You’ve finally found a perfect new home, but how you dread the move. Even after you hire movers to handle the heavy lifting, there are plenty of DIY task to tackle. Use these moving tips to minimize the stress, pain – and expense.

Start packing pronto. “Spend an hour a day packing for a month before your move,” says Jessica Daigle, an occupational therapist at the Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation Services of North Shore-LIJ Health System in East Meadow, N.Y. “You won’t be taxing your body for long periods and you’ll feel less stress and won’t wind up scrambling at the end.”

Pamper with posture. To prevent added aches and pains, change positions every 20 minutes so you’re not spending long periods on your knees or bending over as you pack, says Josh Gellert, a physical therapist at the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. If your knees bother you as you kneel, spring for knee pads. And if it hurts, don’t do it.

Re-evaluate essentials. If you no longer use that chair, lamp or rug, sell it or donate it to a non-profit, says Gellert. That way, you won’t have to pack and move it, plus “you’re contributing to others and getting a tax deduction.”

Pack small. Ask your doctor how much you can safely lift. Pack small boxes, bend your knees as you lift and hold the box close to your body, minimizing the strain on your joints, says Daigle, and “as much as you can, avoid lifting.” Use dollies and carts that can be rented at local moving equipment companies like U-Haul.

Recruit friends and family. Offer friends, family, church and club members all the pizza they can eat to help you load and unload your car or van. “People hate to ask for help,” says Daigle. “But you can make it fun by offering food to helpers. Or advertise at the local high school, offering $5 an hour.” Try trading favors with a friend. There may be a low-impact task that you can help them with in return for their help during your move.