Hiring professional movers to help you relocate is an excellent way to reduce the stress and frustration of moving. Expert movers have the experience necessary to pack, organize, and haul your stuff in the most efficient way possible. However, just because you hire pros, doesn’t mean you can sit back and sip a cocktail while your home magically transfers to a new location. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of letting professional movers do the packing for you.

First things first

Before you let that moving crew into your home, do some research to find the right company. Ask friends for recommendations and vet companies online through websites like Yelp, Angie’s List, or the BBB. Once you have a list of contenders, start calling for estimates. To help you avoid nasty surprises, look for a company that offers binding estimates that place a limit on how much you can expect to pay. You may also want to ask whether a moving company performs background checks, drug tests, or other screening measures on their employees. For a more thorough guide to hiring movers, check out this great article from Real Simple.

Preparing to move

Movers are not professional home organizers or maids, so it’s important to have some sense of order when the crew arrives. If there are items you want packed together, make sure they are in one central location. Things like books, toys, and artwork can end up in different places throughout the house, so collect these items, clean them, and stack them together. If you’re really on the ball, you could also label stacks of items with their final destination (kitchen, living room, etc.) to help movers know how to label boxes. Also, make sure that everything you want packed is clean and sanitary. Empty the trash, wash the dishes, and launder your clothes to avoid unpacking dirty items in your new place and out of respect for the movers.

Packing your personal items

Although movers can and will pack pretty much everything in your house, there are certain items you’ll want to pack yourself. Securing your valuable items will make your move less stressful and protect both you and the movers if something goes missing. Valuables like electronics, jewelry, medications, important documents, photos, or heirlooms should be packed and transported by you whenever possible. It might take a day or two for movers to deliver your boxes to your new house. Make a detailed list of things you’ll want right away; pack them separately. Cleaning supplies, clothing, toiletries, children’s items, and pet supplies are a few things you’ll probably need.

Moving day etiquette

Most people are not at their best when moving day finally rolls around. After all, moving is stressful and it’s easy to let your frustration get the better of you. However, being courteous and respectful of your moving team will create a better experience for everyone involved. Once you have given the movers the basic instructions, step aside and let them do their jobs. In other words, there’s no need for you to micromanage. However, it is also important that you stay close by and be available to answer any questions the movers may have. Before the big day, do a little research about tipping the movers and have cash on hand to do so.

Hiring professional movers is a great choice, especially for long distance moves. They have all the skills necessary to pack your belongings safely and efficiently for the big move. By following these simple guidelines, you’ll be on your way to a low-stress move.