13 Expert Tips on Moving Furniture

We all know that moving is difficult and hazardous in general. But nothing makes that fact more obvious than when you’re moving furniture. And that’s not just because these are the heaviest items but also because they’re the hardest to fit through the doorways.

In other words, it’s not a problem you want to learn about through experience. In fact, trying to figure it out on your own means making mistakes—dangerous, painful, expensive mistakes.

Fortunately, with this guide, you don’t have to tackle this challenge the hard way. The following expert tips will teach you the safest and most efficient ways to move furniture, and how to avoid common mistakes. But the most surprising thing you’ll learn is that most of your furniture is easy to move if you do it correctly.

So, don’t make a hard job any harder. Read and follow these expert tips for moving furniture.

1. Hire Professionals to Do It

In some cases, DIY moving can be beneficial. But, in most cases, especially moves involving furniture, it’s not. The truth is, hiring professional movers saves time, money, and effort nearly every time.

If you’re set on self-moving, consider very carefully your reasons for doing so and make sure it’s worth it. Otherwise, let the experts move your furniture.

2. Take Measurements

If you do choose to handle the move yourself, get out your measuring tape. Measure the dimensions of doorways, hallways, and any other narrow areas you need to get your furniture through. That includes outdoor stairways, stairwells, narrow entryway corridors, etc.

Next, measure your biggest items of furniture to see which doorways they can and can’t fit through. It’s also helpful to write the dimensions down on painter’s tape and label as you measure.

Finally, use these measurements to create a plan of action. For instance, decide how you need to rotate the furniture to fit it through the hallway, which doors the furniture can or can’t fit through, etc.

3. Dismantle What You Can

You may discover that it’s impossible to move the furniture out of your house based on the measurements you took. So how did it enter in the first place? It was probably in pieces, and it can be again.

Most furniture is easy to partially dismantle in order to get it through the door. For example, you can probably remove the top of your dinner table and the feet of your couch with a screwdriver. So, dismantle anything you can—not completely, just enough to get it outside.

And don’t worry. They will be just as easy to put back together.

4. Remove Your Door

Furthermore, doors are never completely out of the way. Even when you open them as wide as you can, they still block at least a couple inches of space.

Fortunately, these can be safely removed, too. If it seems that your furniture is going to be a very tight fit through the doorway, you should remove your door before you even try it. Otherwise, it will probably get stuck, and that never ends well.

5. Use a Dolly

Don’t bother lifting what can be dollied. Using a dolly is easier, safer, and faster, even when taking the furniture down the stairs. Plus, dollied furniture can be moved by one person.

6. Use Furniture Sliders

Sliders also save you from having to lift furniture. These are hard, plastic circles you set under the furniture like feet. 

Then, you can simply slide it across any indoor floor. (This shouldn’t damage any type of floor but, if you’re concerned, test it first.)

This isn’t just easier than lifting; it’s easy, period. Seriously, all it takes is a gentle push to move that heavy couch to your front door when using sliders.

7. Use Furniture Straps (Shoulder Dolly)

Unfortunately, sliders and dollies don’t work in all situations. That is, not everything fits on a dolly and you can’t “slide” furniture through the front door.

So, whenever you must lift, use furniture lifting straps, specifically a shoulder dolly. These make it not only easier to lift heavy items but safer, too. They take the weight off of your back and free up your hands to stabilize the lifted item.

8. Secure Moving Parts

Secure any movable furniture parts with rope and/or stretch film. This includes refrigerator doors, dresser drawers, reclining chairs, and unfoldable sleeper sofas.

9. Use the Hook Technique For Large Chairs

Hooking is a tried-and-true technique for getting large chairs through doorways. Lay the chair on its side, move the back of the chair through the doorway, then rotate it 90 degrees to get the feet through.

10. Lift With Your Knees

Throughout the move, keep your back straight the entire time. To lift, squat down (with your back still straight), grab the item, and use your leg muscles to push yourself back up to a standing position. And never, ever, twist your back while lifting.

If you fail to follow these lifting instructions, you could incur permanent back damage.

11. Team-Lifting For Heavy Items and Stairs

Get as many people as you need to help you lift heavy items, especially when going down steps. Take breaks as often as needed. And always communicate the plan as you execute it to prevent accidents.

12. Load Furniture First

Keep the truck cleared out until you load the furniture. You won’t be able to fit as much into the truck unless you load the furniture first.

13. Leave It Behind

Perhaps you’re having trouble moving that old dresser because it keeps falling to pieces. So, then, why bother?

If it’s that old and worn out, just junk the darn thing. Then, shop for some new furniture closer to your new address.

If money’s an issue, try a thrift store. Chances are, you’ll find a good deal on used furniture items that are still in better condition than your old furniture.

Just make sure you properly dispose of any items you’re not taking.

Stay Safe While Moving Furniture With These Tips

Please, for your sake, don’t forget these tips for safely moving furniture. Always take the proper precautions and get professional help if you need it.

Now, check our other articles to get more great tips for a safe and efficient move. Or, start here with these 8 Common Packing Mistakes That First-Time Movers Should Avoid.

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