Whether you are moving home or just rearranging the look of your reception room, we’ve all got that one piece of heavy furniture that needs shifting.
Unless you are a powerlifter capable of competing in the World’s Strongest Man competition, trying to shift these items can amount to a Herculean task.
While you can call in the professionals. If you would prefer to do this yourself, there is definitely a right and wrong way to move heavy furniture.
If not done properly, you risk injuring yourself or damaging your property. You can also expend a lot of energy and waste a lot of time.
So, with that in mind, here are a few hints and tips on appropriate techniques to adopt when shifting awkward or heavy items.
Adhere to these and you shouldn’t have too many problems moving yours.
1. Protect your most fragile furniture items
The first thing to do before moving anything is to safeguard your most fragile furniture items.
Moving blankets are an excellent way to do this as they offer protection against damages that can happen in transit. They also make the furniture a little easier to carry as well.
These blankets can be rented from transport or removal companies, although you can also buy them from a store like Bunnings or Officeworks.
Once you have procured your blankets, wrap them around your furniture, ensuring that the edges and any sharp bits are fully covered. To secure it further, you can tape on an additional layer of bubble wrap.
2. Use a combination of a ramp and a rope
If you find yourself having to move bulky items on your own, consider creating a makeshift ramp with 19 mm plywood. This will more easily help you to take the furniture down a few stairs or slide it over a doorstep.
Before doing this, be sure to tie a sturdy braided style of rope like a static climbing rope around something that won’t move. This could be the newel post which resides at the head of the staircase. Doing this will help you manage the speed at which you descend the stairs.
Also, use a good pair of gloves, as this will prevent you from suffering from rope burn.
Should you need to move heavy furniture pieces, either up or down a full set of stairs, it is a good idea to hire out a stair climbing trolley. If you do, look for one that has in-built straps.
3. Get some straps
To make moving heavy furniture easier, the other thing you can do is get some straps.
Specially designed lifting and moving straps provide much less strain to your back. They do this by utilising the purchase they get from your skeleton, which in turn allows you to call upon your larger muscle groups to do the bulk of the heavy lifting.
These types of straps also make it a lot easier to negotiate taller items through doorways without you having to crouch, bend down or tip them over. They also make it much more straightforward to shift items that do not have good handholds and therefore would otherwise be cumbersome to carry.
If you do get straps, make sure they are adjustable and able to carry items of different sizes.
4. Hold both high and low
It can be quite awkward to move items like filing cabinets, bookcases, dressers and tallboys on your own. So usually it is a job that requires two people.
When carrying these types of furniture, it is important to hold them both high and low. In other words, make sure you tip them sideways and at an angle as this will allow one person to hold the bottom of the furniture piece and the other to grab hold of the top.
Doing this will centre and stabilise the weight of the item, which in turn will make it easier to carry, especially downstairs, as the angle effectively mimics the stair’s descent.
5. Stand sofas on their end
Couches can be very awkward to move. Generally, if you need to shift it through a doorway or down a hallway, it isn’t feasible to carry it horizontally and then try and manoeuvre it into a room.
A better thing to do is turn the couch upright and then try and slide it through the door. By doing this, you should have no trouble angling back initially before going through the door opening.
Should the couch be a little taller than the actual doorway, try leaning the top as far away from the door as you can to achieve a lot more clearance.
6. Carry curved chairs
Whilst large comfortable armchairs are wonderful to sit on, carrying them is a completely different matter.
The best way to do this is to put it on its side and then try and move it through the doorway back first. After doing this, you should be able to guide it around the door frame and slide it through all the way.
7. Get sliding
On the subject of sliding, furniture slides are a great tool to use when moving furniture.
Available from most hardware stores in several shapes and sizes, they can make things very easy to shift.
Where possible, use hard plastic sliders on the carpet and soft padded ones on hard flooring.
If you don’t have any of your own, you can make temporary versions with moving blankets, plastic container covers, old carpets and towels.
8. Create a sling for your mattress
Of all the furniture items in your house, mattresses are one of the hardest to carry.
Although they have handles, they are designed to help you position the mattress into place and not be lifted. Infact they are not actually that strong, so even if you tried to lift them up, you could find yourself struggling.
One of the easiest ways to carry a mattress is with a rope sling. You can make this by running a length of rope through each of its handles.
Once you have done this, slide through some PVC piping over the end of each rope (130 mm long and with a 25 mm diameter should do the trick) and then tie both ends to make a grip you can carry.
To do this, simply flip over the mattress, as this will ensure the sling goes to the bottom.
9. Roll with it
Although trolleys can be very convenient, the problem with them is that you need to tilt heavy and larger objects over far enough to make sure their centre of gravity resides over the wheels.
This makes it problematic to navigate your way through doorways and around corners.
One good way of doing this is to use a dolly. No, not a children’s toy, but a small platform that has castors mounted under it.
When used on flatter surfaces, it allows you to easily move furniture or heavy appliances like washing machines and fridges anywhere you want to take them.
10. Plan where you want to put it beforehand
There is nothing worse than shifting a heavy object from a van or one room to another, only for someone to be undecided as to where exactly it should go.
For this reason, when moving into a new home, make sure you know exactly where each item should be placed beforehand.
This will speed up the moving process and save you a lot of hassle and frustration.
We hope this article has given you some excellent hints and tips on how to move heavy furniture.
If you follow them, you should be able to do so without issue.
That said, if the thought of moving heavy furniture now sounds too much like arduous work after reading the article, you can always call in the professionals.
If this is something you’d rather do, why not compare furniture removalists with Muval to find the best one for you?
We hope you found this blog post on How to move heavy furniture useful. Be sure to check out our post on Why You Shouldn’t Transport Heavy Furnitures and What To Do Instead City for more great tips!
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