Fact: Furniture is one of the hardest and most dreaded things to move. It’s big, heavy, awkwardly-shaped, and can also become damaged or cause personal injury if moved incorrectly. Your best bet when moving furniture is to hire professional movers to handle the job for you. But if you are faced with a do-it-yourself move, you will need to know how to do it safely and successfully. Here are our most valuable safety tips for moving furniture:
When moving large furniture, it probably seems easiest to move the entire piece at once. But in truth, doing so will likely lead to problems. Furniture is one of the most difficult items to move, due to extra-large dimensions, serious weight, awkward shape, and often fragility and high value (e.g., antique furniture). To make the task easier, it is best to take the time to disassemble your furniture. Here’s why:
- Certain furniture pieces are too big to fit through standard doorways and narrow hallways.
- Some furniture pieces are too heavy and awkwardly-shaped to be carried up or down stairs.
- Some furniture pieces are too fragile – especially those with breakable glass or frail ornamentations.
Identify and Eliminate Moving Dangers
No matter what you are moving, safety is always of utmost importance. Ignore major moving safety tips and you could end up with broken belongings or personal injuries. There are many safety tips to consider when moving large furniture items. The number one safety goal is to keep exit paths and outdoor pathways clear of potential dangers. Random obstacles, packed cardboard boxes or any disorganized clutter inside or outside your home can lead to bad accidents. Another thing to remove is any dust, mud, snow, and especially ice, which can create slippery surfaces and serious injuries.
The stress and burden of moving house is much too great for a single person to handle all on their own. This includes handling very heavy and oversized pieces of furniture. Before you try to move furniture by yourself, remember that moving house is a team effort, not a solo performance. Not only is it difficult – often impossible – to move furniture by yourself, but it is also dangerous. So be smart. Gather a team of friends to help you, or opt for professional movers who can do the job for you.
Use Proper Equipment
The bigger and heavier an object is, the harder, trickier and riskier it will be to move it. To prevent accidents and injury while moving large furniture, it’s vital to have the proper tools and equipment. To make your move easier and safer, rent or purchase the following moving equipment:
- Furniture Dolly. A furniture dolly is an L-shaped, two-wheeled handcart that is useful and efficient when lifting or moving heavy objects. You can rent a dolly from a local moving company or can purchase one if you feel you will get good use out of owning one.
- Furniture Slides. A furniture slider is another important piece of equipment to obtain when moving heavy items, like furniture. Slides feature durable plastic on one side and hard rubber on the other. Providing a frictionless slide, furniture can be positioned on top of it in order to be moved a short distance or all the way across a room.
- Moving Straps. Moving straps are a very useful tool when moving heavy furniture. This is why professional movers often use them! When secured in place around your body, the weight of heavy items is redirected away from your back to a stronger muscle group. As a result, the object is easier to move and will not cause bodily harm.
Use Correct Lifting Techniques
When moving heavy objects, your body will be forced to do a lot of awkward and uncommon movements – bending, pushing, pulling, twisting and lifting. The problem is that you or one of your helpers are put at a high risk of injury. This is why it is crucial to use correct lifting techniques when moving furniture. Here are some safe lifting techniques to know and use:
- Always lift with your legs. To do this, bend your knees, keep your back straight and use the strength of your lower limbs when lifting. This will spare your back from strains, pulls and other potential problems.
- Avoid pulling heavy furniture. Instead, push these items whenever possible. Be sure to have furniture sliders underneath for an easier slide.
- When turning sideways or around while holding big, heavy furniture, do so with your legs, not your hips.
- Hold furniture you are moving as close to your body as possible and in the relative center of your body.
- To avoid injury from poor footing, make slow, smooth movements and take small steps.
- Keep your eyes and attention focused in front of you – especially if moving something by yourself.
Wearing the wrong clothes or footwear can lead to unsafe moving conditions. This brings us to our final safety tip for moving furniture: dress appropriately. To achieve the level of safety you seek, here are some things to consider:
- Wear comfortable clothes that let you move freely. Ideally, they should be made of material that is flexible and breathable.
- Avoid clothes that you will be sorry to see get dirty or ruined.
- Avoid baggy clothes that can become easily hooked on a piece of furniture, get caught in a door, etc.
- Wear shoes that are closed and have rubber, anti-slip soles. Footwear should also provide good support, especially around the ankles.
- Wear high-quality work gloves to improve your grip and to protect your hands.
For more ways to make your move easier, click here.