How to Move Big Furniture Without Hurting Yourself

Storage Basics

May 16th, 2023

When moving to a new house, there’s lots of prep work to complete. From scheduling movers to packing boxes, to cleaning surfaces in your old home and your new home, there’s a lot to think about before moving day. So, how is it that when moving day comes, there’s no plan for how to move big pieces of furniture? Sofas, recliners, tables, even safes and armoires are often too big to simply slide out of the front door without some maneuvering, coaxing, and careful lifting.
Finally, let’s address what you can do in advance to help reduce the damage that moving big furniture can do to your body, your home and your moving timeline.

1. Don’t Move Big Furniture Alone

Maybe you think that it will slide, or that you’re strong enough to move a piece of furniture without lifting it. Trust us, you can’t. Even pushing big furniture across carpet or other flooring can cause injury. Find a friend or a neighbor who can help you lift large furniture, and offer them free pizza and Dr. Pepper.

2. Have the Right Gear for Moving Furniture

Wear shoes that cover your toes — no flip-flops on moving day! And invest in work gloves so your hands don’t get scraped when moving around in tight spaces.
A week or so ahead of moving day, buy moving straps — like Forearm Forklifts — that slide under furniture and wrap around arms in order to have good leverage and strength for picking up furniture. Plan to buy or borrow a hand truck that you can use to wheel items out to the moving truck.
Having furniture sliders on hand will help you move furniture closer to doorways before lifting, tilting, and maneuvering furniture through doorways.

3. Protect doorways and corners

Speaking of doorways, remove molding or doors from their hinges to ensure you have enough space on either side of the furniture to get through the doorway. If needed, remove the door’s threshold so as not to trip on your way through. Covering furniture with quilted moving blankets will help defer bumps on walls and interior corners of your home.

4. Lift Furniture the Right Way

We won’t get into weight-lifting technique, but there are a few ways you can position your body to prevent injury when lifting heavy furniture on moving day.
The first thing you hear someone say is to lift with your legs and not your back. But how? First, think about getting low, not bending over. Standing straight at the piece of furniture, bend your legs to get low and get a grip of the furniture. You’ll naturally be looking down to see where you can put your hands, causing your neck and shoulders to be hunched over. Before standing, look straight ahead and draw your shoulders back and down, puffing out your chest. Then press through your feet, lifting with your legs.

5. Take Apart Furniture When You Can

Some furniture pieces have legs that can be removed, making lifting easier. For others, like armoires, there might be interior shelves or drawers that can be removed to make the piece lighter. Whenever something can be dismantled, do it for easier lifting and moving.

6. Angles are Your Friend When Moving Big Furniture Pieces

It’s often not possible to move a large piece of furniture through a door as it stands. Often, the piece will need to be rotated, flipped or “hooked” through a doorway so they can fit. Think about a wide, wing-backed chair. It won’t go through a doorway in its proper sitting position. However, if you use the “L” method on furniture like this, you’ll have an easier time. The “L” method is when you tilt the chair on its side and put the long back of the chair through the doorway first, then rotate the chair until the seat can come through.

Moving Day Headaches Resolved

Moving day doesn’t have to be the most hectic day of your week, or month, or year. With a little planning and ingenuity, you can find ways to move big pieces of furniture with very little trouble.
For those who aren’t moving into their next house yet, Alamo Mini-Storage offers storage units with wide roll-up doors that easily accommodate big sofas, tall armoires and so much more. These drive-up units are easy to access from your car or truck. Find an Alamo Mini-Storage location near you, and let’s get moving!