It may seem easier to rush through packing, but experts agree that the more prepared you are, the smoother your move will be. These highly rated moving professionals share how to pack so that your move is efficient and your belongings stay safe.

Choose the correct boxes

For the majority of your items, you should go with medium-sized boxes. Shoe boxes and other smaller boxes should be consolidated into a larger one. However, for heavier items, you should go with smaller boxes.

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“For packing books, 12-by-12-by-18 is a good guideline. Anything smaller is hard to carry, and anything larger is borderline impossible and can hurt both the mover and the contents,” says Julian Grefe from Old City Movers in Philadelphia.

Wrap fragile items

Paper works fine for fragile items, such as crystal and china. If you’re worried about the newsprint rubbing off, companies like U-Haul sell newspaper with no print.

Place heavier items on the bottom and put lighter ones, such as dishes and stemware, on the top. Roger Greene, vice president of sales and operations for Get Your Move On in Tempe, Ariz., says to pack dishes and plates on end as opposed to laying them flat to help protect them. Also, fill the boxes completely – don’t leave any extra room at the top for items to move around.

Label everything

Grefe says that the movers only need to know which side is the top, whether the items are fragile, and what location it should be deposited in. It’s important to make sure all of your boxes are closed and sealed ahead of time as well, according Greene.

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Empty or lighten drawers

Some movers will want you to empty drawers from dressers and desks, and others will allow you to keep them full as long as they have lighter items that can’t spill or break. You should always check with the mover ahead of time.

Grefe says for filing cabinets, you should really take the drawers out since they are very heavy, hard to hold on to and can be dangerous to take down stairs. He suggests at least emptying the top half of the cabinet to make it safer to move.

Unhook appliances

In order to move electric and plumbing appliances, such as ceiling fans, washer/dryers and ice makers, you usually have to call a licensed professional first. Greene says that normal moving insurance won’t cover these services.

Be sure to call a handyman to unhook everything before the movers arrive and hook everything back up again once you’re where you need to go.

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This story originally appeared on Angie’s List.