How to move heavy furniture?
No matter where or how you live, you inevitably have some heavy furniture that you’ll need to carry when moving out of a home and moving into a new one. Now, we’re going to go out on a limb and assume that you are not a super strong and ripped bodybuilder who can lift heavy furniture easily from point A to point B. Instead, we’re going to assume that you are an average person, with an average amount of muscle, whose sole goal is to get all their furniture in their new home, and avoid ending up with a broken back. We, here at MovingWaldo, have got your (not-broken) back with this article where we listed our 10 tips on how to move heavy furniture!
1. Drag your furniture instead of lifting it
For furniture pieces like couches, chairs or tables, put plastic sliders on your furniture legs to slide them. You can also use a moving pad or a large piece of flattened cardboard, as well as a moving blanket that you wrap around furniture to protect them from scratches and dents. Simply put the furniture on the blanket spread out on the ground and drag the furniture–this allows you to not do any lifting, plus it eliminates any chance of dropping and damaging the furniture.
2. Invest in tools that help you lift your furniture
There are two main devices that can help you lift heavy furniture more easily:
- Moving straps: These lifting straps can be adjusted for objects of different lengths, as well as for movers of different sizes. They help reduce weight strain on your arms. You can buy or rent some either at home centers or online (they are available on Amazon).
- Moving dollies: They are really useful if you’re moving extra heavy items like appliances. They also allow to easily move heavy loads up and down stairs and curbs. You can buy or rent some, either at home centers or online. One word of caution though; avoid using a dolly with items that are higher than chest-level (you can find a shoulder dolly on Amazon).
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3. Carry tall items high and low
With the help of another person, carry tall furniture from the top and the bottom. Tip the item backward at an angle and one person carries the top while the other carries the bottom. This allows for the item to be centered and keeps it from swinging out of control. This also makes it easier to carry in stairs.
4. Protect your furniture
Use moving pads and large bands to tie them on to protect your wood furniture, which you can rent. You can also buy professional grade shrink wrap to protect upholstered furniture.
Moreover, it is crucial to protect your floors, especially if they are hardwood, tile, vinyl or carpeted. You can use large pieces of thick cardboard to cover the exit pathways of your home appliances, or place protective sheets of durable polyethylene on passages where you know there will be a lot of traffic. That way, you can avoid incurring expensive home repairs right after moving into your new home. You should also pay close attention to your walls when moving your large appliances, as they can be in danger of property damage as well.
Finally, for large appliances like your refrigerator, dishwasher, or washing machine, it’s imperative that you clean and dry them before moving to avoid the accumulation of mildew and mold.
5. Use specific techniques to move certain types of furniture
- To move couches through doorways, carry them vertically on their side. If the couch is a bit taller than the door opening, start with the top away from the door so that you gain several inches of clearance
- To move large chairs, turn them on their side, so that they are in an “L” shape. Move the back first around the corner and out the doorway
- For mattresses, you might have noticed that some of them have handles. These handles are not made for carrying, but they can be used to do just that. Thread a rope through these handles, then slip pieces of PVC pipe over the rope ends, loop and tie each end to create a sling. This way, you can get a good grip on the mattress. You can also purchase a plastic mattress bag to put over the mattress to make sure that it does not get dirty during the move.
6. Remove any items inside the furniture
For example, if you’re moving a dresser or a bookcase, remove the clothes or books inside. Or if it’s a sofa, remove the cushions and also the feet. For some furniture, you can remove knobs, drawers, shelves, legs–this will make it easier to pass through a doorway.
7. Plan what furniture goes where
Creating a floorplan is the most efficient method to plan where the furniture will go. This way, you’ll avoid having to move the same heavy furniture multiple times.
8. Precautions to take to prevent injury
- Make sure the exit paths are clear. Ensure that there are no obstacles along the pathways that could jeopardize not only your move, but also your safety. The paths outside your home should also be free of any obstacle, like debris, water, mud, or ice.
- Lift with your legs, arms and shoulders and not with your back. Keep your back as straight as possible, bend at the knees and use the strength of your lower limbs to lift and move heavy furniture
- Keep in mind that it’s always more preferable to push heavy furniture pieces, than to pull them
- When you need to turn while holding and/or carrying heavy furniture at home, do not twist your body. Instead of turning with your hips at your waist, do so with your feet.
- Take small steps, and avoid making any sudden and abrupt movements that could create huge pressure on certain parts of your body. If you take slow and smooth movements, it will allow the muscles and soft tissues in your body to slowly adapt to the extra efforts.
- Never lift an item above shoulder level. Always lift heavy items up to your waist. If you try to lift heavy things over your head, you will put pressure on your arm and back muscles. That’s why weight distribution is critical! If the load you’re attempting to carry over your head turns out to be too heavy for you and its weight isn’t distributed in an even manner, you can easily pull a muscle.
- Make sure you have a good and firm grip on the piece of furniture before lifting it. You can opt for work gloves that will improve the grip on the object significantly, as well as protecting your fingers and hands.
- Stretch your legs and back before the task–this way, you’ll avoid being sore the day after. Moving is kind of an exercise on its own!
9. Spend money on things that matter
Don’t be afraid to spend money on things that will help your move in a significant manner, like the plastic sliders, blankets or dolly. You can create a moving budget to carefully plan your expenses and avoid any unwanted events. Keep in mind that trying to save money could actually cost you more in medical bills if something happens to you while moving. Better safe than sorry, right?
10. Don’t be shy
Ask your friends or family for help! Especially if you are trying to move something that weighs 300 lb. or more, it is best that there are at least four people present. Don’t be afraid to request a quote from professional movers. It may be worth the extra cost !
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