Moving can be a nightmare. Because furniture doesn’t go into boxes, it seems simple enough just to stuff it into a truck and go, but that often ends with scratched wood and broken items. Doing things the right way can make all the difference when you move into your new home. Here’s how to correctly pack furniture for a move.

1. Do Your Prep Work

If you approach moving furniture haphazardly, the casualties can range from your back to your floors to your precious pieces of furniture themselves. A little bit of planning is essential. First, take stock of your furniture and figure out which pieces should be disassembled for the move, then devote an evening to taking legs off of tables and chairs and glass out of tabletops.

Another key logistical step is to label furniture by the room it will go in so that it can be loaded, unloaded and arranged in an orderly fashion. A great way to make this even easier is to sketch out a rough floor plan of your new house with notes about which furniture will go in each room. Even if you do not disassemble or assemble your furniture yourself (professional movers can do it for you), this is a huge time and effort saver.

2. Keep the Pieces Together

Nothing is worse than arriving at your destination, pulling your belongings out and realizing that you are missing important items or parts. When you take furniture apart for the move, have a stack of Ziploc bags, a permanent marker and some strong tape handy. Seal the hardware for each piece in a bag, label it and stick it to the bottom of the corresponding piece of furniture so that assembly will be simple in the next location. If you have instruction booklets for assembling furniture or other large items, either tape them to the item or put them in a box together, well-labeled. If your furniture has loose cushions, wrap them carefully in trash bags, tape them shut, label them and keep them with the furniture they came from.

3. Protect Your Precious Items

There’s a good reason professional movers rely on moving blankets. They save wood finishes and floors that can be scratched by hasty and careless furniture moving. Blankets can be bought or rented, and their purposes go far beyond just wrapping furniture items. Moving blankets can be put under a dresser or table, enabling you to slide it from one place to another over floor or carpet, and the same thing can be done over grass as you move a heavy piece from the moving truck to the door. Your own linens and pillows can also be invaluable padding as you load the truck. Above all, wrap and tape everything thoroughly, and be aware of your fragile items and don’t get so rushed that you fail to take the necessary measures to keep them safe.

Of course, your movers are able to wrap your items in blankets and plastic wrap with a professional’s care. Doing so yourself before their arrival, though, will save them time (and therefore save you money).

4. Protect Yourself, Too

Don’t let your back, neck or any other muscle group become a victim of your move. For every large item that needs to be moved, there is a safe way to get the job done, and support items like ropes turned into support slings, hump straps and ramps rely on leverage to help transport heavy items. Bribery with pizza can only appease worn out a ragtag team of friends so much. Anytime you have reservations about the proper and safe way to move your belongings, movers are available to take the stress out of the process. Call today to see how efficient a move can be.