10 Tips for Moving Large Furniture
Many of us try to complete our moves by ourselves but it can be hard work! And one of the most labor-intensive aspects of moving is finding ways to move large, bulky furniture. We don’t want you to pull a muscle, so here are 10 essential tips for moving furniture.
1. Get Personal Protective Equipment
One of the best investments you can make is in PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Protective items like Heavy-Duty Work Gloves can keep your fingers and hands from getting cut during the moving process. This also goes without saying, but wear closed-toe shoes, too!
Lifting heavy furniture can also potentially put strain on your back if you don’t use proper form (which we’ll go over later). For some extra security, a lower back brace is a great way to support your back while you do some heavy lifting.
2. Disassemble Furniture When Possible
Taking apart large pieces of furniture can help you get the extra inch or two required to fit through narrow doorways. For example, the legs of dressers, tables, and chairs can be easily removed to give yourself a few inches of space to work with.
Got some furniture that’s on its last legs, so to speak? Don’t be afraid to say goodbye to items that are out-of-date, old, or no longer functional. You can discard, donate, or even store the items you don’t want to bring along for your move.
3. Wrap and Protect Your Furniture
You don’t want any damage to your furniture, do you? Of course not! That’s why it’s important to protect it all with high quality packing materials.
A classic way to protect fragile belongings is with bubble cushion. U-Haul Enviro-Bubble is one of the best bubble packaging materials on the market, and you even save when you buy in bulk. This is a must-have when it comes to moving large pictures, sculptures, or other delicate belongings.
Bubble cushion isn’t the answer for every piece of furniture, though. Furniture pads and moving blankets are also great at protecting against knicks and scrapes. This is a better option for wooden furniture like tables.
Got furniture with doors, like dressers and end tables? Then you’ll want Mover’s Wrap. This is a strong elastic material that is used to bundle and fasten items together. By wrapping your furniture in plastic wrap, you won’t have to worry about dresser drawers flying out while in transit to your new home.
4. Get the Right Tools
At U-Haul, we want you to work smarter, not harder. And one way to do this is by buying the right tools to do the job for you! Instead of lifting and carrying everything, consider some of these items that can help make moving large items a little easier:
Furniture sliders are small sticky pads that you can attach to the bottom of the legs of furniture. This way, instead of trying to lift anything, you can just slide it through the house. Sliders protect both hardwood and carpet floors from getting scratched or damaged during the moving process. It is often a good idea to leave these on even after your move is complete!
Dollies are often the best way to move large and heavy objects like washing machines and dryers. The best part is, you don’t have to buy one. Simply rent one with your truck rental for the afternoon and return it when you’re done.
If you’re looking to make carrying your items easier, products like the Forearm Forklift Moving Straps protect not only your furniture, but your back, too! These straps are often the secret tools for professional movers everywhere. All you have to do is hook the straps around your forearms or shoulders (depending on the product) and it gives you more leverage to lift heavy items.
5. Recruit Help
Trying to accomplish a move by yourself can be a challenge, but moving heavy furniture by yourself can be downright dangerous. Try to reach out to some family or friends and see if you can find some help during the moving process.
If you can’t seem to find any volunteers, think about using a service like Moving Help® to search for moving service providers in your area. Keep in mind that any special items like safes, pianos, or fish tanks, may come with an upcharge. This is because these items are extremely heavy and may require more people and more planning to move. Communicate with your moving helpers so they know what they’re getting into.
6. Strategize a Route
Try to envision a path to follow while you’re moving furniture out of the house. Pick a path with as few turns as possible. Before getting started, make sure you clear the pathway of any tripping hazards.
Protecting Doorways and Stair Banisters:
It is easy to bump against doorways while moving large furniture pieces. If you aren’t a renter, removing the molding on the doorway will help create extra space to maneuver and help avoid potential damage to the doorway. If that’s not an option, covering furniture in Quilted Pads will also help protect your doorways.
The ‘L’ Method:
While they can be a challenge to squeeze through a door, large chairs can be “hooked” through small doorways. You can do this by turning the object on its side and backing the long end of the L shape through the doorway. Then, rotate the chair to bring the other end through.
7. Lift with Your Legs
To prevent injury, be careful to lift with your legs and not your back.? It’s also important to bend at your knees and not your waist. Both of these techniques help prevent undue physical stressors that could hurt you or your fellow movers. When carrying heavy furniture, keep it close to your body. This will give you more stability and reduce your chances of injury.
8. Carry Tall Furniture High to Low
When handling tall pieces of furniture like bookshelves or wardrobes, you’ll usually need a partner. When carrying these items, one person holds the top while the other person holds the bottom. You’ll carry it in a high-to-low direction. This will give you more stability while carrying your item and lessen the chances of dropping it.
9. Pack with a Plan
Getting the furniture out of the house is one thing, but packing it into a truck, container, or storage unit is a whole different challenge. At U-Haul, we encourage movers to pack in towers, with the heaviest items on the bottom and lighter ones on top. So, your heavier pieces of furniture will be that bottom layer. The good news is that this means all you have to do is slide it in there, the hard part is officially over!
10. Secure Furniture Before Taking Off
Now that you got the furniture where it needs to go, make sure you strap it in securely. You can do this with some bungie cords, rub rails and ties, or the Mover’s Wrap we talked about earlier. Don’t skip this step, or you may find a truck load of broken furniture once you make it to your new home.