14 Tips for Moving Furniture
Whether you’re relocating or just rearranging, moving heavy furniture is a big job. Use these simple techniques to move heavy, awkward items without wrecking your back, your house or the furniture. How to move heavy furniture by yourself – use your head, not your back.
Carry Tall Items High and Low
A tall dresser, filing cabinet or shelving unit is awkward to handle. Make it a two-person job. Tip the item backward at an angle and have one person carry the top while the other carries the bottom. This centers the weight and keeps the item from swinging out of control. Transporting the item up or down stairs is easier too, since the carrying angle will roughly match the slope of the stairs.
‘Hook’ Chairs Around Corners
How to Move a Couch: Stand Couches on End
Furniture Carrying Straps: Shoulder Dolly
Furniture Carrying Straps
Don’t Carry or Drag—Slide
Protect Furniture With Blankets and Plastic
Moving blankets are invaluable for protecting the items you’re moving as well as your house. Sure, renting them is cheap, but you can buy several for just a few dollars more at home centers or uhaul.com and always have them on hand. (You’ll use them for all kinds of other things too.) To prevent damaging the finish and fragile edges of dressers, tables and other furniture, wrap the items completely with moving blankets and secure the blanket with stretch film. A 20-in. x 1,500-ft. roll of stretch film costs about $20 at home centers and moving outfitters.
Make a Mattress Sling
Here’s an easier way to carry a mattress: Make a simple rope sling that will give you and your helper a lot more control. Thread the rope through the mattress handles. Slip a 5-in. piece of 1-in. PVC pipe over the rope ends and then loop and tie each end to create a comfortable sling grip. Flip the mattress over so the sling is on the bottom and you’re on your way.
Cut and Fold a Box Spring
Remove the fabric covering (the most tedious part of this whole process is removing the staples) and place the box spring face down. Pull back the mattress cover along each side and cut through the frame just to the left or right of the middle crosspiece (don’t cut through the crosspiece itself). Do this on both sides and in the center. You can now fold the box spring like a book as shown and move it. Secure it with a strap to prevent it from springing open.
To put it back together, screw a 1×2 along the center crosspiece cuts and against the inside of the outer frame to reinforce them. Then staple the fabric covering back in place.
Plan Where It Lands
If you’re moving to a new house, decide beforehand which furniture will go where. Before you move, sketch a floor plan with the correct measurements of each room, measure your furniture and create your layout. Then, as you move things in, you (or your helpers, if you’re not there) can place your furniture in the correct spot and not have to touch it again. To make it easy on the movers, tape a copy of the plan to the wall of each room so people can tell at a glance where things go.
Take the Back Off a Recliner
Find the back brackets on the outside or inside of the back frame. Lift the locking levers on both sides (you may need to use long-nose pliers) and slide the back straight up to remove it from the recliner. Always lift a recliner from the sides, not by the back or footrest. Tie the footrest in place so it doesn’t spring open.
Take Apart What You Can
When you’re lugging a sofa through a doorway, remember: You can always make it a few inches smaller by removing the feet. The same principle applies to any piece of furniture you need to make sleeker or lighter: Take off any and all knobs, drawers, shelves, racks and legs.
Remove Your Door Stop Molding
Sometimes, an extra 1/2 in. is all it takes to get through a doorway. If removing the door doesn’t open up enough space, pry off the door stop molding. That will give you another 3/4 in.
Ramp It Up (and Down)
Use lumber, scaffold planks and blocks to create ramps to maneuver items.