Wouldn’t it be great if every time you moved you had professional help to get the job done quickly and easily? While it may be the ideal, it’s likely that there will come a time when you find yourself moving without any assistance from the pros—and that includes having to move heavy furniture by yourself.

Now, keep in mind that moving heavy furniture by yourself doesn’t mean you are actually completely on your own—just that you don’t have professional movers helping you out. One person isn’t going to be able to carry a couch up or down stairs, or load up a moving truck with the entire contents of their home, heavy items included. But the differences between having help from a moving company and doing a DIY move with your partner, friends, or family are pretty stark, and you’re going to want to have a plan in place for when it comes time to move heavy furniture out of your old home and in to your new one.

For our purposes, let’s assume that you’re not a body builder or otherwise expertly fit for hauling heavy loads (if you were, you probably wouldn’t be here reading this), and let’s get in to the nitty-gritty of how to move heavy furniture without the pros by your side.

Assess and make a plan

When it comes to moving heavy furniture, the goal is to be as efficient as possible. Take an inventory of every heavy item that needs to get on to the moving truck and then figure out what needs to be loaded when, and where. In general, heavy items go toward the back of the truck bed and around the sides to help balance the load and keep all of your belongings safe. That means you’ll likely be doing the heavy lifting right in the beginning, and then filling in gaps with lighter boxes and smaller items of furniture.

Prioritize the order that you’ll tackle each piece of furniture, noting again that the biggest and heaviest items go on first. Although creating a plan of attack may seem like just one more step in an endless to do list, it will save you the time and effort it would take later on to rearrange all that heavy furniture on the truck.

Gather your equipment

You’re not the first one to have to figure out how to move heavy furniture by yourself, and that’s good news because it means there are some great innovations out there for DIY movers. These items can be purchased or rented, so decide if you’re only going to use them once or if you might like them for future moves.

Here’s what you’ll need to move heavy furniture by yourself:

Moving straps. Also called “lifting straps” or “furniture straps,” these handy devices work to transfer some of the weight off of your back and arms when you’re lifting a heavy item so that it is significantly easier to manage. They’re adjustable, so be sure to tailor them for the size of the furniture you’ll be lifting and the size of your own body.

Furniture sliders. These are a must-have for moving heavy furniture on your own. Furniture sliders are usually made of single part or multi-part plastic, and are placed under each leg or corner of the piece of furniture that you are moving to help it easily glide across the floor, including on carpet. They work by creating an easily mobile barrier between the item and the floor, reducing the friction that can make it hard to move heavy furniture and mitigating the risk of damage to your hardwood, tile, or carpeting.

Furniture dollies. There are two types of furniture dollies that will be useful to you when moving furniture, though you can probably get away with just having one type on hand. The first is a four-wheeled square platform, with or without a handle to push. The other is a two-wheel hand truck, which has a smaller base than the four-wheeled square platform but helps distribute weight vertically making it a good fit for tall items. Secure items to the dolly with rope or additional straps before starting to push.

Break furniture down into its smallest parts

The more you can break down each item of heavy furniture, the better. That means taking away all removable pieces, including cushions, knobs, legs, drawers, etc. to be moved separately, as well as breaking down things like sectionals and bed frames. If at any point you have to remove screws or other small pieces to accomplish this, be sure to store each item’s small materials in a baggie and label it so you know what all those pieces are for.

Follow proper lifting techniques

As you could probably tell from the list of required equipment, you’re going to want to slide, push, and drag heavy furniture much more than you lift. This puts considerably less stress on your body and makes the entire task a whole lot easier. However, when you hit a staircase or it comes time to load the item into the truck, dragging and sliding isn’t going to cut it.

Safety should always come first, so before you lift make sure you’re apprised of how to do it right.

Bend at your needs, not your waist. The biggest thing that you want to remember when lifting heavy furniture is to carry the weight in your legs—not your back. To settle the weight correctly, squat down at your knees for the initial lift instead of bending over. This will place the majority of the bulk onto your arms and legs when you rise, and not onto your back.

Carry items close to your body. As much as you can, carry heavy furniture close to your body, not away from it. This accomplishes a few things, including helping your body maintain balance and getting your upper arms and shoulders involved in the task (a much better alternative to your forearms).

Don’t twist your body while you’re lifting or carrying. Keep your body as still as you can while you lift and walk with a heavy piece of furniture, as twisting or making other fast movements can lead to injury. For those times that you do need to twist or turn, let your hips lead and then follow with your feet instead of the other way around.

Another safety tip you shouldn’t ignore: be sure that you can always see where you’re going. It can be difficult when there’s an armoire blocking your point of view, but you should never be completely blinded to where you’re heading. And because your body tends to go where your eyes go, keep your head facing forward, not looking down.

Getting up and down stairs

Having to move heavy furniture up or down stairs adds another layer of complexity to an already arduous task, but there’s not always going to be a way around it. To move heavy furniture on stairs, you’re going to have to work with a partner—this isn’t something you want to attempt on your own. Carry the item high and low, meaning the person lower on the stairs carries the item from its bottom surface and the person higher on the stairs carries the item from its top surface. Go very slow, with the person at the bottom setting the pace.

Looks can be deceiving. If an item is heavy but small, you’ll still want to put two people on the job and work your way down the stairs both slowly and deliberately using the high to low method. As always, it’s not worth risking a serious injury just to get something done a few minutes faster. Take your time, and don’t rush the job.

Have a plan for unloading, too

You’re not in the clear until every item is not just unpacked from the moving truck but also situated in its correct spot in your new home. For that reason, just like you made a plan and prioritized how you were going to get everything out of your old home, do the same for how you’re going to get everything unloaded. That way, you save yourself the trouble of moving heavy furniture off of the truck and into your home only to have to move it again. To save time however, you can wait until everything is unloaded before you start putting each piece of furniture back together.

Does having to move heavy furniture by yourself sound like too much work? It doesn’t have to be. Use our free moving company directory to find reputable movers in your area who can take those heavy items off of your hands and get the job done fast.


Author jamese

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