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How to Move Heavy Furniture by Yourself: 14 Tips & Tricks

man and woman covering furniture with plastic

Although there are some items, like double wardrobes and couches, that you should not move by yourself, it is possible to safely and effectively move a lot of furniture items without calling for assistance from friends or family. Preparation is key to moving just about any piece of furniture, whether you are rearranging a single room or attempting to move chairs and other items into a removal van.

Below, we have highlighted 14 tips and tricks to help you move heavy furniture by yourself. But if you’re in doubt or are struggling, always err on the side of caution and wait until you have assistance.

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The 14 Tips & Tricks To Move Heavy Furniture Yourself


1. Dress Appropriately

Dressing appropriately is not only important for safety but it can help you move items more easily. Avoid clothes that are too loose-fitting, or you can get chair legs and other protrusions caught in your clothing. Wear trainers with a good grip or work shoes to protect your feet. Slippery shoes will prevent you from getting a good grip, which can lead to accidents and injuries. Consider wearing work gloves to help improve hand grip and protect your knuckles and fingers from knocks and bangs.

Photo Credit By: lomiso, Shutterstock

2. Clear a Path

Whether you’re moving furniture from one room to another or into a removal van, ensure that you have a clear path through. If you have to squeeze between other pieces of furniture and there are boxes in the way, you will struggle to get the furniture through, so you are more likely to drop items, knock walls, and cause damage.

3. Empty Everything Out

When trying to move drawers, wardrobes, and other pieces of furniture that contain items, remove them before you start. A single T-shirt might not weigh much, but it’s surprising just how heavy a wardrobe full of clothes can be.

4. Take Furniture Apart

Whether it’s a flat-packed wardrobe, modular couch, or your bed, most pieces of furniture can be taken apart to some extent. Once you’ve removed the screws and other fasteners, put them in a Ziploc bag and tape it to the furniture it came from. That way, if you are pulling several pieces of furniture apart you won’t be left with a large pile of screws and no idea where they came from.

Piano Mover Service Helmet
Image Credit: Just dance, Shutterstock

5. Protect Delicate Furniture

Use plastic or items like rugs and blankets to wrap around delicate furniture. Pay particular attention to corners and edges because these are most likely to hit walls and other obstructions. Not only will this help protect the furniture, but it will prevent scrapes and other damage to the walls.

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Moving the Furniture

6. Use Furniture Slides

Furniture slides go under large pieces of furniture so that you can more easily slide them along the hard floor. They don’t typically work on carpets or soft floors, but if you do have a hard floor, you can even make your own makeshift slides out of pieces of cardboard. Alternatively, commercial slides are inexpensive and come in packs.

7. Use Mat and Rug Slides

If you have rugs and mats, you can use these to fashion your own furniture slides. Place a large mat under a wardrobe one corner at a time, and you may be able to pull the wardrobe into position without damaging the floor and without having to attempt to lift the whole weight of the wardrobe.

man rolling carpet
Image Credit: Ground Picture, Shutterstock

8. Get a Dolly

A two-wheeled dolly can make moving sets of drawers and some heavy items much easier. The base of the dolly goes under the item, and you tilt it back so that your arms and body take the weight while the wheels of the dolly make it easier to move the item.

9. Use 4-Wheel Dollies

Four-wheel dollies are useful for even heavier and larger items that won’t fit on a two-wheel dolly, and you can use several to move items like wardrobes. Ensure that the item you’re moving is secure and there is no danger of it rocking from side to side or falling from the dollies.

moving boxes to a new house
Image Credit: kurhan, Shutterstock

10. Use a Lifting Strap

Lifting straps are commonly used for large items that are quite heavy and allow you to spread the weight across your upper body and back. They can also be useful for lifting items that are awkward and do not have lips or grips to get hold of.

11. Move Chairs in an “L” Shape

When you are trying to move chairs out of or into a room, move them in an “L” shape by essentially twisting them around the corner. Point the back of the chair into the room and, as you move into the area, move the back around and into the space of the room. This will allow you to get chairs through doorways when they won’t fit straight in.

12. Move Couches on Their End

Depending on the length of a couch, it might be possible to put it on its end and use a slide or a dolly and simply push it directly into or out of a room. It does depend on the dimensions of the couch and the size of the doorway, but even if it doesn’t quite fit because it is too tall once on its end, you may be able to tilt the couch for an easier fit.

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Removal Van

13. Lift Objects into the Van With a Hydraulic Lift Table

A lot of moving vans have a hydraulic tail lift and if the van you’re using has one, use it. Alternatively, you can hire hydraulic lift tables that essentially do the same job. Place the table flush to the back of the van, place the item on the table so it is secure, and then use the hydraulic controls to lift it up to the level of the van.

van full of moving boxes
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

14. Use the Truck Ramp

Those trucks that don’t have a hydraulic lift may have a ramp instead. Although not as easy as using a hydraulic tail lift or table, a long ramp has a relatively shallow incline so that you can carry or push items up and into the van. Where available, make sure you use it.

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Moving furniture can be a daunting task, especially if you have to do it alone. Whether you’re moving a couch or a set of drawers, it may be possible to move the furniture without having to call a friend or family member for assistance. The tips above should help you move heavy furniture on your own, but if you are struggling, the furniture you’re moving is especially heavy, or you need to tackle stairs, you should enlist the help of an assistant.

Featured Image Credit: elabracho, Shutterstock


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