How exactly can you pack and move furniture like sofas, antique dressers, bunk beds and dining sets?
Due to the sizes and weights of pieces of furniture, they often turn out to be one of the most difficult items to pack and move. Whether you hire a moving company or intend to have a DIY move, you’d expect all you pieces of furniture to arrive your new home in one piece, especially if you intend to move antique furniture.
How To Pack And Move Furniture Safely
Follow these tips to pack and move your pieces of furniture appropriately:
1. Get the right furniture packing materials
Depending on the type of furniture you’re moving, you’ll need some packing materials to make sure the piece is packed, moved and delivered in one piece.
“Get the equipment and packing supplies that you need,” says Pamela Smith of The Moving Blog. “Without them you will be helpless. Large and heavy furniture needs to be handled by more people and the right tools to assist you.”
The key packing materials you’ll need to pack your household furniture appropriately are bubble wraps, old towels and rags, sofa and mattress covers, plastic wraps, furniture blankets, packing tape, and sheets of cardboard.
2. Empty all piece of furniture
You can make your furniture lighter and easier to pack and move by clearing out all the items it contains. Remove all the items in bookshelves, dresser drawers, china cabinets and any other piece of furniture that contains any item. You should pack items removed from all piece of furniture separately.
3. Dismantle every furniture if possible
Some piece of furniture can be disassembled. If possible, take off the legs of tables and couches. Dismantle bed frames completely including the head boards and foot boards. Also, dismantle dining table leafs and if you have any furniture that has a user manual, check it for instructions on how to dismantle it appropriately.
“By unscrewing the legs from the bottom, you can often shave off six inches from the total dimensions,” says Shlomi Galon of Expert Beacon. “This can give you the space you need to get your couch through the door, and you can also dramatically reduce the likelihood of breakage during transport.”
4. Clean the furniture
You shouldn’t make the mistake of packing and moving dirty furniture into your new home. After dismantling your furniture, it’ll be easier to clean each piece. If possible, as you dust and clean, polish the furniture. They’ll look new in your new home.
5. Use special plastic covers
To protect your furniture against moisture, rip or damage, wrap pieces like chairs, sofas and mattresses in special plastic covers.
Before the moving day, you can ask the moving company you hire about the packing materials they use.
If you’re having a DIY move, you can buy these special plastic covers from moving supply stores.
6. Use heavy packing paper
You probably have one or more furniture with glass table tops. You can cover the table tops with thick furniture blankets or towels. Also, you can consider using heavy packing paper.
“You should place the glass pieces in telescoping boxes. Telescoping boxes fit inside one another making them strong enough to hold heavy items such as glasses”, says Wikihow. “You can add rags, newspapers, or towels to fill up spaces in the box to prevent the glass from shifting while in transit.”
7. Slide heavy furniture
When it’s difficult to carry any piece of furniture because of its size or weight, slide it. It’s often safer and easier to pull or push large or heavy piece of furniture and slide it across the floor. While you may not be able to slide your dining room table or couch across all surfaces, do so when it’s possible. Sliding large or heavy items is the safest way to prevent injuries during a move.
“Unless it’s a small piece of furniture, slide it across the room. Most of us don’t know how to lift things properly and though we may end up with a beautiful room, we also end up with a bad back,” says Abby Stone of Apartment Therapy. “If you do have to lift something, use your legs not your arms and shoulders and keep your back relatively straight,” he emphasized.
You can place sliders under the legs of your table or couch to allow them slide easily across any surface. If you intend to move furniture over carpet, placing cardboard underneath the furniture will allow you to slide it across the carpet rather than carry it. You can use old t-shirts, dish rags or towels to slide furniture across hardwood floors.
8. Empty Large Dresser and Armoire
Make sure you clear out all your large drawers and armoire before packing or moving them. Moving large drawers and armoire becomes more difficult when items are sliding inside the drawers. In such situation, the drawers may even fly open when you least expect and some of the items in it might be damaged.
Also, items inside drawers or armoire can cause injury while you’re trying to move the furniture down a flight of stairs.
9. Lift Items with Your Legs
Bending over at the waist to lift pieces of furniture such as a heavy couch may injure your back.
When you bend over at your waist, all the pressure and weight of the furniture will be on your back muscles and may cause injury.
You can ask someone to help if you can’t carry any piece of furniture all alone.
10. Use Appropriate Moving Equipment
For moving large pieces of furniture, using appropriate moving equipment can prevent injuries. You can use dollies and hand truck to carry heavier boxes and pieces of furniture to prevent strain and injury.
Also, make sure pieces of furniture are strapped and properly secured when moving them with a dolly or hand truck.
“Select tools you will need to disassemble any legs, table tops, doors or frames. Have plastic sandwich bags (or larger) on hand, along with a permanent marker” says Diane Schmidt of About Home. “For table tops and table legs or any pieces that are valuable or fragile, make sure you have furniture blankets and packing tape that can be used to wrap and protect these items.”
11. Carry Only What You Can
Don’t make any attempt to carry heavy piece of furniture that you can’t handle. Whenever you intend to carry large and heavy pieces of furniture, make sure you have enough people around to help you lift or slide it. Large furniture should have at least two people carrying or sliding it and a third person giving directions to avoid obstacles and injury.
“Having in mind the weight of each piece of your furniture, try to find some friends, colleagues, relatives etc. over to help,” says Pamela Smith of The Moving Blog. “Make sure that you have at least one person for each 100 pounds of weight of the item and 1 person extra to help you in case someone tilts the furniture.”
On the moving day, with the help of the moving crew, you may have to carry your pieces of furniture in and out of several doors, and down multiple flights of stairs. In the frenzy of packing and carrying heavy pieces of furniture, one or more pieces might be damaged.
So don’t rush, pack and move at your regular pace and if you observe that the moving crew is rushing too fast and may damage your things, warn them to take it slowly and consider filing claims if any of your items is damaged.
Also, during the packing and loading, the moving crew would be going in and out of the house, and most will be doing that quickly in order to finish the move on time. You need to stay alert, and ensure the route in and out of the house is safe. You shouldn’t make the mistake of sacrificing safety for speed.
You wouldn’t have to bother about your furniture being moved appropriately and delivered in one piece if you hire a professional moving company. MoverJunction.com can connect you to professionally licensed and BBB rated moving companies near you. You can request for up to 6 free moving quotes of these licensed movers so you can compare costs before making up your mind.