How to Move Heavy Furniture

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Need to move a couch?

Moving furniture is one of the most difficult things to do during a move.  It’s bulky and heavy, and it often doesn’t fit easily through doors and halls.  Doing it right requires using your brain as well as your muscles.

If you have a large piece of furniture that you need to move, here’s what to do:

Disassemble When Possible

Many types of furniture that must be put together can be taken apart just as easily.  Disassembling furniture, such as tables, beds and dressers, makes it easier to carry.  It also creates more room in the moving truck.

If you are disassembling your furniture, make sure to mark the pieces prior to separating them.  This way, you will know where each goes when you put them back together.  Good markers to consider using are left (L), right (R), back (BK), front (F), bottom (BM), top (T), and numbering if you have many of the same piece, such as drawers.

Take Measurements

Simply picking up a couch and moving it to the truck is a bad idea.  You should always take measurements first.  Use a ruler or, better yet, a tape measure, and write down the dimensions of the piece of furniture.

After you know how large a piece of furniture is, measure the doors, stair cases and hallways you intend to carry it through.  If they aren’t large enough, you will have to come up with a “plan B” or perhaps look into disassembling the piece of furniture.

Also, plan out where you will put the furniture in the moving truck, and make sure you can fit your other stuff around it.

Protect the Furniture

You should buy furniture pads and plastic covers, especially for your more valuable furniture.  It’s very easy to bump a piece of furniture into something while moving it, and things might fall on it during transit, creating to scratches, dents and chips.  Pads cushion the prone edges of furniture, preventing such damage.

Also, when you’re moving, your furniture will be exposed to the elements. Plastic covers will prevent it from getting wet with rain or snow.

So long as you protect your furniture, it’ll be ready to be the centerpiece of your new home.

Use Furniture Sliders

Furniture sliders are combinations of plastic and fabric that attach to the feet of furniture.  Once sliders are on the furniture, furniture can be slid across carpet and sometimes tile and wood flooring.  This allows just one person to move a heavy piece of furniture across a room or between rooms.

Though furniture sliders do not help with moving furniture from a moving truck, they can be of great use once a piece of furniture is in the home.

Be Safe

When it’s time to hoist the furniture onto the moving truck, be ready to do it safely. Lifting heavy furniture the wrong way can cause back and leg injuries, and carrying it without the proper support can lead to dropping it or losing your balance.

  • Gloves – Wearing gloves will help you grip the furniture and prevent your fingers from getting fatigued.
  • Dolly – When possible, use a dolly to roll, rather than carry, a piece of furniture.  Sometimes dollies are not large enough to carry big pieces of furniture, however.  For those you’ll need some help…
  • Double-Team – Always try to move a piece of furniture with the help of another person or two.  Not only will they be able to lessen the load, they will be able to help problem solve.  Learn how to ask a friend for help.
  • Use a Ramp – Most moving trucks come with a ramp.  If yours does not, ask the rental agency for one.  A ramp will make moving a piece of furniture far easier than trying to lift it from the ground level into the back of the truck.
  • Lift with your legs – We’ve heard it all before, but it’s important to take it to heart.  Squatting down then pushing up with your legs is a far more efficient and safe way to lift a heavy object than bending over and lifting with your arms and back.

Once you get it onto the truck, it’s time to start thinking about how to unload your furniture.