Moving is always a stressful, difficult process, whether you're a seasoned pro or this is your first move. With About.com's tips, you can ensure you have the smoothest move possible!
Make a master list of everything in every box. Number the box, then put that number and its contents on your master list. Keep your list in a place you'll designate "Packing Central". This is where all your supplies will live.
Speaking of supplies, make sure to have plenty on hand. Get more boxes than you think you'll need and make sure to have about ten boxes you keep just for last minute items that need to be packed on moving day. You also need strong packing tape, packing paper, bubble wrap, and markers to label everything.
Wardrobe boxes are great for storing not only clothes, but big stuff that doesn't weigh much like comforters, pillows, blankets, etc. You can even use them for closet storage boxes, shoe boxes, and other bulky stuff like fabric bolts, large baskets, or rolls of gift wrap. Just make sure the boxes remain light enough to lift!
Assign a color to each room of your new home, then label the boxes accordingly with colored stickers. Place a matching sticker on the door to each corresponding room in the new house. That way the movers will know where everything goes. It's also a great idea to tack up a sign that says "Boxes here please" on the wall where you want boxes stacked so they won't impede traffic flow.
Keep light things together so you can find stuff easily in your new place. Also, pack ahead of time everything you don't need as you count down to moving day. Another thing you can do in advance is clean your old place as you go. Make sure to keep a kit of cleaning supplies easily accessible so you can still clean after everything is moved out.
Pack your luggage full of stuff like clothing, sheets, towels and paper goods. When it comes to valuable items, try to keep them with you. If that's not an option because you are moving a long way, put the items deep in a box that is labelled with a really unappealing tag like "miscellaneous kitchen items". No matter what, you should check your homeowner's or renter's insurance to see what your coverage is during your move and whether you need to buy more insurance from your mover. Make sure you research what paperwork you'll need to file a claim if something is lost or damaged.
Keep important papers like birth certificates, school records, etc, with you and don't hand them over to your mover. Use storage tote boxes in different colors and assign one to each member of the family. Have them fill them with things they'll want as soon as you arrive at your new pad. This might include sheets, a towel, extension cords, phone, nightlights, etc.