The average American moves 11.4 times per lifetime, according to FiveThirtyEight. That’s surprising for a number of reasons, chief among them the fact that moving is so unpleasant.

And if you’re thinking about moving across the country, for example, from a Milwaukee apartment to a house in the Hollywood Hills moving can be even more painful. That said, even if your new place is only across town, packing up your entire life can be stressful, expensive, and time-consuming. But there are some things you can do to make it easier on yourself. Here are four ways to make your move as quick, painless, and cheap as possible.

  1. Do You Really Need That?

Old t-shirts, worn clothing, baseball cards, old magazines and extra furniture that won’t fit into your new place. These are all things that you can finally get rid of and this will make your move so much easier.

You can even profit on these items. Have a yard sale and let your neighbors know that you have a ton of awesome stuff for sale that you won’t be needing as you move into a new place. If you don’t want to sell to people nearby, hop on and make a deal with someone who might even come and pick up your old junk … and pay you for it!

  1. Free Moving Boxes

Moving boxes are all over the place. Take a walk down to your nearby liquor store or convenience store and you’ll see cardboard boxes tucked away in every corner. These places will be thrilled that you swung by to take some old boxes off of their property.

While you’re at the liquor store, grab a six pack of your favorite beer, because you might need it for moving tip #3!

  1. It Takes a Village to Make a Move

Hiring movers can really take some of the stress off your plate. But if hiring the pros is too expensive or doesn’t fit with your timeframe, host a moving party. Provide the beer and the pizza and the tunes, and invite your closest friends over to help. Even if your friends have trouble lifting 50 lbs, they can be helpful when it comes to packing things and recycling unwanted items. Think of it as the opposite of a housewarming party. (Just make sure you’re more-than-amply stocked with food and beverages.)

  1. Renting a Truck? Call and Compare

Don’t believe the hype: Those “$20 flat rate” deals usually come with strings attached. Most truck companies adjust their prices to account for demand. That’s why it’s always a good idea to get quotes from a number of companies. The difference in cost can be in the triple figures, and many companies will price match if you quote one of their competitors.

If you’re moving cross country, also consider adding extra drive time to drop off your moving truck in another city. Since truck pricing is based on supply and demand, dropping your truck off in a nearby city might save you a little money. You can plug in different destinations online and get instant quotes.

  1. Respect Your New Neighbors (First Impressions Are Key!)

Start off on the right foot by informing your immediate neighbors that you’ll be moving in and what kind of moving materials and trucks and/or cars you’ll be using. If you’re moving on a weekday, make sure your truck isn’t blocking anyone’s parking spot – these people are still living their day to day lives and you do not want to interrupt on your first day.

If it’s wintertime, make sure you clear any snow that might be blocking your new neighbor’s space. Overall, just respect their lives and their space and you’ll be having a few drinks with new friends in no time.

This article is a guest post from our friends at ABODO