The moving process can be pretty work intensive. If you’re selling, staging your home so that someone will fall in love with it and buy it is a job in itself. Then, there’s the task of packing and clearing out your old place. And then there’s the actual move, unpacking and decorating a new home.

Many movers feel like they never want to move again, or at least they may want to set up their home differently the next time around. Here are five moving “aha!” moments and the lessons they provide on decorating a new home better and more easily the next time.

1. Some of the stuff you packed (and carried) should have been left behind

The most common realization during the moving process is that you have far more than you thought you did. And honestly, how much of it have you even used recently? Many movers end up realizing that a sizable percentage of the stuff they paid to move should have stayed behind. Moving it wasted time, effort and money.

It’s time to clear out the clutter, even if you have no plans to move soon. You’ll feel better about the space you make and you’ll be ready when it’s time to pack things up.

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Even if you have tons of storage, like this large cabinet unit, keep only the items you use regularly. Image: Banda Property

Resolution: Packing and purging are two different tasks. Trying to clear out during the packing process is way too much work in a short time span. Start the editing process at least two months before you move. Take on one room at a time and decide what gets thrown out, recycled or donated. That way, when it’s time to pack, you’ll have less to handle.

2. Some of the furniture from the old home may not fit in the new place

One of the common problems when moving furniture from one place to another is that the scale or style of the major pieces doesn’t work in the new place. You can have a garage sale and practically give the pieces away, then have to spend money on new ones – or you can shop smart next time.

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Modular furniture items can be used in different ways and take up minimal space. Color is infused in the form of small, affordable accessories. Image: Caitlin Wilson

Resolution: Your main furniture pieces should be classic in style, neutral in color and as modular as possible. Look for sofas or sectionals that can be separated into smaller pieces or can be expanded into large ones as needed, like the Tillary collection from West Elm. And once you move in, invest in bold or colorful accent pieces to give your classic neutral furniture some pop. It’s much cheaper to buy some graphic pillows or an area rug than it is to replace a sofa that’s too style-specific.

3. Heavy furniture makes moving and rearranging harder

It used to be a fact that the heavier the furniture, the better the quality. But that is no longer true, thanks to manufacturing and material advancements. And once you have to haul your heavy, giant sofa up a few flights of stairs, you may not love it as much as you once did.

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The dining table and benches are surprisingly strong yet lightweight, thanks to the hollow steel tubing frames. Image: Photo by Pixy

Resolution: Consider the weight of furniture before you buy. Look for pieces that are well constructed but feature lightweight materials. Even better, consider buying furniture that breaks down easily, or even flatpacks like these pieces, to save you time and money on your next move. Even if you’re not planning on moving, lightweight furniture makes it easier to rearrange or clean around it.

4. You loved the home staging of your old place so much, you considered staying

Did you fall in love with your old home all over again after the home stager worked their magic? You’re not alone. What’s the secret to the way your home looked so awesome after being staged to sell? Simplification and a few applied design principles.

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Stagers focus on creating a room layout that features soft, neutral colors and furniture pieces that don’t compete with the room’s architecture or view. Image: Georgia Home Staging

Resolution: When decorating a new home, set it up to look like it’s a model home – and live that way every day. That means that clutter is non-existent, everything is put away and every room has the right touch of accessories and color. Burn fragrant candles and enjoy your home!

Here are some great articles to check out to get you started:

And when the home doldrums set in, rearrange your furniture and accessories. Freshening up your space every few months can work wonders for the energy of the room.

5. Paint and decorate right away or it’s not going to happen

Let’s be honest. If you’ve moved in the last couple of years, you probably have some boxes you still haven’t unpacked. Or home improvement projects you wanted to tackle and never got around to starting. You’ve got to strike while the iron is hot and before you start settling into a daily routine.

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A single wall was painted in a rich mocha tone to create a focal wall. Image: Unique Spaces

Resolution: Decorating a new home needs to happen right away. If you have projects you want to do, like upgrading lighting, painting or replacing the flooring, do them before you move in – or right when you do. It’s far easier to get the messier projects like painting and flooring done before you arrive, but if you can’t do them in advance, make them a priority when you move in. Unpack all boxes ASAP. And if you’re burnt out and rethinking painting the living room in a pumpkin spice shade, paint just one focal wall in the color. You’d be amazed what one single bold wall can do for a room.

Have you moved recently? We’d love to hear what you learned from your move and how you’ll approach decorating a new home.