We recently did an article on how to think like an interior designer. You can go check it out now, it’s only four steps and we assure you that they will spark your creativity and give you confidence to think about your living space as a canvas for your own needs and ideas.

One of those tips was to learn measurements, and that might just be one of the most important. If you’ve already gotten your measuring tape, it’s time to learn how to properly do this. If you haven’t, go to the hardware store, come back, and then go to town on this article. Here’s 4 more steps to get started on the right foot.

1. Measure passages and hallways

Some people forget to measure the space between the door and the living room or between the living room and the bedroom. Aside from providing good information on what kinds of décor and small furniture you can put on a hallway, measuring them has a more important and practical purpose: you need to know if you’ll be able to get something into your home or into your spaces.

Also measure your doors: a common doorway is about 6 feet tall (on average) and 30 inches wide, but some doors are different, so pay attention to this. If you live in an apartment, remember to measure the width of the hallway outside your unit as well to prevent moving problems with long furniture items like couches.

2. Measure the rooms

Be as detailed as possible, you’ll thank yourself later. Measure every corner and identifying the longest and widest points in every room. We know this seems like a lot of work, you don’t have to do everything in one sitting. Remember to write everything down so you can come back to it later.

Once you write your own measurement guide for your home, you won’t have to do this ever again, think about that. Measure the length from the room’s entrance (if it has one) to the farthest wall, as this will come in handy later on when you’re introducing new furniture and trying different placements.

3. Measure the furniture

This is an easy task because you might not have to measure all of it, though we recommend you do so. Just the ones that you intend to keep forever, or the ones that you think you really need and won’t really change over time.

For example, if you have a King size bed, and you don’t plan on getting any other bed sizes in the future (King’s your favorite), then measure and identify the bed space according to the bed you have now. Measuring the couches that you feel are the best fits in your home, as well as the chairs, tables,and cabinets that you like the most, will give you a sense of the measurements that you already enjoy. You can turn to them when buying new furniture to avoid going too big or too small.

4. Be patient

In this reality, we only have three dimensions we can measure. They are height, width, and depth (sometimes one of the latter two is erroneously called ‘length’). Height, as you already know, is how tall something is, the vertical line from the ground up. Width is the horizontal line from left to right. Depth is the thickness of an object.

You only need these three measurements for furniture, and for walls you might only need to measure width, as the height will usually be the same around the entire house. Besides, height is not important unless you’re planning to buy something that touches the ceiling. Be patient, you got this. Remember it can be done in stages. Take your time, and you’ll see the results.