Whether you’re relocating to a new place or simply rearranging in your current one, moving large pieces of furniture is no easy task. It can be quite arduous – especially when you’re moving up and down stairs, through narrow doorways, and around tricky corners. There’s also the risk of damaging your belongings or getting injured in the process.
If you’re planning to move large, heavy furniture by yourself, we’ve got you covered. Here are some tips and tricks to moving your furniture without breaking your back.
Create a Plan
Regardless of what type of move you’re doing, the key to a successful move is good planning. If you’re moving to a new location, taking an inventory of all the heavy items that need to get on the moving truck is a must. This will help you decide which items go first in the truck and where you should place them.
As a rule of thumb, large, heavy items always go first and should be placed toward the back of the truck bed and around the sides to balance the load. This means that you’re going to do the heavy lifting right in the beginning. So you’ll want to consider the obstacles of moving your furniture so you can make your move more efficient.
Most of the time, it’s impossible to move large furniture alone. So if you’re moving items to another location in your home without the help of a professional, ask a family member or a friend to help out. When moving, four hands are always better than two so always ask for help. If the move is more than you can manage, think about using our professional moving services at The Padded Wagon.
Let the Equipment Do the Work
With the help of some equipment, save yourself from all the backaches and strains that come with moving. These items can be bought or rented so you’ll want to consider how often you will be using them.
Here is some DIY moving equipment you’ll need to move heavy furniture by yourself:
Furniture Straps/Moving straps
These devices allow you to keep the weight of the item in your “safe lifting zone” or “power zone,” the area between the mid-thigh and mid-chest where the arms and back can lift the most with the least effort required.
This is perfect for moving bulky, oddly-shaped furniture. There are different types of moving straps including simple straps and forearm forklift straps, each of which has a different use. So be sure you’re buying the right one.
Furniture sliders are items that you can place on each leg or corner of the furniture to easily glide it on the floor. These items are an absolute must-have for DIY furniture moving. You can quickly make your own sliders using bedspreads, plastic container covers, frisbees, and even towels or buy them online.
Essentially, you’ll want to use plastic sliders for the carpet floor and soft, padded sliders for hard flooring such as wood and tiles. This makes the job easier and protects your floor from damage.
Furniture dollies are another type of device that can help take the weight off your back and shoulders when moving large pieces of furniture. These platforms come with wheels and/or handles to make it easier to move household items that are too heavy or difficult to carry.
There are many different types of dollies but you should be just fine with a basic four-wheel model. But if you want dollies that can bring items up and downstairs, a hand truck dolly or desk-lift style dolly might be a better option.
Smaller is Better
You don’t have to move large furniture as is. The more you can break the furniture into smaller parts, the better. This way large pieces of furniture like bookcases, desks, and sofas become more manageable.
Try removing the legs, cushions, knobs, drawers, and all other pieces that can be removed for easier moving. If you have to remove screws or other smaller pieces of the furniture, be sure to put them in a baggie or ziploc bag and label them so it’s easy to put them back.
Follow Proper Lifting Techniques
Proper lifting mechanics are crucial to avoiding injury to your body and damage to your items. Here are some lifting techniques that should follow when moving large items:
Keep items close to your body.
Carrying items close to your body when lifting heavy items is an excellent way to maintain stability and keeps your upper arms and elbows involved in the task.
Bend your knees, not your back.
Always bend your knees and not your back. Instead of bending over, try to bend your knees to assist the lift. This allows you to use your leg muscles to power the lift and not your weaker back muscles.
Avoid twisting your waist while carrying items.
Move your feet to turn together with the load instead of twisting your waist to avoid injury. Also, be sure that you can see where you’re going. Keep your eyes forward, not looking down.
Use the “L” method when moving chairs through doorways.
Moving chairs through doors can be tricky. But this can be quickly done by hooking large chairs around corners. To do this, turn the chair on its side so it looks like an “L” and move it back-first through the doorway and then twist to bring the other end to slip it through.
Carry Items High and Low
When moving items up and down stairs, the easiest way to do it is to carry items high and low. Meaning, the person that is lower on the stairs carries the bottom part of the item and the person higher on the stairs carries the item from its top.
That’s it! You see, with the right combination of planning, equipment, and technique, you can make your move quicker, easier, and safer. If moving heavy furniture sounds like too much work, feel free to contact The Padded Wagon and let our professional movers do the job for you. We provide moving, shipping and storage services in New York City, New Jersey, Florida, Los Angeles, and Northern Ireland.