So, it’s finally happened. You’ve been out of work for over a year, and the dream offer comes in. But it’s halfway across the country, and the company wants you to start in THREE weeks! Not only do you have to sell your place or notify your landlord, but you must find a new home in a completely different state and figure out the logistics of moving everything from Point A to Point B. What do you do? To maintain your sanity, and ensure your items arrive safely and on time, your best bet is to find professional furniture movers that can take the burden off your shoulders. And we’re here to help.

Your biggest ally in this life-changing opportunity will be a moving service that knows how to move any furniture, quickly and with care. If you had the time, you know how you would handle your precious items, but if you don’t, it’s important to find a furniture mover that will do the job as well, if not better, than you would. The chances are good that you’ve moved before in your lifetime, but it always helps to have a refresher on the best moving practices. We’ve compiled some helpful furniture moving hints for you, whether you’re doing the heavy moving or have hired a mover.

Following are some important tips that will help guide you through the furniture moving process:

1. Purge & Donate

Local furniture movers charge by the hour, while interstate furniture movers charge based on the weight of your items. Either way, everything they pack and transport costs you money. So, why take things you don’t need? In the weeks before moving day, go through all your belongings, and pull out anything you don’t use or no longer want. Tired of that sleeper sofa that never cooperates or that dining table that’s well past its prime? Arrange for a charity to pick up your unwanted things, sell items online through Facebook Marketplace, or have a garage sale. You’ll feel so much lighter, and your move will cost less!

2. Take Pictures

If a furniture moving company is doing all or most of the packing for you, it’s important to take inventory of your belongings beforehand. This record will prevent any misunderstandings about loss or breakage down the road. The easiest way to document your items is to take photos of all furniture, art and other items of value. (Also make sure to take pictures of your electronics so you’ll remember how to plug in the cords once you arrive). You don’t need to take pictures of every single dish or pair of pants but be aware of what you own, and what you’re transporting. It’s amazing how much stuff we forget we have.

3. Measure & Envision

One of the most important things you can do when moving is to measure! Measure your new home (or get the blueprints) and measure your furniture. Then envision where all the furniture will go. It’s vital not to make assumptions because there’s nothing more disappointing hauling your couch across the country only to find it is too large for your new living room. Better to know before you go and take appropriate action (i.e., selling furniture that won’t fit beforehand).

4. Disassembling Furniture

To ensure that your furniture arrives without damage, you will want to take apart anything breakable beforehand or ask the furniture movers to do it for you. If your cabinets have glass doors, for example, you will want to remove them, wrapping each piece separately. Have plastic bags available to keep all nuts, bolts, and fasteners for every piece of furniture—label them and tape to the furniture itself.

5. Loading Furniture on the Truck

Whether movers are loading the truck, or you are, it’s important that the truck is large enough to hold all your belongings in one trip. Measure all the large pieces and then estimate the rest, always erring on the larger side. If you are working with professionals, they will likely perform an in-home walkthrough to determine the approximate volume of your furniture and other items. If you are renting a truck, make sure you load the biggest, heaviest items, like refrigerators, washer/dryers, mattresses, bed frames, and couches, first. These should rest on the bottom of the truck, so as not to crush and damage boxes. Also, to save room, all long pieces, like tables, couches, and headboards, should be placed in an upright, vertical position. Roll up and tie rugs, placing upright to pad other pieces. And then load the lightest items last. Distribute the weight evenly, and finally, secure all items with moving straps. This is where having the right moving tools and equipment for the job really makes a difference.

6. Unloading and Reassembling in Your New Home

A handy tool when packing boxes are color-coded rolls of packing tape that mark and identify which room a box or piece of furniture should go in. With that system, it’s easy to unload the smaller boxes that are in the front quickly, putting each box in the correct room. Marking the boxes with colored markers achieves the same result. Preparing in advance, whether you or the movers are doing the packing, helps to make the unloading process that much easier. Once your furniture is in the appropriate room, your furniture movers work quickly to reassemble the pieces that they took apart when packing. It’s especially important to reassemble your beds first, so you have a place to rest after a long few days or weeks of moving.

Find out how much your move costs!