18 Safety Tips for Moving Furniture

Our Boston Movers from Milwus Moving Company invite you to familiarize yourself with the recommendations for safe transport of furniture.

Everyone knows that moving is a huge hassle. You’ve got to pack up all your worldly belongings, hire movers (or attempt to do it yourself), and make sure you don’t break any vases or mirrors in the process. But if you want to minimize your stress level – and avoid nasty bumps and scrapes – here are ten helpful tips for safe furniture moving:

1. Read The Manual Before You Move It

If you’re picking up a new piece of furniture, whether from a store or from Craigslist, be sure to read through its manual first. In many cases, manuals provide useful information about how best to care for the furnishing before transporting it. Better yet, they may even include special tips on dismantling or reassembling the furniture, which can help you avoid damaging the item.

2. Pay Attention To The Furniture’s Weight And Size

There’s no getting around it: some pieces of furniture are heavier and bulkier than others. But if you’re planning to transport your large appliances in your car, don’t wait until the day before to figure out how you’ll fit them into the trunk or backseat. For extra protection, cover upholstered items with blankets or moving pads when transporting them in your vehicle. Also note that certain pieces of upholstered furniture have an indented side that should face either forward or backward when being transported in a vehicle, so double-check this before leaving for your destination!

3 . Pack Your Items Properly

When packing and loading your items for transport, always lift with your legs, not with your back. Make sure to pack heavy items on the bottom of the box and lighter ones toward the top. Items stored at the bottom of a moving box will be easier to retrieve as well—so make sure you don’t stack heavier boxes overtop lighter ones (this is especially important if you’re transporting books or other fragile goods). Also take care when packing fragile items: consider surrounding them with pillows or clothing for protection during transport.  

4 . Remove Drawers and Shelves Before Transporting Furniture

When it comes to putting together and taking apart furniture (especially those that require tools), always follow the manufacturer’s directions first! However, when removing drawers and shelves make sure you move them in the correct direction. Remove any back screws or fasteners before sliding out the drawer (a screwdriver might be helpful for this), and secure them to the unit using masking tape before moving to your new home.

5 . Invest in Good Packing Materials

Investing in good packing materials will not only protect your belongings, but also prevent damage to other items during transit—and that means less stress on your part! Whether you choose to use old newspapers, plastic bags or bubble wrap, try not to cut costs here. Packing properly is wha t will help you avoid damage and safe money on replacement costs.

6 . Use the Right Tools

I know we’re all tempted to just throw everything in a box and call it good, but some items require specialized packing tools and knowledge of proper procedures. For example: A large flat-screen TV is best protected by disassembling it from its stand or wall mount, boxing each piece separately for safety. Heavier furniture pieces such as armoires should be completely emptied before moving so they can be carefully lifted without breaking them. Ask your movers what equipment they have available to safely pack fragile items such as TVs, glassware, fine china and framed artwork.

7 . Secure Your Furniture

Use straps or stretch wrap to secure any loose or breakable items. Doing so will prevent your belongings from shifting during the move and causing damage to the contents of a box, as well as any other boxes stacked on top of it. If you don’t have these supplies on-hand, use clean blankets or old sheets to protect your furniture pieces.

8. Ask About Padding

It’s possible that your moving company will offer padding at an additional cost, but you should ask about this in advance so you can plan accordingly. There are plenty of inexpensive options to choose from, such as rolled-up blankets and quilts or old sheets and towels. Make sure the padding is clean and free of rips and tears to keep it from damaging your belongings. If you don’t want to purchase these materials yourself, ask family members or friends if they have any available for the big move day. If all else fails, use newspaper or bubble wrap – just be careful not to tape it down because if a box made of this material gets wet, the newspaper/ble wrap inside could stick together and destroy all of your stuff.

9. Use A “Two Man” Rule

Let’s face it, lifting and carrying heavy objects is no easy task. If possible, recruit a friend or family member to help you move larger pieces of furniture such as armoires, dressers and sofas. This will prevent damage to your belongings and also provide extra assistance when needed.

10. Don’t Drag Furniture Across The Floor

I cannot stress this enough: do not drag your furniture across the floor! Even if it may seem like a good idea at the time, dragging anything with wheels on hardwood floors will leave behind deep grooves that are impossible to remove without sanding down the surface of the wood. In fact, you should avoid dragging any type of furniture on any surface. Instead, lift them up and carry them carefully to their destination.

11. Don’t Leave Furniture Unattended

I know it may be tempting to leave that beautiful sofa or armoire at the top of the stairs while you run down for a quick break, but this is never a good idea. Leaving furniture unsecured can potentially cause damage to your items as well as create dangerous conditions for others who may not see the piece in its out-of-the-way spot. Always make sure heavy pieces are either secured with ropes or stack securely on top of one another so they don’t fall over unexpectedly.

12. Remove Drawers From Dressers & Nightstands Before Moving Them

Over time, dressers and nightstands tend to lean to one side, causing the drawers to jam or come off their tracks entirely. To prevent this from happening during your move, you’ll want to remove all of the drawers before dragging them through your home.

13. Don’t Remove Door Handles

Some people swear by removing door handles whenever possible, but this can be a mistake if you’re not careful about how they are removed. The knobs and hinges on doors are very delicate and can easily break when you least expect it. Instead, make a note about which doors need their hardware removed and leave it in place while the furniture is moved. If door handles will be damaged at some point during your move, that’s something that should be done after the furniture is in place.

14. Secure Loose Appliances

If appliances such as stoves, microwaves and refrigerators will be going through doors during your move, then you’ll want to secure them as much as possible with a bungee cord. If something falls off of a shelf or slides out of place while the appliance is moving from one room to another, it could cause significant damage to its exterior and contents. Keep those items from sliding around by securing them ahead of time with a strong rubber band or bungee cord. 

15. Disconnect Electrical Cords Properly

You should never rely on your memory when disconnecting electrical cords, especially if these devices have been attached to outlets for an extended period of time. Take the time to label cords with masking tape and a marker so you know exactly where they go when reconnecting them to other devices. 

16. Check Appliances for Water Leakage

When disconnecting appliances like washing machines, dishwashers or refrigerators, make sure to turn off the water source completely before beginning your move. If there is any sort of leak, then you’ll want it to be discovered before the appliance has moved an inch, not after. If water is accidentally splashed on to other furniture during your move, then there’s potential for significant damage that may even cause mold build-up in its place.

17. Don’t Attempt to Move Valuable Furniture by Yourself

If you’re moving collectibles, antiques or other valuable furniture pieces that are worth a lot of money, then it is recommended that you let a professional moving company assist with the move. They will have all of the proper equipment and supplies on hand to ensure these items arrive at their destination in one piece. If you attempt to move them on your own and drop them, lose control of them instead of carefully sliding them across a floor or put even a small scratch on any part of it, then there’s a good chance they’ll lose value as soon as you try to resell or donate it.

18. Secure Furniture for Intense Moves

When doing more strenuous moves such as stairway climbs, carrying bulky furniture up from the basement or extremely long or difficult path to a new home, it’s best to secure the furniture in place with moving straps.

The moving company you work with should provide these items for a fee but make sure to gather anything you need before they arrive because the last thing they want is have to go around looking for supplies when they could be helping you get moved instead. The same can be said for when you’re packing up any of your belongings if you plan on doing that yourself as well. If possible, pack everything into its proper room so that when it comes time for your move, there will be nothing left but assembling furniture and unpacking boxes.

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