Moving is usually an exciting time! One thing that most people don’t get excited about, though, is moving those large pieces of furniture down and up multiple flights of stairs. Getting them out of moving vans, trucks or trailers is hard enough, but trying to move them through doors and narrow corridors with turns is the worst.
Have valuable antiques you’re worried about? Want to make sure those sofas and chairs with the expensive upholstery make it without a scratch? Getting your friends and family to help certainly makes it easier. Still, you’ll need to make sure that everyone who is helping is safe. Here are some tips for a smooth, accident-free move.
Know your new home’s floor plan
Before the day of your move, take measurements of your large furniture and place them in an app (such as Home Design 3D or House Design) that lets you create a digital layout of your new floor space. This way, you can position them around the “floor” to get a visual idea of where you need to place furniture ahead of your moving day. Even if you don’t use an app, draw a basic layout on a piece of paper to help you get a better idea of where you’ll be placing these items.
Another good idea is to take measurements of doorways, windows, halls and corridors in your new home as well as your current home to determine if furniture will be easy to move out and into the new place. Remember, you can remove doors and sometimes even moldings to grab an extra inch or two of space!
Disassemble and wrap large items if possible
Before you move heavy furnishings out of your current home, remove as many potential obstructions as possible, such as legs, arms, and tabletops. Keep the removed items all together and small items like screws in labeled storage bags. Take clothes out of drawers, and take drawers out of dressers. (If you decide not to do this, fasten them into place somehow so they don’t slide out.) Wrap your items, or otherwise contain them so that they are properly protected.
Consider using professional movers. One benefit of this is that they have the right tools to disassemble and prepare large furnishings for moving, and they know how to wrap large items safely for transport. They can get the job done efficiently so you don’t waste time. If you decide against this, you can still take cues from the pros. For advice on protecting furniture for a move, see Elite’ Moving & Storage’s guides for packing dressers, pianos, glass tabletops, and couches.
Use tried-and-true techniques for moving large furniture during a relocation
There are certain techniques you can employ to ensure that your furniture—and you and your helpers—move safely.
For example, in moving pieces like dressers, use a “high-low” technique that involves keeping one end of the furniture held up high and the other end low. What this does is ensure that the weight is centered so the dresser is easier to control. This is especially true when moving up and down stairs. You’ll need two people, one at each end, for this technique.
Doorway hooking to help move a large sofa or couch is another technique that makes moving them a little less tricky. Stand couches on their ends and work them through the doorway, back edge first. Once it’s cleared the doorway, give it a 90-degree swivel to bring it all the way in.
You can also slide heavy furniture pieces by using a thick blanket to pull the object across the floor. You’ll eliminate the risk of scratching edges across the floor, causing unsightly marks.
Lifting straps can also be used to lift and move heavy furniture pieces, especially where carrying or sliding them isn’t an option. Lift straps help spread the weight of a piece over a large group of muscles and give you more control. And yes, you can purchase lifting straps on Amazon.com. Other tools, like wheeled dollies and ramps, can also help.
Don’t forget to wrap your furniture properly to protect pieces from moving damage. Bubble wrap, shrink wrap, and packing tape are staples of the moving process. Use blankets to cover and protect under the wrap/tape. Don’t skimp! Most professional moving companies will sell these supplies at their locations, so check them out for your needs.
Get Ready to Move
Whether you decide to move large furniture yourself, or take advantage of the service and expertise of professional movers, make sure you do your homework before you move. That way, you’ll keep your valued possessions (and yourself) safe and injury-free. As always, if you need help with your move in Chicago or across the United States, call your friends at Elite Moving and Storage!