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If you’re planning a move and decided to choose a DIY approach rather than hire movers, you might be wondering what’s the best way to prepare and move furniture. While small items are easier to pack, carrying large, bulky furniture pieces can be more challenging.
Without proper precautions, upholstery can be ripped, glass furniture can break and wooden pieces can get gouged. Preparing for moving furniture is critical to prevent damages to your items before they even arrive at the new place.
Preparing Furniture for a Move
As you get ready to pack your furniture for a move, having the right equipment and learning a couple of tricks can make the process easier and safer.
Have the Right Packing Supplies
Beyond cardboard boxes, packing tape and bubble wrap, there are other furniture moving supplies you ought to consider. Many of these supplies are available at local hardware stores or online. However, some moving companies will also rent out these supplies, which might be a more affordable option.
If you’re planning to move large furniture, make sure you have these furniture moving supplies on hand:
- Moving blankets
- Bubble wrap
- Sofa and mattress covers
- Plastic stretch wrap
- Corrugated cardboard sheets
- Furniture pads
Clean the Furniture
Before packing, take the time to thoroughly clean and dust all your furniture. Dust and leftover debris can scratch your furniture during the moving process. Besides, cleaning the furniture before you move also means you won’t bring any unnecessary grime into your new home.
Dismantle the Furniture
When possible, take the time to dismantle your furniture completely. This will make the furniture much easier to move, prevent damage while moving and make it easier to pack your moving truck. This is also one of the most time-consuming tasks of preparing your furniture for a move, so plan accordingly.
Here are some pieces that you should consider disassembling:
- Remove the legs and tops from all tables, if possible.
- Take bed frames entirely apart, including the headboard and footboard.
- Remove knobs and other removable pieces from dressers and desks.
- Remove the cushions and legs of couches and chairs.
How to Pack Furniture
As you dismantle everything, it can be easy to lose small items. Use a sealable plastic bag to hold screws, hardware and other small items for each piece of furniture. Label the plastic bag using a permanent marker and tape it to prevent losing any hardware during the move.
Use newspaper, towels and other soft items like sheets to wrap fragile objects you’re planning to pack. Using this method can help you make the most out of your packing supplies as you’ll be able to transport more items with fewer boxes.
How to Wrap Furniture for Moving
The best way to protect and prepare furniture for a move is to spend enough time wrapping everything correctly. Bubble wrap is best to protect delicate pieces, such as glass table tops, lamps and ceramics. Plastic wrap is perfect for upholstered items like couches and mattresses.
For wooden furniture, avoid using bubble wrap or any kind of plastic wrap as they can damage the furniture’s surface. Instead, use a moving blanket or furniture pads in between so the plastic wrap doesn’t directly contact the wood.
Moving Furniture Safely
Now that your furniture is prepared to move, it’s time to set your home for moving day. Having a moving day plan will help you move large furniture pieces safely.
Measure Doorways and Hallways
When moving furniture, having a plan will help you save time and effort. While you can dismantle certain pieces, sofas, cabinets and dressers are still large furniture pieces. Measure all your furniture pieces and your doorways and hallways to determine how you will move them.
Determine whether you will have to remove the door frame or any wall base moldings to help the furniture go through more efficiently.
Clear Doorways and Hallways
A few days before your moving date, clear every path to the front door. Clear doorways and entryways of all clutter. Prop the doors wide open and use a door stopper to keep them open throughout the move. This will make it easy to move furniture out of the home and will protect the furniture from hitting any items while being moved.
Get the Right Moving Tools
Small furniture pieces are easy to move without equipment and tools. However, larger furniture pieces like heavy chairs, sofas, cabinets and dressers may require special moving equipment. Consider renting a dolly or hand truck to make it easier (and safer) to move these pieces. Other moving tools that can be helpful include moving straps and a skid board.
Use Furniture Gliders
If you have hardwood or tile flooring, place gliders under the furniture to prevent scratching the floor. Besides furniture gliders, things like towels and cardboard can help move furniture easier and still protect your floors.
Choose the Right Moving Truck
When you’re planning to move by yourself, it’s important to find the right moving truck. Look for trucks or moving containers with tie-downs and a ramp. The tie-downs will help you hold down your furniture while traveling to prevent it from falling in transit. Having a ramp will also make loading and unloading heavy items easier.
Tips to Remember When Preparing and Moving Furniture
Attempting a move by yourself can be overwhelming—the more planning you can do ahead of time, the better. If you have the right materials, break down oversized items before packing and take care of fragile items with extra protection layers, moving your furniture will be an easier task altogether.
Some tips to consider when getting everything ready for your move:
- Don’t move heavy furniture by yourself. It might sound obvious, but most people will still attempt to lift heavy furniture by themselves. Ask friends or family members for assistance. Or, consider hiring labor-only movers to help you move heavy pieces.
- Consider getting moving insurance. When you’re doing the move by yourself, you don’t have the traditional protection moving companies offer. As you know, accidents happen. Look at different valuation coverage and moving insurance to protect your belongings.
- Load heavy furniture first. Start by placing the heaviest items on the moving truck first. This will help distribute the weight evenly to make the truck easier to drive. Also, place the heavier items against the wall to leave easier access for loading and unloading the truck.
If moving all your furniture by yourself seems like too much of a daunting task, consider hiring professional movers. Having a moving budget can help you determine if you can afford to hire some help. Now, at least you can save some money by having all your furniture ready for when the movers arrive.