Almost all of us, at one time or another throughout our lives, are faced with the difficult task of moving heavy furniture. Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, replacing furniture in your home and moving your old furniture to the curb or to a self-storage facility, it’s important to do it right each and every time. Moving heavy furniture safely and efficiently, with minimal to no damage to the furniture, your home or yourself and others should be your overriding goal. It’s possible that you aren’t a body builder or a professional mover, which makes it even more important to learn how to move heavy furniture the right way and to acquire any equipment or tools you’ll need before you attempt to move anything, especially on your own.
• Before attempting to move furniture, especially heavy furniture, seriously consider hiring professional movers to do the “heavy lifting” for you. While it may be tempting to save money and move the furniture yourself, many people underestimate the strength and expertise needed to safely and effectively move heavy furniture, especially in special circumstances such as moving furniture down flights of stairs, carrying furniture over uneven terrain or attempting to safely load furniture into a moving truck. Moving heavy furniture isn’t a casual undertaking, and inexperienced movers can be seriously hurt or even killed by falling furniture. Lesser concerns can include serious damage to the furniture or to the floors and walls of your home.
When hiring movers, do your research to ensure that you are hiring reputable and experienced professionals. Ask for references and verify that they are licensed, insured and bonded, as amateur or unlicensed movers can pose a serious security and liability risk to you and your family.
• If you are determined or forced to move your own furniture, ensure that you are in good enough physical shape to do so, and regularly stretch your muscles before exerting yourself. You’ll need to purchase some equipment and supplies including moving blankets, a moving dolly or hand truck and furniture sliders. Make sure that you have gloves and shoes that are suitable for the job at hand. Learn the most safe and effective ways to lift and carry heavy objects, including bending at the knees when lifting.
• Before starting the process of moving your heavy furniture, ensure that the entire pathway from the present location of the furniture to its destination is clear of obstacles and hazards, including ice and snow, water, loose gravel, children’s toys, trash or pet droppings. If this pathway includes a public area with lots of foot traffic, consider scheduling your furniture transportation during an off time or enlisting a friend to walk before you and ensure the pathway is clear of people, children and pets. If you are currently living in an apartment or condominium complex, consult with the building manager to find out if any rules apply or even if they have equipment or supplies you can borrow to complete your project.
• The most important technique to learn and practice is the high-low method of moving heavy furniture, which requires at least two active participants. This technique involves tilting a piece of furniture back so that the first mover grasps the top of the furniture and the second mover grasps the bottom. Carrying furniture in this manner helps to more evenly and safely distribute the weight while allowing for less movement while moving furniture up and down stairs, around corners and into a moving truck. This method also makes it easier to place and reposition furniture in your new home as well.
• Don’t be afraid to liberally use the equipment and supplies you purchased or borrowed for your moving project, including the furniture blankets, dolly or hand truck and moving sliders, and take the time to complete your moving project safely and successfully. Your ultimate goal is to transport your heavy furniture safely and with minimal to no damage to the furniture, the truck or van you’re using to transport the furniture and to your home. Always plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to do things the right way, and ensure that anyone you’ve enlisted to help you is on the same page as you and openly communicating with you during the process.