Expert tips on how to move large furniture when you don’t have professional help.
Moving a large item of furniture may seem like a mountainous task best left to the professionals.
But these expert tips will show you how to move even the most awkward shaped large items of furniture.
Plan the move ahead of time
Whether you’re moving a single item or an entire household, don’t leave it until moving day to work out logistics.
Planning and strategy take the headache – and backache – out of moving.
Write a list of all large items that need to be loaded on and off the moving van.
Work out the order in which you’ll tackle each piece of furniture.
If you’re moving a household, the biggest and heaviest items should be loaded onto the vehicle first.
Place them at the back and down the sides of the truck to help balance the load.
Fill in the central space with boxes, crates and smaller items.
Enlist help from friends or family
Ask for help from friends or relatives. Let them know exactly when you’ll need their services and for how long.
When it comes to moving large items, it requires at least two people, and sometimes three or four.
Rent or buy equipment to help move large furniture items
As a rule, it’s best to slide, push or drag items rather than lift them.
Various kinds of equipment and tools can make this easier:
• Sliders – hard or soft plastic or felt sliders are placed beneath the legs or corners of a piece of furniture to reduce friction and help it glide across the floor. Use hard sliders for carpeting and soft, padded sliders for hard flooring.
• Dollies – a large item can be secured to either a four-wheeled square platform or a two-wheel hand truck to make it easier to push furniture.
• Moving straps – usually positioned over the shoulders, adjustable moving straps (also called furniture lifting straps) make it easier to lift heavy or bulky items and to keep them stable while you’re moving them.
Reduce furniture to smallest size
Before you attempt to move a large piece of furniture make it as small as possible.
Take off all removable parts, such as legs, drawers, cushions and knobs, and store and move separately.
Dismantle pieces like bed frames, sectional sofas and shelving units.
Place any screws or parts in a labelled bag and store it safely. Make a note of where you’ve put it.
Take time to protect your furniture
Use blankets, bubble wrap or stretch film to protect furniture, especially vulnerable corners.
Learn the correct lifting technique
The goal is to slide, glide or push the heavy item, but lifting at some stage may be unavoidable. All furniture will have to be loaded on and off the moving truck.
Safety is paramount, so you want to carry the weight of the item in your legs, not your back.
The best way to achieve this is to bend from your knees, not your waist.
Don’t bend over. Settle the weight correctly by squatting down at your knees for the initial lift.
Take the weight on your arms and legs, and carry the item as close to your body as possible.
This helps with balance and uses your upper arms and shoulders instead of your forearms.
Don’t twist while lifting and walk slowly and with measured steps.
Keep eyes and ears open
Make sure you can always see where you’re going.
Keep your head facing forward, not looking down.
Get a helper to keep a lookout at all times while the item is being moved.
Stay safe on stairs
You need a partner to help you move a large item up or down stairs.
The carrying angle should roughly match the angle of the stairs.
Achieve this by the person lower on the stairs carrying the item from its bottom surface.
The person higher on the stairs should try to carry the item from its top surface.
Move very slowly and take a break when necessary.
The person at the bottom, who is taking most of the weight, must set the pace.
Loading and unloading the van
If you don’t have or hire ramps, use timber or scaffold planks and blocks to create ramps to help manoeuvre items on and off the truck.
At your destination, make sure you have worked out where all large items are being placed.
Ideas for awkward shapes and angles
• Sofa – to get a sofa or couch through a doorway, place it on its end and slide it through, facing either forwards or sideways (depending on its design).
• Tall furniture – using two people, tip the tall item backwards at an angle so one person can carry the top while the other carries the bottom.
• Corners – turn a chair on its side and “hook” it around a corner.
At XtraSpace, we offer clean, secure self-storage units that are ideal for storing furniture and other large items until you’re ready to move them into your new home or premises. Contact us for more information or browse to find a branch near you.