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.

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

1. Assess Whether You Need Extra Help.

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.”

2. 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.

3. Implement Tools to Assist Moving.

Invest in plastic sliders to place under furniture legs to easily slide a couch, chair or table across carpet or hardwood floors. You can also employ moving straps to reduce weight strain. “The sliders are great for dressers and couches,” says Jade Phoenix of Severn, MD. “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.

4. 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.
  • Avoid using a dolly with items that are higher than chest-level.
  • Wear proper clothing and closed-toe shoes.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Trying to Save Money Could Cost You More.

Spending a few dollars to buy some sliders or buying or renting a two-wheel dolly might save you “thousands in medical/chiropractic bills,” says Solomon.

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