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Whether you’re moving into a new home, staging your house, or relocating items, you’ll have to move some furniture. It can be a tough job, especially if you have fragile or heavy items. To make sure you don’t gouge, scratch, or crack anything, we’ve created this comprehensive guide to moving furniture. We’ve also offered advice on how to hire professional movers if you’d prefer not to take on the task yourself.
Devising a plan will help you stay organized and minimize the risks associated with moving furniture. First, make a list of the items you need to move and indicate how and where you’ll transport those pieces of furniture. Below are a few other steps to take before you get started.
Assess the Area
Evaluate the furniture’s size and weight to determine how to best move it. If you need to move a large and bulky item, measure the object’s width and the spaces through which you need to move it. If it won’t fit, mark down on your list that you’ll have to disassemble it.
Get the Necessary Tools
Collect the proper tools and equipment before attempting to move your furniture. You can find these items at your local hardware store or online, or you could rent this equipment from a moving company. The tools you may need include the following:
- Bubble wrap
- Cardboard boxes
- Furniture pads
- Hand trucks
- Loading ramps
- Mattress and sofa covers
- Moving blankets
- Moving straps or a shoulder dolly
- Plastic adhesive wrap
If you’re moving the furniture to a new house or a different location, you’ll need a moving truck. Research what type of vehicle you’ll need and the cost to rent a moving truck during the planning phase.
Reach Out to Friends or Family for Help
It may be tempting to try to move furniture yourself, but it’s best to have family or friends help you with large and heavy objects. If you’re reluctant to ask around for help or if no one is available, consider hiring a moving professional to ensure the safety of both you and your belongings.
Disassembling Your Furniture
Sometimes, it’s best—or even necessary—to disassemble heavy furniture so it’s easier to lift and carry through tight spaces. Locate the assembly instructions so they’re accessible later on, and store screws, bolts, and knobs in a labeled plastic bag. If you no longer have the assembly instructions, try researching the product online or taking pictures of the assembled item before taking it apart. Below is a list of items you should consider disassembling:
- Beds: Remove the linens and mattress, unscrew the headboard, and disassemble the bed frame.
- Bookshelves: Unscrew and remove the shelves and disassemble the bookshelf frame.
- Chairs and couches: Remove the cushions, unscrew the legs, and separate the pieces if it’s a sectional couch.
- Dressers: Empty and remove the drawers and unscrew the dresser legs and any knobs.
- Tables: Disassemble any table extenders or inserts and unscrew the table legs.
Protecting Your Furniture
To avoid damaging your furniture, you can encase it in bubble wrap, plastic wrap, and moving blankets. Since plastic may remove the finish on your wood furniture, you can place a moving blanket or furniture pad between the item and the plastic wrap. You’ll also want to put down a plastic adhesive film to protect hardwood floors, tiles, and carpets.
Moving Your Furniture
Once you’ve created a plan, disassembled your furniture, and protected it, it’s time to move it. By following these steps, you can navigate tight spaces with ease and limit the risk of damaging your furniture, floors, and walls. Remember to clear the space before getting started, and if your plan includes a moving truck, load the heavy and large items toward the back and along the sides to maintain balance.
Proper Lifting Techniques
Lifting and carrying heavy furniture the correct way will help you avoid injuries and make the job easier. Always have at least one other person around to help you. Keep your core firm, bend from your knees, and lift using your leg muscles. Make sure you have a firm grip on the object you’re carrying, and keep it close to your body as you maneuver it to its new location. Know your limits, and take breaks when you need them to avoid dropping objects or injuring yourself.
Even though you’ve cleared the area before moving your furniture, you could still run into a few obstacles. The following are some issues you may encounter and how to resolve them:
- Area rugs: Roll up rugs so you don’t trip on the edge, or use some adhesive film between the floor and the rug to ensure your feet don’t catch on it.
- Doorways: Remove the door frame and moldings if you need to make some extra space.
- Staircases: Cover the stairs and banister for protection. Load the item onto a hand truck, and take each step one at a time.
Setting Up the Furniture
Once you’ve made the move to your new house or relocated the furniture, you’ll have to reassemble it if you took it apart. Place it in its new spot, and when you’re ready, refer to the instructions you saved earlier. If you’re concerned that you can’t put it back together properly, you can always hire a handyperson to do it for you.
How to Hire a Professional Mover
Moving furniture is a lot of work and comes with safety risks. If you decide to leave it to the professionals, hiring a moving company is easy. You may even be surprised that the average cost of movers is lower than you thought. A few steps you can take to find a good moving company include the following:
- Determine what type of mover you need.
- Gather estimates from at least three providers.
- Research moving companies—read their reviews, or ask for references.
As you research, remember that the best moving companies are insured, licensed, and reputable. If you’re hiring an interstate moving company, be sure to look it up on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) mover database using its name, U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) number, or motor carrier (MC) number. These numbers can typically be found on the mover’s website.
Moving furniture requires a lot of planning and time. If you use the right help, tools, and strategies, you can complete the job safely and efficiently. By taking the steps listed in this article, you’ll have an easier time moving furniture, but it may be worth hiring movers to do the heavy lifting for you.
Moving furniture may not be as cost-effective as you think because you’ll have to rent a truck and purchase or rent the necessary tools. Hiring a moving company can make the process less time-consuming and eliminate a lot of hassle. Due to the risk of injury, the chance of damaging your furniture, and the cost associated with moving it yourself, we recommend hiring a moving service.
Moving Furniture FAQ
How do I move furniture without scratching it?
The best way to move furniture without scratching or denting it is by wrapping it in bubble wrap, moving blankets, and plastic stretch wrap to protect it.
How do people move large furniture?
Many people enlist their friends or family members to help them move a large piece of furniture. You can also make it easier for yourself by using tools, including lifting straps, hand trucks, and furniture sliders. Another option is to hire a professional mover with the equipment and experience needed to move it efficiently.
How do I move furniture to another room?
Moving furniture to a different room is a lot like moving it from one house to another. You should take the appropriate safety measures, such as measuring the furniture and the doorway through which you must move it, disassembling it if needed, and protecting both the furniture and floors with moving blankets. This will ensure you don’t damage anything and that you avoid injuries.