’ll feel better knowing they are somewhere safe so you can focus on the move.

2. Save some space

The last thing you want on moving day is to have your moving truck unable to park because there’s no space anywhere near your house. Many cities will give you a permit to block off a parking spot in front of your home (the process varies by city, so check with local officials). If there’s no official means of blocking space for the truck, talk to neighbors in the days leading up to your move, or try to hold the spot by parking your cars or friends’ cars there.

3. Pack an ‘open me first’ box

These supplies will serve you during the last days at your old home and during your first days in your new one. Fill the box (or boxes) with bedding, towels, toiletries, toilet paper, a change of clothes for each member of the family, medications, soap, shampoo, pet bowls and food, and favorite toys and activities for the kids. If your morning isn’t complete without a cup of tea, include a kettle, tea and mug; granola bars, trail mix or a box of cookies might also be a nice pick-me-up on unpacking day.

4. Be available

Even if you’ve hired professional movers, it’s in your best interest to be at your old house until all items have been moved out. Questions will inevitably arise, and you’ll want to be the one giving the answers. This also allows you to make one final trip through the house to make certain everything – even the skis tucked in the garage rafters and the toolbox in the back of the hall closet – gets loaded onto the truck.

5. Clean up – or pay someone else to do it

After the movers finish the heavy lifting, you need to do a final cleaning at the old place and, likely, a deep cleaning at the new house. Make sure you have all the supplies you need – after the truck has been loaded is not the best time to have to head to the store to buy mops and sponges. An even better way to remove the stress from moving day: hire a professional to come in and do the work for you.