How to Move Heavy Furniture By Yourself

Deb Hipp
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As someone who’s lived alone, I’ve often moved heavy pieces of furniture on my own with a little ingenuity and a few tricks. However, I’ve also learned that taking on too much by myself can lead to injuries or embarrassing situations.

One time, I got wedged beneath a massive desk and the stairs leading out of my apartment while trying to move the item out to the curb. After I eventually wriggled out, I hired two guys off Craigslist to haul the desk outside. But I learned an important lesson: A little planning goes a long way when the mood strikes to rearrange a room, especially when heavy items are involved.

Thinking about moving heavy furniture on your own? SpareFoot reached out to some veteran professional movers and sliders for some tips on how to go one-on-one with large or heavy furniture. Here’s their advice.

Moving Heavy Furniture by Yourself

Whether you are moving into a new home or just rearranging a room, it is important to be realist about your limits. You can seriously injure your self by lifting heavy objects incorrectly.  Moving furniture alone is risky, so before you start moving anything consider each piece of furniture you need to move. Keep a mental list of the heaviest pieces that you should get help with.

That said, with property lifting techniques (make sure you keep your back straight) and the right tools at your disposal, it is possible to move many large pieces of furniture on your own.

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How to Lift Heavy Furniture by Yourself

Being honest about your limits is crucial when moving heavy furniture, says Pablo Solomon, an artist and designer who’s moved heavy sculptures.

“You may not safely be able to move things without at least some help,” says Solomon. “The most dangerous situation for doing things yourself is when you’re moving something tall and heavy that might fall on you if you don’t have other people to help you balance it.”

If you need to know how to move heavy furniture by yourself, look no further than the tips and rules below.

1. Steer Clear of Dangerous Areas.

Never try to move heavy or large pieces up and down stairs or inclines by yourself. “Gravity and momentum can take over quickly, and you can lose control and get hurt,” says Solomon. If you need to move furniture up or down stairs, enlist help.

2. Implement Tools to Assist Moving.

Invest in plastic furniture sliders to place under legs to easily slide a couch, chair or table across carpet or hardwood floors. If you need to move a dresser, these work as well. You can also employ

Moving straps may also be used to reduce weight strain and move heavy objects. For a large chair, you can loop the arm straps underneath the bottom of the chair, your arms through the holes and use your forearms to assist with lifting just enough weight to help the chair slide as you move it.

A furniture dolly, appliance dolly, or hand truck can also allow you to move heavy furniture a room. However, you still need to use caution when loading items on or off of a dolly.

3. Take Precautions to Prevent Injury.

When moving large furniture, Kelly McClenahan at Price Self Storage recommends:

  • Always lift with your legs and not with your back.
  • Bend at your knees and not at your waist. Keep your back straight and look up when lifting.
  • Avoid using a dolly with items that are higher than chest-level.
  • Wear proper clothing and closed-toe shoes.

4. Protect Furniture and Doorways.

There’s a good chance you’ll scrape against or bump into a doorframe while maneuvering heavy furniture, says Dustin Montgomery at Moving Blankets USA.

“Moving blankets can protect your furniture and door jamb protectors will protect your doorways,” he says.

Towels, comforters, and bubble wrap can also be used during the moving process to protect your walls and furniture from dents and scratches.

5. Lighten the Load.

Remove any attached parts or items inside before moving furniture, recommends Iris Wingfield, an interior designer at Flat Pack Mates.

“If you’re moving a wardrobe, dresser or any similar piece, empty it. Remove all items such as clothes or books from it. If it’s a sofa, remove the cushions,” says Wingfield.

Disassembling furniture may also be a good idea if it is easy to do so. Repeatedly taking apart and reassembling furniture can weaken furniture pieces overtime so do so sparingly,

6. Trying to Save Money Could Cost You More.

Spending a few dollars to buy some lifting strap or buying or renting a two-wheel dolly might save you “thousands in medical/chiropractic bills,” says Solomon. Hiring furniture movers may ultimately be necessary as well.

The Easy Way to Move Heavy Furniture

By following the guidelines above, you’ll be able to move heavy furniture alone with ease–as long as you are able to know your own limits and respect them. Tools like sliders, straps and dollies really do make moving large pieces of furniture easier when you are by yourself. Of course nothing is easier than hiring a couple movers, which is strongly recommended for the heaviest of items or if stairs are involved.

Check out these videos below to learn more about moving heavy furniture on your own:

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on January 25, 2021 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Deb Hipp

Deb Hipp is a freelance writer who lives in Kansas City, MO. She writes about organizing, moving, personal finance and legal issues. When Deb isn鈥檛 writing, she鈥檚 traveling or cheering on the Kansas City Royals.
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About the SpareFoot Blog

The SpareFoot Blog offers tips about self-storage, information about storage auctions, advice about home organization, news about SpareFoot and much more.
Contact the editor: [email protected]

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