Moving can be a major hassle. All the packing, transportation, unpacking, and wondering if everything will fit through your new door can be really exhausting! To make the whole ordeal a little less stressful, we decided to take an inside look at what makes the moving process a little easier.

So, who better to ask about it than the actual people who do this tuff for a living, right? We had a chat with some friendly pro movers and asked them to share their wisdom. Here are their secrets to moving like a smooth, experienced relocation professional.

Do your packing as early as possible

Seriously, if there is one thing that every professional mover will appreciate to the Moon and back, that would be a client who takes a proactive approach to their relocation and does not leave everything for their contractor to do on the actual moving day.

The reason for this is fairly simple: moving companies, as a rule, operate on a severely cramped schedule. In fact, there are even some that will only work with you if you schedule your moving a few months in advance! This is especially true if you plan to move in one of the peak seasons (this usually means sometime in the summer, though there are also spring and even autumn peaks).

Due to this, your moving team will infinitely appreciate it if you can do your packing as early as you possibly can. Start a few weeks in advance, or at least a few days. That way you can do your stuff without pressure, you can make sure everything is packed up nice and safe, and it will spare all involved parties loads of stress when it comes time to actually load up the truck and go. If, however, you still end up doing it at the last minute for whatever reason, you can check out this useful article for a comprehensive guide on how to efficiently pack and move when you are in a hurry.

Use clothes to buffer breakable property

Fragile items are always a headache in a whole different league. Whether it be your favorite tea set, or some ornamental glasses, or your grandmother’s hand mirror, valuables that are easily broken, chipped, or cracked will require extra care in packing. one easy hack to solve that problem, that lots of people actually never think of, is using your clothes as a makeshift buffer.

Clothes are actually surprisingly effective in protecting sensitive property. Dishes, lamps, glassware, and even art pieces can all benefit from this little trick. The key is to carefully wrap up each of them individually, to make sure they are protected – not just from bumps in the road, but from mutual collision and friction as well.

Minimize empty space in the boxes

Okay, this might be a bit of a temptation, we get it. After all, less stuff in a box would make it a little lighter to carry, right? Well, yeah, but it would also be a safety hazard. Empty places in your packaging containers, both in boxes and otherwise, mean that there is space for stuff to move around.

The item inside can shift and collide. Adverse materials can rub together and scrape each other. Items can become cracked or completely break, if something heavier falls onto something lighter or a sharp corner bumps into a flat surface.

So, strive to fill up every single inch of the space. Even if you have no appropriate items to put in there, use some filler materials like bubble wrap, old newspaper pages, paper towels, spare cloth, or bundled clothes (socks and underwear are great for filling up small and snug spaces). Also, if it turns out to be necessary, remember it is perfectly okay to pull it all out again and move it into a smaller container!

Do not cut corners on your labels

This is probably the step that your contractors will appreciate the most. Not only does it make handling and classification easier (especially if your stuff will share a truck with someone else’s), but it serves as a great damage prevention measure, too.

If something is labeled as “fragile”, “art”, “heirlooms”, “glassware”, “sensitive electronics” etc., everyone will know to be extra careful around that box. One good method is to label each box with what room that stuff goes into, plus a sub header of what content is inside.

Now, maybe you would rather not write directly on your boxes, because you want to be free to repurpose them without any confusion later on. In that case, labels are a good idea. You can just remove them or slap new ones over them as necessary. You can make and print your own, too. Here is a handy tutorial for that:

Pack the heavy stuff in the small containers

This might seem a little counterintuitive, but we promise you it works. The heaviest things need to be packed into the smallest possible boxes that they will fit.

You may be tempted to put some of the big bulky stuff into the large boxes, and then fill the remaining space with smaller items, but resist that urge. That makes it dangerous to lift and carry such a box, due to the extreme misbalance of the weight distribution. Forget property damage, you could seriously hurt yourself.