Updated 3/25/17 from an article originally published 5/18/2013.
Whether you’re hiring professionals or doing it yourself, your furniture should always be handled with care during a move. When you arrive at your new home, you want your most expensive (and heavy) items to be damage free. Without the proper precautions, wood furniture can get gouged, upholstery can be ripped, and glass can break. Learn how to protect your furniture throughout every phase of your move.
Luckily, with a few supplies and some easy tricks, you can move your fragile furniture without worrying about potential damage. These furniture packing tips will work whether you are moving into a new home or relocating these items into storage.
1. Gather Packing Supplies
It’s a common moving myth that all you need to pack and protect your belongings are some cardboard boxes, packing tape, and moving blankets. While these items will work, investing in a few more supplies will ensure your move to a new home or relocation to a storage facility is flawless. Head to your local hardware store or shop on Amazon to purchase the following additional items for your furniture:
● Bubble Wrap
● Sofa and mattress covers
● Plastic stretch wrap
● Sealable plastic bags
● Corrugated cardboard sheets
2. Prep Furniture for Packing
Before you pack anything, take the time to thoroughly clean and dust your furniture. Dust and other debris can scratch hard surfaces during the moving process. Cleaning the furniture before you move also means you won’t drag any unnecessary grime into your new home.
Take a few minutes to remove any knobs, casters, or pulls from your furniture. Take the drawers out of dressers and desks and pack other items inside them. This gives you extra storage space while lightening up heavy furniture for the move.
3. Dismantle Furniture in Advance
Whenever possible, dismantle your furniture completely. Remove the legs from tables and couches. Take bed frames completely apart. Remove cushions. In short, if a piece of furniture can be safely dismantled, do it. This will make the furniture easier to move and will help prevent damage caused by brushing up against walls or door frames. It will also make it easier to pack your moving truck. Keep the following tips in mind:
● Always use an owner’s manual, if available, to determine how to dismantle furniture correctly.
● Use sealable plastic bags to hold the screws and other hardware for each piece of furniture. Tape the bag securely to the item to prevent losing any hardware.
● If a piece of furniture has a lot of pieces, use masking tape and a marker to note where each piece goes. This will go a long way to protect your furniture.
● Go easy with the drill when dismantling and reassembling. You don’t want to risk stripping the screws. Make sure you lower the torque setting and use the correct size drill bit for the job.
● Consider dismantling furniture the day before to save time on moving day.
4. Learn How to Wrap Furniture Correctly
Bubble Wrap and plastic sheeting are two of the best tools at your disposal when it comes to safely moving your furniture. Use Bubble Wrap to protect delicate wood pieces. Plastic wrap or specially designed plastic sofa covers should be used to protect your upholstered items. In a pinch, old blankets or packing blankets will work. It is also a good idea to use corrugated cardboard sheets in between wooden pieces. This adds extra protection and helps prevent gouges or scratches while furniture is on the truck.
Bubble Wrap is also ideal for protecting glass table tops and mirrors. Consider taping a giant “X” on the item first using painter’s tape so, if it does break, it will be less likely to shatter. Wrap the glass or mirror completely, paying special attention to the corners. Finish by placing the item between two sheets of corrugated cardboard.
5. Have a Placement Plan
How you place your items in the moving truck is equally important; take the time to plan. This will make things easier for you and your movers.
● Start out by creating a wall of boxes across the backend of the truck. Boxes should be the same size, sealed, and tightly packed to prevent slipping. Choose your heaviest boxes, which shouldn’t contain fragile items, for this section. It will bring added stability.
● Move in any square furniture, such as dressers or desks. Place them directly against your box wall for added cushion. Be sure to use packing blankets or corrugated cardboard between pieces.
● Use the tops of the dressers for more boxes — just be sure the boxes are lightweight and tightly packed to prevent slippage.
● Move in mattresses next. Place a blanket on the floor to protect your mattress from dirt, especially if you haven’t wrapped it.
● Upholstered items need additional care. Use rope to secure the pieces to the hooks in the truck and carefully choose which items will be packed around them. Even though you wrapped your upholstered items, include a layer of packing blankets for added security.
● Don’t forget to take care when unloading the truck as well. Make sure the path to each room is clearly marked for the movers. The less time spent finding the correct spot to put down your heavy furniture, the less likely it will become damaged.
Moving doesn’t have to be stressful. Take some of the worry out of the equation by packing, securing, and moving your larger items properly. Doing so will help ensure your furniture arrives at your new home in good shape. If you decide to utilize self storage for your move, learn more about how to keep your items safe inside a storage unit.