How to Move Furniture Without Breaking It

Moving is a stressful and physically demanding task, especially when transporting heavy and bulky furniture. Whether you’re moving for the first time, relocating on short notice, or handling the move solo, knowing the best practices for moving different pieces of furniture without damaging them, or yourself, is crucial. This guide will walk you through the essentials of safely moving furniture, highlighting the benefits of using specific tools and asking for assistance when necessary.

Plan and Prepare

Before you even think about lifting that sofa or king-sized mattress, planning and preparation are important.

Your mind

Before you start packing boxes and loading a truck, you need to mentally prepare for the stress of moving. By planning ahead and making a schedule for your move, you can eliminate some of the frantic stress associated with moving. Use a moving checklist to ensure you don’t forget anything and that you make a little progress every week leading up to your move.

Your belongings

Start by measuring your furniture and the doorways, hallways, and staircases your pieces need to pass through. This step will help you determine the best angles and methods for moving each piece. Before you start, removing any detachable parts, such as cushions, legs, or drawers, is also best to make the items lighter and more manageable.

Use the Right Tools

Investing in the proper moving tools to move heavy furniture can make a world of difference. Here are some of the essentials you should have ready if you’re planning to undertake a move on your own:

  • Furniture Sliders: These are perfect for moving heavy furniture across floors without scratching them. Simply place them under the furniture legs and slide the piece across the room. You can buy furniture sliders at most big-box home improvement stores and online retailers. They are relatively inexpensive and come in various sizes to accommodate different types of furniture.
  • Dollies: A furniture dolly is a must-have for moving large, heavy items. It allows you to roll the furniture rather than lift it, reducing strain on your body. Dollies can be purchased at hardware stores, but if you prefer not to buy one, rental options are available at moving supply rental companies.
  • Moving Straps: These straps help distribute the weight of heavy items more evenly, making lifting and carrying them more manageable with a partner. Moving straps are an affordable tool to add to your moving toolkit, and can be found at hardware stores and online at Amazon or Walmart. 
  • Protective Covers: Use blankets, bubble wrap, and plastic covers to protect your furniture from scratches and damage during the move. You can use blankets and towels you have already for this purpose, or you can buy protective covers at home improvement retailers, online, or at moving supply stores. If you’d rather rent, U-Haul offers moving blankets and other protective materials for short-term use.

How to Move Heavy Furniture

If you’re moving alone, you might be wondering how to move heavy furniture by yourself. There is no question that moving large and bulky furniture pieces can be a daunting task, especially if you’re tackling it alone or with limited experience. Each piece of furniture presents its own set of challenges, from awkward shapes to sheer weight. Here’s a quick guide to help you move specific furniture pieces safely and efficiently, ensuring your own physical safety and the protection of your belongings.


Sofas are often one of the most challenging pieces of furniture to move due to their size, weight, and shape. So you’re probably wondering how to move a sofa alone. Proper planning and the right techniques are key to preventing damage to the sofa, your home, and you. Here are some practical tips to help you move your sofa with ease:

  • Disassemble if Possible: Remove legs, cushions, and other detachable parts to make the sofa lighter and easier to maneuver.
  • Use a Dolly: Tilt the sofa on its end and slide a dolly underneath. Secure it with moving straps and carefully roll it to the moving truck.
  • Protect It: Cover the sofa with a moving blanket to prevent damage to the upholstery.

King-Sized Mattress

Moving a king-sized mattress can be particularly challenging due to its size and lack of structure. Without proper handling, you risk damaging the mattress or injuring yourself. Here’s how to move a king-sized mattress safely and effectively:

  • Use a Mattress Bag: Place the mattress in a plastic mattress bag to protect it from dirt and damage.
  • Fold It: Some mattresses can be folded in half for easier handling. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines to see if this is an option.
  • Team Lift: Always have at least one other person helping you lift and move the mattress to avoid injury.


Dressers and Cabinets

Dressers and cabinets are heavy, bulky, and often contain numerous items that can shift during transport. Moving these pieces requires special care to ensure they arrive at your new home in perfect condition. Here are some strategies for safely moving dressers and cabinets:

  • Empty the Contents: Remove all items from the inside to lighten the load and prevent contents from shifting during the move.
  • Remove Drawers: Take out drawers and move them separately or secure them with tape to prevent them from sliding out.
  • Use Moving Blankets: Wrap the furniture in moving blankets to protect it from scratches and dents.


How to Move Heavy Artwork

Artwork has the double complication of often being very heavy and very fragile. Moving your favorite artwork can feel scary, but these tips will help.

  • Protect, protect, protect: Use corner protectors to prevent the edges of the frame from getting damaged, and wrap the whole pieces in blankets and/or bubble wrap.
  • Keep it upright: Avoid laying your artwork flat, where something may get placed on top of it.
  • VIP travel: If you are moving yourself, consider putting valuable artwork in a dedicated safe spot in your vehicle, such as the front seat, or securing it to the inside of your moving truck so it doesn’t move around.

Make Safety a Priority

Moving heavy furniture is physically demanding and can be dangerous if not done correctly. Here are some safety tips:

  • Lift with Your Legs: Bend your knees and keep your back straight when lifting heavy items. Avoid twisting your body to prevent injury.
  • Wear Proper Clothing: Wear comfortable, non-restrictive clothing and sturdy, closed-toe shoes to protect your feet.
  • Clear Pathways: Ensure that the pathways are clear of obstacles to prevent tripping and falling.

Get Assistance

While handling the move by yourself might be tempting, getting help can make the process smoother and safer. Ask friends or family members to assist you, or consider hiring professional movers. They will have the experience and equipment needed and can also handle the heavy lifting, reducing the risk of injury.

Consider Professional Furniture Rental

Moving can be stressful, especially if you’re doing it by yourself. But don’t try to move a heavy sofa on your own – instead, rent furniture from CORT, and we’ll take care of the heavy lifting for you. Our team of experts will deliver and set your furniture up for you, taking some of that stress away. Additionally, if you don’t absolutely love your CORT furniture, we’ll swap it out for you!

Start by browsing the furniture and decor you want to rent. After you create a furniture package that’s tailored to your space and needs, our team will deliver and set up furniture for you. Then, when you’re ready, you can schedule a pickup date, and our team will haul the furniture away. Start browsing online or in-store today!

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