Moving heavy furniture on your own can be a very risky business, especially if you have no clear idea what it takes to achieve a satisfactory level of moving day safety. In order to avoid moving injuries or premature damage to your prized possessions when moving from one home to another, you have to be familiar with the major safety guidelines.
Anyone who dares to disregard the common sense safety tips when moving furniture could end up badly hurt by taking on too much weight at the same time or by handling the furniture moving job the wrong way. The good news is that you don’t have to be like any of those people who are 100% sure that safety when moving house is grossly overrated.
The best way to move heavy furniture, which coincides with the easiest way to move furniture as well, is to let top-rated movers do it for you. However, if professional moving assistance is just not the right way for you, then the following hand-picked moving day safety tips for moving furniture should keep you injury-free until you reach the protection of your new home.
1. Disassemble your furniture pieces
It’s fair to say that your large furniture pieces – king- and queen-size beds, dressers, wardrobes, cabinets, bookshelves, sectional sofas, armchairs, desks, and tables – will give you the most troubles on Moving day. In fact, furniture is regarded as one of the most difficult items to move to another home due to its oversized dimensions, considerable weight, often awkward shape, and occasional fragility and high value – antique furniture, for example.
Safety is always a big concern when moving heavy furniture by yourself, and that is exactly why the best course of action when you do decide to take some or maybe all of your large and heavy pieces with you is to hire experienced furniture movers who just know what to do.
However, in case you can’t afford professional help or you know you can take control of your house move with a few trusted friends, the next best thing is to disassembly your furniture before you take it out of your home.
It’s important to remember that furniture disassembly is one of the best safety tips for moving furniture. If you wonder why you should do it, here are just a few examples of the difficulties you may face on Moving day:
- some of your furniture pieces will be just too big to fit through standard door openings and narrow hallways unless they are broken down safely to its main components;
- some pieces will be too heavy and awkwardly shaped to be carried up or down any number of flight stairs;
- other furniture pieces you own will be too fragile to be just taken out as they are – especially if they come with breakable glass components and frail ornaments.
So, stay safe and protect your valuable possessions by disassembling your big furniture as far as they can go. Measure your furniture pieces first to see if they will fit through all door openings and hallways. If you don’t know what to do or how to do it, ask a friend who does, or even better – contact professional furniture movers.
2. Identify and eliminate furniture moving dangers
When moving heavy furniture by yourself, make sure you have a safe exit strategy that will actually work.
Safety when moving furniture is of paramount importance – disregard the major safety moving tips and you may find yourself in a world of pain.
During the notoriously chaotic move-out and move-in days, damaging your valuable furniture – as bad as it sounds – could turn out to be the lesser of two evils. Unfortunately, personal injuries of all kinds are also a genuine possibility so you must do all in your power to avoid injuries when moving house.
Luckily, some safety tips for moving heavy furniture are easier to follow than others – you only need to use your common sense to make your moving experience pain- and trouble-free. Here’s a very easy piece of safety advice to keep in mind when taking out the furniture out of your house or apartment – just keep the exit paths and outdoor pathways clear of potential dangers. Well, this task may sound easier than it actually is.
- Take a slow walk along the intended exit path of your furniture and identify any danger zones – areas, places or spots that can be hazardous when heavy items are being carried or wheeled out of the residence. Once you’ve identified the problematic areas, do your best to make them safe.
- Random obstacles, packed cardboard boxes or any disorganized clutter in your home may easily jeopardize moving day safety. Keep the pathways clear at all times.
- When you’re moving heavy furniture to the moving vehicle, the outside zones can also lead to bad accidents so you must make sure the outdoor paths are 100% free of dust, mud, snow, and especially ice.
- You can guarantee safety when moving house by creating more unobstructed space for free movement and all the accompanying unusual moves that come with Moving day.
3. Don’t form a one-man team
One of the best safety tips when moving furniture is to never try to do it all by yourself. The burden of moving house is too great for a single person, let alone handling super heavy and oversized pieces of furniture. Remember that moving house is a team effort – it was never meant to be a solo performance. After all, moving heavy furniture alone can be plain dangerous so if you do try to be a hero on your moving day for one reason or another, the results will probably be disastrous.
Think about what’s best for the wellbeing of your prized furniture on one hand, and what’s best for your own safety, and that of your family. If you can’t seem to afford to hire the services of a professional moving company, then you must make sure you will be able to get sufficient manpower from your circle of friends. Your top priority, of course, is to ask for that invaluable friendly assistance way in advance so that you don’t disrupt unnecessarily your pals’ plans.
Once you have your friends around, coordinate your actions with the helpers so that everyone is on the same page before it’s time to lift and carry heavy pieces of furniture. Don’t forget to always take advantage of the right moving equipment /see Safety moving tip #4/ and to use the proper lifting techniques /see Safety moving advice #5/ to avoid injuries or property damage when you move.
Read also: Top 5 self-moving mistakes to avoid
4. Get the right equipment to move heavy furniture
Don’t turn your back on the safety tips when moving house! To prevent accidents and injury during a move, get yourself the right type of tools for to move heavy furniture as the latter has the tendency to become heavier, bigger and trickier to transport than initially estimated.
Rent or purchase the following furniture moving equipment to make your move easier and safer than ever:
It’s no coincidence that the wheel is considered the most important invention ever. Is there a good reason why you shouldn’t use the wheel to make your move much easier and safer?
A furniture dolly. Often regarded as a mover’s best friend, a furniture dolly is an L-shaped two-wheeled handcart that still remains unrivaled as far as usefulness, efficiency and safety are concerned. It’s amazing how simple yet effective and indispensable a moving dolly can be for lifting and moving heavy objects during a move. And one thing you can be absolutely sure of is that there will be no shortage of heavy and bulky items to transport on your moving day. Rent a sturdy utility dolly from a local moving company or even consider purchasing one – it’s an investment that should pay off tenfold because even if you never have to leave your new home, you can still use it around your new residence for transporting all types of heavyweight stuff.
- Furniture slides. You may need to slide a piece of furniture a short distance or all the way across a room – and to do that safely, you will need furniture sliders. A slider is a piece of durable plastic on one side and hard rubber on the other that will help you slide heavy furniture with ease. Just position a slider under each leg or corner of a piece of furniture and marvel the magic of frictionless sliding.
- Moving straps. Straps can help move heavy furniture by redirecting the weight from a person’s back to a stronger muscle group. Moving straps are almost exclusively used by professional furniture movers so it’s probably best if you stick to using a good quality furniture dolly.
5. Use proper lifting techniques
One of the best safety tips for moving heavy objects – a piece of advice that you must use to stay protected – is to use the proper lifting techniques that are accepted as universal. It’s important to understand that you will be forced to do tons of awkward and uncommon movements which your body has not been accustomed to – bending, pushing, pulling, twisting, and of course, lifting heavy furniture. As a consequence, you or one of your helpers could actually end up with an injury of some sort.
If you’re still not sure how to move heavy furniture by yourself, here are a number of professional moving tips to avoid injury (aka safe lifting techniques):
- Spare your back by always lifting heavy furniture with your legs. Bend at your knees, keep your back straight and use the unquestionable strength of your lower limbs.
- Whenever applicable, push heavy furniture pieces (not before having furniture sliders underneath the, of course) instead of pull them.
- Whenever you have to turn sideways or around while holding big and heavy furniture, do so with your legs, never with your hips.
- Keep the pieces of furniture that you’re wearing as close to you as possible and in the relative center of your body.
- Some common moving injuries come as a result of wrong footing, and as you can imagine – tripping over while holding a piece of furniture will have bad consequences. Stay safe by only making slow and smooth movements, and by only making small steps as well.
- Keep your eyes focused in front of you when moving heavy furniture by yourself.
Moving safety advice: Moving day mistakes? Err another day!
6. Wear proper clothing and footwear
By know you should know perfectly well that safety when moving house is your top priority. The last safety advice for moving furniture will show you how personal injuries and property damage can really ruin your moving day from something as (seemingly) trivial as what you wear during the day of the move.
Wearing flip-flops when moving heavy furniture seems like a really bad idea.
Amidst hundreds of genuine worries on Moving day, appropriate clothing and footwear can easily get overlooked. Only, you don’t want to make that mistake because your conscious decision to wear proper clothes and shoes can help you achieve the level of safety you seek.
- Opt for your most comfortable change of clothes you can find in your dresser. Ideally, the moving day garments will be made of flexible and breathable material that will let you move freely.
- Don’t choose clothes you will be sorry to see dirty or even ruined – anything can happen during the most demanding day in a household move.
- Don’t wear baggy clothes as they can get hooked on a piece of furniture, which in turn could lead to nothing good.
- Your shoes should be of the closed-toe type, with rubber soles that provide excellent friction (anti-slip soles). Footwear with good ankle-support is preferable as well – most often, you will quickly realize that a good pair of sports shoes should be your best choice.
- Oh, and don’t forget to use high quality work gloves that will improve your grip and protect your hands at the same time.
Good to know: What are the average moving costs?