I’m by no means an expert on moving, but I’ve sure done it a few times. Cross-Atlantic once. Cross-Pacific three times. Within the continental US, too. Here’s my no. 1 tip: ORGANIZE.
Look through everyone’s closet. Get rid of everything you haven’t worn within the last 12 months. Think of how you get dressed in the morning and then toss that shirt that you never pick, because it doesn’t go with anything. It won’t fit any better in the new house. Get rid of your skinny clothes; if you lose whatever weight you’re working to lose, treat yourself to a few new jeans. Look closely at all your junk (and I mean that in a loving way), pick it up and touch it. Do you really want to have to unpack that?!
Group things together. Take all the photos and art off all your walls and put them in one area together. Collect all the books in one pile. Keep your electronics in one spot, this includes all the cables and connectors and surge protectors and remotes and batteries. Instead of having everyone’s radio alarm clock in four different boxes, let them be packed in just one box. If like-things are grouped together, they also get packed together, which makes finding them so much easier later on.
LABEL THE BOXES. No, no, don’t worry about the moving people (if you have any) labeling your stuff. You need to make sure YOU know exactly what’s in every box, where it came from or where it’s going in the new house. Write it on the box yourself. We had a mover once who seemed to write down each item as it went in the box, only at the new destination did we realize when we looked at the boxes that we couldn’t decipher his handwriting. Labels are super important, because you don’t want to have to search through a dozen boxes to find the one thing you need/want right away. They also make unpacking smoother, because you can prioritize.
Think ahead. Make a checklist. Write stuff down. Keep things in a safe place, so they don’t accidentally get boxed-up. Don’t assume anything. Movers pack anything they can get their hands on. If there’s something you want left out (your toothbrush, wallet, embarrassing sex toys etc), put it in a spare bathroom marked DO NOT PACK THIS ROOM. We had our trash boxed up once. I figured the movers would know not to pack a trash can with obvious trash in it. Nope. It got boxed and shipped and unpacked at the new location. Ew.
Relax. Most things will get to the new location. Some thing always gets lost and somehow stuff from two moves ago will show up unexpectedly.