The crazy busy period of moving house is all about completing one challenging task after another. This is a good time to remind you that some pre-move jobs are tougher and much more demanding than others, and as such, they will require your utmost attention.
One such challenging task is moving heavy furniture by yourself – that is, without professional assistance. It’s a potentially painful problem that hides a score of genuine risks for you, for your friends, for the furniture pieces you’re attempting to move around, and of course – for your property as well. If you want to learn how to move heavy furniture on your own – on carpet, on hardwood floors (without scratching the floor!), upstairs or downstairs, then these very tips for moving heavy furniture at home are exactly what you need.
So, what is the best way to move heavy furniture?
Equipment to move heavy furniture
Hopefully, by now you will know perfectly well how to pack your furniture for moving – how to develop an efficient furniture moving strategy, how to prepare your own furniture for moving, and how to protect the pieces through clever furniture packing tricks that work.
So far, so good. Once your super heavy household items are ready to be moved, here’s the equipment you will actually need to get the job done.
Furniture sliders. These smart tools to move heavy furniture will come in vary handy on your moving day. The pieces of durable plastic with a hard rubber surface will let you slide your big and heavy pieces effortlessly across hardwood floors, ceramic tiles, and even carpets. Just place a slider under each leg or corner of the furniture piece you’re about to move and you’ll be able to slide the heavy object easily and safely with minimum effort. In reality, all that furniture sliders do is reduce or almost eliminate the friction between your heavy furniture pieces and the floor, thus keeping things easier for you and safer for your property. You can purchase such sliders from your local home goods store or directly from a local moving company. If you can’t really afford them, you may try using Frisbees, pieces of thick cardboard, or durable moving blankets.
Moving straps. These lifting straps connect to your shoulders and excel at taking the main weight of the furniture piece off your back and transferring that weight to your much stronger muscle groups. In case you have previous experience with moving straps and know how to use them, you can rent or purchase them from your local movers.
A moving dolly. Moving dollies are movers’ best helpers, and that is no coincidence. Whether it’s a two-wheel hand truck or a four-wheel square platform, a dolly is an excellent way to move heavy furniture without sliders. The two major rules to follow when using a dolly to move heavy furniture easily is 1) to secure the furniture piece securely on the wheeled assistant through strings, straps or rope, and 2) to always have at least one friend to help you navigate safely your way our or in.
How to lift and move heavy furniture
When moving heavy furniture by yourself, it’s imperative that you are well familiar with the proper lifting techniques in order to avoid personal injuries of any sort. The principal points to consider when handling heavy furniture pieces are:
Believe it or not, the number one safety rule is to lift with your legs, not your back. While keeping your back straight, bend at the knees and use the unparalleled strength of your lower limbs to lift heavy and move heavy furniture;
Whenever possible, it’s always more preferable to push heavyweight furniture pieces than to pull them;
If you are forced to turn while holding and/or carrying heavy furniture at home, do so with your feet and not with your hips;
Always keep heavy household items close to your body and in relatively central position in relation to your body;
Always keep your eyes in front of you;
Never lift heavy furniture pieces above your head.
IMPORTANT: You are strongly advised to have at least one friend (preferably two) to help you move really heavy furniture pieces. Remember that that challenging task is no joke, and the risks of moving heavy furniture with one person are too many to count and even predict. In case you have no friends to count on at the moment, don’t hesitate to hire the pros for best results.
How to move heavy furniture on carpet
While some types of carpets will let you slide heavy furniture pieces to some extent, you shouldn’t rely on that to complete the task at hand. Large furniture with legs such as desks or tables cannot be slid on carpet on their own as the legs tend to dig into the fabric and resist any attempts to be pushed or pulled across the floor.
Your best bet? Use furniture sliders that are specially designed for carpeted floors. Lift each corner or leg of the furniture piece, place a slider underneath (the smooth edge of the slider should be pointing towards the floor) and push the heavy object in the desired direction from a lower section as opposed to from the top. Be sure to have a friend help you do it to prevent the furniture piece from tipping over while in motion.
How to move heavy furniture on hardwood floors
If you have rooms with hardwood floors, then learning how to move heavy furniture without scratching the floor is essential. The thing to remember here is that sliding large and heavyweight pieces of furniture along hardwood floors is not usually recommended because even sliders might leave marks on the floor.
Therefore, it’s best if you use a moving dolly with soft rubber wheels that are known to be floor-friendly. If you don’t have one, you can still use furniture sliders but opt for ones that are designed for hardwood floors. Also, to guarantee a problem-free furniture moving adventure, consider lifting slightly the furniture piece as you’re sliding it, if that’s even possible.
How to move heavy furniture upstairs or downstairs
When moving heavy furniture at home, stairs will surely prove to be the ultimate challenge for you. Oftentimes, the weight of your pieces is not the only thing to worry about – their shapes and sizes come suddenly into play as well.
What you can do when having to move heavy furniture upstairs or downstairs is to first reduce their size by removing any parts that can be taken apart safely and reduce their weight by emptying them (unless you’ve already done these two steps during the furniture packing process as you should have). Only then should you actually use a proven trick to move heavy furniture – to secure wooden planks underneath the furniture piece to serve as a loading/unloading platform, wrap the planks in moving blankets and then slide your furniture along the stairs on those sturdy planks with at least 3 other people to help you out.
Have in mind that that furniture moving technique can be dangerous, so if you’re not entirely sure how to do it safely, don’t do it all. Instead, call in professional furniture movers who have the experience, equipment and know-how to move heavy furniture quickly and safely.