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I hate moving. Moving sucks so fucking bad. I hate moving so much, that when our landlords were talking about selling the house we had rented for two years, we bought it rather than have to move. Yet, I found myself helping a friend move back to town from Arizona, driving a U-Haul from hotter-than-Satan’s-taint Tempe, AZ to the new pad, a seven-hour, snack-filled, bumpy-as-shit, 55-mph max speed drive away to wonderful Southern California. And that was the easy part.

After we brought a house full of stuff inside, we realized that there were some issues with understanding what went where. Sure, we could have labeled the boxes properly (we didn’t) or put each box in the room it would eventually go into (we didn’t), but we were in a hurry to get out of that godforsaken land, I mean Tucson.

After much cursing, a few trips to the store, and some much needed burritos, I thought, “there’s gotta be a better way.” So here I am, piecing together these here tips for those helping a friend unpack that should make your life, and the lives of those also involved, a bit easier (and, since we’re trying to be less wasteful, half the stuff is easier on the environment).

OK, so unpacking requires tearing through excessive amounts of tape. What’s good for that? Scissors? Nope. Their packed up in God-knows-which-box and they’re not particular convenient to just carry around. Unpacking tip #1: bring a decent pocket knife. I like this one by Shrade. It’s not too long, it’s legal (at least in California), and it has this cool cutter on the handle to help out, as well. And it’s like, $15, so leave it with your friend when you inevitably leave them with another 40 boxes to go.

I was going to recommend some kind of eco-friendly trash bags, but then I realized I was being a dumb-dumb. Tip #2: use the first box you empty as a trash can. Then, cut all the tape from the others and break them down flat. You can easily find some other poor soul who has to move and could use them. This was a tip I recieved from an old friend’s son, who is working for movers in Colorado Springs, thanks for that kiddo!

Unpacking tip #3: Pizza. It seems like an obvious enough idea, but sometimes people forget and then go make a burger run that takes forever when WE GOT SHIT TO DO. Pizza feeds a bunch of people for cheap, and is generally delivered to your door, which means more time focused on getting this shit done and less time dawdling. This one is usually on the movee, so hope they pick your fav toppings and hope for the best. But this leads me to unpacking tip #4: napkins > paper plates. Their paper towels are probably God-knows-where, and we ain’t trying to make more dishes.

But not any dollar store napkins for chumps. You’re classier than that. Check out The Napkins’ new line of single-use napkins, instead. They’re made of bamboo, so they feel like real napkins, but they are compostable, so you wipe the pizza sauce from your parched lips, toss it into a compost pile, and get back to work. We don’t have all day for you to feel bad about the environment.

Actually, we might. No matter how much time, planning, and effort you spend on moving, you ain’t getting that shit done in a day. So, you know what, once the sun sets, it’s time to start getting into the “eff it, it’s fine, at least the bed’s put together” stage. Which is also the stage where you whip out the housewarming gifts (tip #5): local hooch. Nothing says “welcome home” like a growler of finely crafted local beer, such as that from our own esteemed Ritual Brewing. Now, as you leave your friends, family, random co-worker, or whoever to the rest of their unpacking, you can feel like you did your best to help make the best out of a God-awful situation.