The Ultimate Guide to Moving Furniture

Moving furniture is an art and a science, blending careful planning with physical effort. Whether upgrading your home, downsizing, or relocating this guide illuminates the path to a frictionless furniture move so let's unpack it together.

17 min read

The Ultimate Guide to Moving Furniture

Key takeaways

  1. Before moving, assess your furniture to determine what to keep, sell, donate, or discard. This not only simplifies the move but can cut costs and benefit the environment or community.
  2. Choose between a DIY move or hiring furniture movers based on your needs. For interstate moves, try specialised services or backloading services.
  3. Ensure you have all the tools and materials for disassembling, packing, and protecting your furniture. Identify which pieces need to be disassembled and collect any manuals or take photos to help with reassembly later.
  4. Disassembling your furniture makes it easier for you to transport and reduces the risk of damage. Use quality packing materials to protect your furniture, especially fragile and valuable items.
  5. Use efficient loading techniques and always use proper lifting methods, this ensures safe transportation of your furniture to the new location. Utilise furniture sliders, dollies, and teamwork to move heavy pieces safely.
  6. Upon arrival, unload and reassemble furniture carefully, using previously taken photos and labels as guides. Arrange furniture thoughtfully in the new space, considering both functionality and aesthetics.
  7.  Inspect furniture for any potential damage during the move and perform necessary cleaning and maintenance. Adjust and care for your furniture to ensure it fits well and lasts long in the new environment.

Moving furniture, whether it's within your home or to a new place, comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities. It's not just about physical effort, but also about smart planning to keep your belongings safe and the move efficient. Our guide, "The Ultimate Guide to Moving Furniture," is here to help you through this journey. We'll walk you through everything from planning to settling into your new space, offering expert advice and practical tips to make your furniture move as smooth as possible. Whether you're a newbie or just want to improve your moving game, this guide has got you covered for a stress-free furniture relocation.

1. Planning your furniture move

Assessing your furniture moving needs

Let's start by going through your furniture. Take a look at what you really need and what you can sell, donate, or get rid of. This not only makes moving easier, but it can also help you save some money. Don't forget to measure the big bulky furniture to make sure they'll fit through the doorways and into their new spots in your new home.

Take note of any features in your new home, such as tight corners or low ceilings, that may affect the furniture placement. This simple step can save you a lot of time and headache on moving day. And if something is really heavy or awkwardly shaped, you might need some extra help or special equipment.

Furniture removals and managing old furniture

When your old furniture doesn't fit the new space, consider environmentally friendly options such as recycling, donating, or selling. Many furniture removalists also offer furniture removal services to handle unwanted pieces:

  • Recycling: Research local recycling programs that accept furniture, ensuring materials are repurposed. Furniture removalists may be able to take away your furniture to a recycling facility.
  • Donation: Charities often welcome furniture in good condition, providing it a new life with those in need. Furniture movers can often help take it to your preferred charity donation centre.
  • Selling: Online marketplaces or garage sales can turn unwanted furniture into extra cash. Often buyers wanting to secure the furniture would also use furniture removal companies to help them pick up the item from you.

These options not only clear your space but also contribute positively to the environment and community.

Choosing the right moving strategy

Decide whether a DIY approach or using professional furniture removalists for your situation. If you are moving furniture interstate, it may be wise to use a furniture backload company. If you have moved furniture before and are moving locally you may want to take on a DIY approach. If you opt for DIY, make sure you have the necessary tools and manpower. For professional help from furniture movers, research and select a reputable furniture removal companies experienced in handling furniture and furniture removal. Obtain multiple quotes and check reviews of the specific furniture moving company to help make an informed decision.

DIY furniture moving

  • Pros: Cost savings; complete control over packing and handling; flexibility in timing.
  • Cons: Physical strain and risk of injury; potential for damage due to inexperience; need to rent equipment and vehicles.

Hiring professional furniture removalists

  • Pros: Expert handling and efficiency; access to proper equipment; may offer insurance coverage; less physical and mental stress.
  • Cons: Higher cost; less control over the moving process; need to schedule around the company's availability.

2. Preparing for the move

Gathering supplies

Every craftsperson knows the value of their tools, and the same goes for moving furniture. You’ll need various tools to disassemble, pack and protect your furniture. Before you start packing, ensure you have all the necessary supplies. This includes:

For disassembling furniture:

  • Tape measure
  • Moving straps
  • Socket or wrenches
  • Hex allen keys
  • Power drill
  • Instruction manuals
  • Zip lock bags

For packing and protecting furniture:

  • Corrugated moving boxes
  • Packing tape
  • Bubble wrap
  • Furniture pads
  • Furniture sliders
  • Plastic stretch wrap to protect your furniture from scratches and dents.

For heavier furniture items:

  • Dolly
  • Trolley
  • Furniture moving blankets

Understanding your furniture

First, identify which of your pieces need to be disassembled. Items with multiple components, such as bed frames or shelving units, often fare better when deconstructed. Refer to any assembly instructions you have, and take plenty of photos if you think it will help you remember how to put it back together at your new place.

3. Disassembling furniture

Disassembling furniture before moving is crucial for several reasons. It makes furniture items easier to move an transport, reduces the risk of damage, and can prevent injury by making heavy items lighter and more manageable. For larger items, disassembly might be necessary, as there may be no other way getting it out or through doorways otherwise.

The 5 main household furniture items to move

1. Lounges, sofa's and couches

When disassembling, locate any instruction manuals for assembly. Following the manual and steps as best as you can. This may require you to first remove any detachable cushions and legs. If your sofa has a pull-out bed, secure the mattress and mechanism to prevent unfolding. Some couches require allen key to unscrew allen key heads.

Disassemble the lounge only to the point where each part is easily lifted by at least two people. For example, you may want to disconnect the lounge from the chaise and that would be suffice to move the lounge piece through the open doorway of the house.

2. Free standing wardrobes

For wardrobes with removable shelves and drawers, take these out and pack them separately. Remove any shelf pegs and place them in a plastic or ziplock bag. If the wardrobe has sliding doors, carefully remove them and wrap in moving blankets.

Moving a wardrobe can require two to three people, especially when navigating stairs. Use furniture straps to avoid wall scratches. If you have hinged doors, you can remove hinges or secure the door shut by using fabric tape or rope pulls. This applies to drawers, remove and transport separately or tape them securely to prevent them from moving.

3. Mattress and ensemble, gas lift, electronic adjustable base beds, framed bed sets, bunks and baby cots

If you can, try to track down the assembly manual. But if you can't find one, start by taking off the mattress and box spring. Then, go ahead and disassemble the frame and headboard. Oh, and here's a pro tip: when it comes to taking apart beds, it's usually best to have at least two people to keep it balanced and braced at all times. Especially if you're navigating through tight spaces.

Moving heavy framed bed sets can be quite a task, especially if they're made of hardwood. It's always better to have a helping hand or two when lifting them. And then there are gas lift beds that use a gas lift hydraulic to raise the bed base and create extra space underneath. You might need to disassemble the gas cylinders that attach the bed frame to the slat frame before dealing with the rest of the frame.

For electronic adjustable bed bases, you will need to unplug the electronic adapter that is usually attached to the motor on the bed frame but remember to label which plug attaches to which port. This will help you easily reconnect it all at the new house. The frames are also usually made out of steel so it's best to have at least two to three people assisting with lifting and moving the bed base.

And let's not forget about bunks and baby cots - they may not be the easiest to take apart without a manual, but with a systematic approach and some labelling of the parts, you can make it happen. Just remember to keep those loose screws together for a smooth reassembly after the furniture move.

4. Dining tables

Moving dining tables definitely requires three or more movers, especially with any table larger than a six seater. This is because some tables are made out of hardwood have glass components or can be a statement piece that requires special disassembly. If the dining table is too big to move out of the premise in one go and relatively straight forward to disassemble, you can remove legs and place in a spot ready for wrapping. Depending on the table's size, two to four people may be needed to carry the table top safely.

5. Large appliances

While not traditional furniture, large appliances like fridges, freezers, moving tv's and washing machines require similar precautions. Refer to the manufacturers instructions on your specific appliance model but remember to secure doors and removable parts with tape. Washing machines and dryers require a transit bolts to hold the drum in place while in transportation. So remember to secure this transit bolt before lifting onto the moving truck. Use an appliance dolly for transport, and ensure you have help; moving large appliances typically requires two or more people for safe handling. Tilt appliances slightly back on the dolly to balance the weight and avoid floor damage.

Using the disassembly service from the moving company

Opting for a moving company's disassembly service offers convenience and ensures the safety of your furniture during the move. Professional furniture removalists are skilled in taking apart and reassembling items, reducing the risk of damage. This service can be particularly beneficial for complex pieces or those requiring special tools. It saves time and energy, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your move. Always discuss the details and costs of these services upfront to ensure they fit within your moving budget and plan.

4. Packing and protecting furniture

Wrap furniture pieces in bubble wrap or furniture pads, paying extra attention to corners and delicate areas. Use plastic stretch wrap to secure drawers and doors and to protect upholstery from dirt and damage.

Choosing the right furniture packing materials

Your furniture is a significant investment. Protect it as such by choosing high-quality packing materials. This may include moving blankets, shrink wrap, bubble wrap, and sturdy cardboard boxes. It’s also important to have essential cleaning supplies ready to ensure your furniture is quickly cleaned and dusted so it doesn't require a full clean when it arrives at your new home.

Packing fragile and valuable items

Don’t skimp on the protection for delicate or valuable items. Overly-chippy or fragile items, like glass table tops, should be thoroughly protected with bubble wrap and cardboard before being wrapped in a blanket.

Using a packing service

Many  furniture movers also provide additional removalist services such as packing services. Utilising a moving company's packing services can significantly streamline your moving process. This service includes professional packers who efficiently pack your entire household, using high-quality materials to protect personal belongings. It's ideal for those with limited time or who prefer to ensure their items are securely packed by experts. Discussing the scope and cost of these services in advance is essential to align with your moving budget and needs. This option offers peace of mind, knowing your items are professionally packed for safe transport.

Packing and protecting the 5 main household items

1. Packing and protecting lounges sets

Wrap legs in bubble wrap and the sofa body in furniture pads to protect fabric and leather. Use sliders under the base to move the sofa without scratching floors. It often requires two or more people to tilt and navigate through doorways safely.

2. Packing and protecting free standing wardrobes

Pack and protect removable shelves using bubble wrap. Drawers can be covered with heavy duty plastic bags or shrink wrapped and any loose screws or shelf pegs can be packed in a plastic bag for safe keeping. Sliding doors or removed hinged doors can also be safely bubble wrapped or wrapped with furniture moving blankets. Label all parts and keep any screws or pegs taped to the furniture piece so you don't misplace them and need to look for them when reassembling later on.

3. Packing and protecting bed sets

To keep each component of the bed frame safe from scratches or damage, use moving blankets or bubble wrap for wooden or metal frames. And don't forget to keep all the screws and brackets together in a labelled bag. Gas cylinders can be placed in bags that attach to the bed frame to keep parts together. For electronic adjustable bed bases, keep all the electronic adapter together in a box with all the cords and label the box to be part of the adjustable bed. Otherwise you can place in a bag and tape to the frame. This goes for bunks and cots, wrap and protect each component, keeping all screws together along with a piece of the furniture.

4. Packing and protecting dining tables

Protect table corners with corner protectors or extra bubble wrap to prevent dings and scratches. Glass table tops should be wrapped in moving blankets and then plastic wrap for additional security. It should also always be rested on It's edge to hold it's strength during transit.

5. Wrapping large appliances

Wrap fridges, washers, dryers in moving blankets to protect against scratches.

5. Moving day strategies

Moving furniture without disassembling

For pieces that are too complex to disassemble or designed to remain intact, careful planning is vital. Assess the item and the pathway to ensure a smooth transition without damage.

Tips for specific furniture:

  1. Sofas and couches: Use sliders to move across floors. If navigating through tight spaces, tilt and rotate the sofa vertically. Cover with blankets to protect from scratches. Two to three people may be needed, focusing on lifting from the base, not the arms.
  2. Wardrobes and tall furniture: If moving intact, secure doors and drawers to prevent opening. Use furniture straps for better control. It's often a two-person job, tilting slightly to fit through doorways but keeping the item balanced.
  3. Bed sets: Full beds can sometimes be moved without disassembly, if the doorway and hall space allow. Cover the mattress in a protective plastic sleeve or bed sheet and use a dolly for box springs or frames if necessary. Always lift with legs, not the back.
  4. Dining tables: If space doors and hallways allow for a dining table to be moved without disassembly, make sure you have sufficient movers to safely move this outside and onto the truck. If there is enough room in the hallways you can try tilt the table to navigate doorways, with two people on either end. Always use a hydraulic tail lift to lift onto the truck to prevent any damage to heavy furniture being uplifted incorrectly.
  5. Large appliances: Secure doors with tape and wrap in blankets. Moving these items usually requires an appliance dolly or strapped to a moving trolley and at least two people. Make sure the path is clear of obstacles and the appliance is kept upright to avoid internal damage.

Floor and wall protection

  • Lay down cardboard or furniture moving pads along your path to protect floors. You can even use heavy duty moving blankets.
  • Use corner guards or bubble wrap around tight spaces to protect walls and furniture edges.

Moving furniture without disassembling demands careful handling, proper equipment, and teamwork. By following these strategies, you can ensure the safety of your furniture and your home during the furniture removal process.

Efficient loading techniques

When loading your furniture onto the moving truck or van, it is crucial to employ efficient techniques to maximise space, minimise damage, and ensure easy unloading at your destination. Here are some loading techniques:

Lift with the right techniques

Improper lifting can lead to significant discomfort or injury. Bend your knees, not your back, and keep the item as close to your body as possible. Use your leg muscles to push up, and if you need to turn, move your feet so your whole body moves together. If a piece is too heavy, there’s no shame in asking for help.

Using furniture sliders and dollies

Furniture sliders are a game-changer for moving heavy items. They allow you to glide furniture across the floor with minimal effort. For extra-large or particularly heavy items, a dolly can significantly reduce the workload. Always ensure the weight is distributed evenly to avoid tipping over.

Power of teamwork

A well-coordinated team can move furniture much more effectively than a solo act. With one person guiding from the front, one person supporting from the back, and others taking the weight, you can maneuver even the bulkiest pieces. Communication is key to ensure everyone knows their role and the plan for a safe and efficient move.

Load heavy items towards the cab

Begin by placing the heaviest items towards the front of the moving truck, near the cab, as this helps in balancing the vehicle during transport. Sofas and mattresses can be positioned vertically to save space if sufficiently protected, while appliances should be secured towards the sides and prevented from moving with straps or bungee cords.

Create a protective layer

Make use of furniture blankets to create a protective layer between items, reducing scratches and damage, and place boxes with delicate items or those marked 'fragile' on top of heavier, more solid boxes to prevent crushing. It's wise to distribute the weight evenly across the floor space and avoid stacking too high to reduce the risk of items toppling over whilst the moving vehicle is in motion.

Transporting furniture

Once the furniture is securely loaded and in transit, it's time to move the furniture from the old location to the new location. Follow these tips to minimise risk:

  • Driving slowly and smoothly: Avoid rapid acceleration and sudden stops to reduce the risk of items shifting or falling.
  • Taking turns gently: Navigate turns slowly to prevent furniture from sliding or tipping over.
  • Regular checks: If driving long distance, and if possible, stop occasionally in a safe place to check the load, ensuring straps and protective coverings remain in place and adjust or tighten as necessary.
  • Avoiding rough roads: Choose routes with smoother surfaces to reduce jostling and vibrations that could damage furniture.
  • Height restrictions: If you are moving furniture with a trailer or ute for a local move, be attentive of certain roads with height restrictions and avoid them.
  • Weather considerations: Be mindful of weather conditions; wet or icy roads require extra caution and slower speeds.

Following these tips helps minimise the risk of scratches, damage, or shifting during transport, ensuring your furniture arrives in the best condition.

6. Unloading and reassembling furniture

Upon arrival, carefully unload furniture, prioritising easy access to items needed first.

Unloading safely

When unloading furniture, prioritise safety and organisation. Make sure you have a clear path between the moving truck or moving van and the premises and that any obstacles are out of the way to prevent accidents. Use a hydraulic tail lift if the moving truck has one and start with the items at the front of the truck followed by the largest items you have access to, using dollies as needed. Assign specific roles to team members to streamline the process.

Unpacking and room setup

Once all the furniture pieces are in the house, office or wherever it needs to be. Begin by inspecting that all components of the furniture item is together before unpacking and unwrapping each of component for reassembly.

Reassembly and room arrangement

Once everything is unpacked, it’s time to reassemble your furniture. Use your labelling system and the photos you took during disassembly as a guide. Take your time to ensure that all hardware is firmly tightened and that the piece is secure. Then, arrange your furniture in your new space with the same love and care you did in your old home.

A post-move inspection

After all is said and done, do a quick walkthrough of your house. Check for any damages that may have occurred during the move. It’s much easier to resolve these issues now rather than down the road. If you've hired movers, take photos of any potential damage and discuss your options with them.

Reassembling and arranging furniture

After a moving furniture from the truck and into the home or office, the task of reassembling and arranging the furniture begins. It is essential to handle this phase with methodical precision. Cross-reference the components with your inventory list to make sure nothing is missing. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for reassembly, making use of your earlier photographs as a visual guide. Tighten all screws and ensure that every piece is stable and secure before use.

Upon reassembly, carefully consider the layout of each room. Take into account the practical and aesthetic aspects of the furniture placement, keeping the room's intended use in mind. This is the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate your space and perhaps introduce a new design element or create a better flow within your environment. Remember to lift and move furniture with care to avoid any damage to the pieces or the floor. And finally, once placed, step back to enjoy the refreshed space that you have thoughtfully curated, and relax in your new home or workspace.

7. Post-move furniture care

Maintaining your furniture after the move is crucial for preserving its appearance and extending its lifespan. You can do this by:

  1. Inspect furniture: Inspect every item for potential damage or wear that might have occurred during transit. Should there be any scratches or dents, consider using repair kits or professional services to restore the pieces to their former glory. For items like tables and chairs, check the stability and tighten any loose screws or bolts.
  2. Cleaning: Thoroughly clean each piece to remove any dust or debris accumulated during the move. Be sure to use appropriate cleaners for different materials—gentle cleansers for upholstery, wood-specific products for wooden furniture, and glass cleaner for mirrors or glass surfaces.
  3. Maintenance and repairs: Address any minor damages immediately. Tighten loose screws, lubricate hinges, and repair any scratches or dents with a repair kit suited to the furniture's finish. If it's a sentimental furniture piece or highly valuable, seek the help of a furniture restorer.
  4. Adjustments for the new space: You might find that some pieces don't fit as expected in the new space. Be open to repositioning furniture or even altering pieces to better suit their new environment.
  5. Long-term care: Establish a routine for regular cleaning and maintenance of your furniture to prolong its life and keep it looking its best in your new home. Some couches can be protected with a fabric protection solution, check with the furniture retailer to see what can be used to prolong the life of your furniture. Long-term care also means protecting your home so use felt pads under the legs of furniture to prevent scratches on wooden floors, armrest covers to protect from wear and tear, and coasters to guard table tops from water rings. With diligent care, your furniture will continue to look superb and serve its purpose in your new home for years to come.

Final thoughts

To sum it up, the process of moving furniture safely and efficiently can indeed feel overwhelming. However, with proper preparation, careful execution, and a little more attention to detail, you can handle it like a seasoned professional. Just remember to follow the comprehensive guidelines laid out in this article like taking your time to plan and prepare your move, disassemble your furniture to make moving your furniture easier and packing each item securely to ensure its protection. When it comes to transportation, exercise caution throughout the entire journey, paying close attention to any potential hazards that may arise. Once you've reached your new space, take the time to reassemble each piece of furniture with utmost care and precision, ensuring that every nut and bolt is in place. By adhering to these additional steps, you can further increase the chances of your furniture arriving at its destination in impeccable condition. Remember, regardless of the size, shape, or value of your furniture, these principles will serve as your reliable companions throughout the entire moving process. May your furniture continue to bring you joy and seamlessly blend with the beauty and comfort of your new space. Cheers to a successful and stress-free move!

Ready to Move? Find Your Perfect Mover!

Don't let moving stress you out. Compare quotes from our network of reliable movers, read genuine reviews, and book with ease. Save time, save money, and start your move with confidence today.

  • Quickly compare movers
  • Read verified reviews
  • Book online with confidence
4.7/5 Google Reviews Rating
4.7/5 Avg Rating
from 470+ Google Reviews