Moving heavy furniture doesn’t have to be a back-breaking task. You’ll find reasonably priced little helpers online and at the corner hardware store.


When it comes to moving a full home or items that are really heavy, we recommend leaving the job to professional movers so you don’t risk injury – but for other, smaller moving jobs, we hope these tips help you get the job done.


Furniture sliders

furniture sliders © image via Harborfreight

Furniture sliders are raised discs with soft felt on the one side, and durable plastic on the other.


All you’ve got to do is lift each corner of a couch, cabinet or table and place a slider underneath, plastic side facing down. You can then slide the furniture to wherever you want it, without breaking into a sweat.


You can find furniture sliders in all sorts of shapes and sizes at various outlets across South Africa. The Grass Company and the Crazy Store websites are examples.


If you can’t get to a supplier or hardware store, glossy magazines or frisbees are as effective in getting the heavy moving done.


Shoulder dolly

shoulder dolly © image via Shoulder Dolly

A shoulder dolly is a two-person lifting system consisting of straps and harnesses. It’s ergonomically designed, ensuring that you use the strong muscles in the torso and legs rather than your back to lift.


Straps are fully adjustable and can accommodate bulky pieces of furniture. There’s the added benefit of having your hands and arms free to open doors and maintain much-needed balance.


One example of where you can get a shoulder dolly (in this case imported from the United States) is



blanket furniture mover © image via The Family HandyMan

Professional removals companies use thick, durable padded moving blankets to protect furniture in transit. They also use them to move heavy items from the removals van into your home.


If you don’t have moving blankets, old duvets, blankets and canvas tarpaulins will do the trick. The principle is the same as the furniture slider, but this time you slide the blanket under the entire item, and pull it into place.


A canvas tarp is particularly effective on rough unfinished surfaces, such as brick or cement. You can also use old bath mats or yoga mats for smaller furniture items, as the non-slip backings work well in keeping the item in place.


Furniture dolly

furniture dolly © image via My Re-purposed Life

The furniture dolly is a flat platform on casters or wheels. It can be made of wood or aluminium, and is available in various forms. You will need another helper, as the idea is to place the furniture item onto the platform, and wheel it to its new location.


You can buy a furniture dolly at Adendorff Machinery Mart, Mr Shelf and other stockists of workshop tools and equipment. Alternatively, you can make your own moving dolly using an old palette or sturdy piece of wood and heavy duty castors.



If you need to move a futon or fold-away mattress, rope is the answer. Simply fold the mattress up, and tie two pieces of rope around the middle, equidistant from the sides. Grab both ropes and slide the futon to its next destination.


You can also use ropes to move small pieces of furniture over balustrades and balconies, from one floor to the next. Tie a long extension of nylon rope around the middle of the item, and slowly pull it up.


You will need a second person to help you get the item up and over the balustrade, and safely down onto the floor.


Need to store heavy items?

xtraspace storage for heavy items


At XtraSpace, we offer affordable, secure self-storage units in a wide range of sizes – and our friendly staff are always on hand to help with moving heavy items. Visit our website to find your nearest branch or to get a self-storage quote.

Contact us