As with all aspects of a house move, the sooner and more thoroughly you prepare for your furniture move, the easier moving day will be. Start by running through this list and making a note of every furniture moving tip that is relevant to your situation.
Source Quality Equipment
You will need to buy or hire your furniture moving equipment well in time for moving day. You should be able to get everything you need from New Haven along with your boxes and packaging materials. Here are some furniture-specific items to add to your list:
- Furniture moving dolly
- Furniture movers pads
- Shrink wrap
- Bubble wrap
- Packing tape
- Forearm Forklift Strap
- Piano strap and board
- Furniture sliders
Most furniture dollies come in two or four wheel varieties. Whichever you decide upon, make sure they are lightweight and durable with robust tires.
Furniture pads and shrink wrap provide protection for furniture during transit. New Haven have created a guide on what to look for when buying moving pads.
Bubble wrap has many uses, for example protecting loose attachments and even wrapping door handles and sharp corners to avoid damaging items or your home during the move. Likewise, furniture sliders will protect your flooring (although tennis balls can be cut and pulled over furniture feet as an alternative safety measure).
Forearm forklift straps enable you and a partner to safely carry heavy furniture. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and if in doubt, get expert help rather than risk injury.
Be Smart with Furniture Selection
Rather than simply packing up all of your furniture without thinking, a house move offers the perfect chance to step back and decide which items you need and which could be left behind and re-purchased once you are in your new home.
A good rule of thumb is to draw up a 2 x 2 grid with weight and replacement value along the axes. Place your items of furniture in each quadrant. Anything which is light and costly to replace should be wrapped up ready for transit. Consider selling, donating or dumping anything heavy and inexpensive to replace because it will save you money on fuel or moving fees. If you do manage to sell any pieces of furniture, the proceeds can go towards other moving expenses.
Treat items in the other two quadrants on a case by case basis. For example, you might decide that now is a good time to invest in a new flat screen TV and leave your old one to a friend or neighbor.
On the other hand, you might decide against ditching the old fridge because you don’t want the hassle of having to shop for a new one straight after moving in to your new home.
Choose your Transport Mode
When you have items of furniture to move, there are generally three feasible methods of transportation: hire professional movers, self-drive or use a shipping company.
Getting the pros in is the easiest option but is also the most expensive, especially if you opt for a full-service company where all the loading, driving and unloading is done for you. Moving costs will depend on how far you are going, how heavy your load will be, whether packing is included and what add-ons you need (e.g. packaging materials, furniture dismantling, temporary storage, etc.)
If you decide to hire a van and drive yourself, you will need to make a sensible estimate of fuel costs and think carefully about the level of insurance you need. Be aware of what is covered under your insurance and what deductibles you will have to pay before the insurance kicks in.
If you are planning a long-distance move and you have a lot of furniture to take with you, it is worth investigating the cost of having everything shipped over to your new address. The costs can be very competitive. If you are having goods shipped, put a contingency plan in place in case your furniture is delayed. For example, you might want to bring some inflatable mattresses with you to sleep on in an emergency.
However you intend to transport your furniture, make your booking well in advance, particularly if you intend to move in the holidays or on a weekend.
It is also a good idea to turn off and defrost your fridge and freezer a day or two before the move to avoid leakage during the journey.
Furniture disassembly is usually the last task to be done prior to loading the moving truck.
You probably won’t need to fully take apart each item to comfortably load it but the way you disassemble your furniture can make a huge difference to the experience at the other end. No matter how good your memory, you can guarantee that an item of furniture won’t quite go back the way it was before. It is easy to put pieces back the wrong way up or back to front and nuts, bolts, screws and washers have a habit of getting lost.
All appliances should be safely disconnected from the electric and gas supplies. For complex electrical set-ups, take a photograph of any cables first. While on the subject of utilities, you will need to contact your suppliers to organize disconnection at your old house and a new supply at your new one.
If you have the original instructions for a piece of furniture or an appliance, use these to work backwards and take it apart in reverse order. If the instructions are missing, you may be able to find an online version or order a set through the mail. Failing this, you will have to carefully dismantle the furniture as much as you can while taking your own detailed notes to help you rebuild it again later.
All screws, nuts, bolts, washers and other small items should be collected together in a Ziploc bag which is then fixed to the furniture itself using masking tape. The bag should be labeled in case it does become detached.
It is also a good idea to collect all of the tools you use for dismantling furniture into a separate toolbox. This will save you the job of rummaging through your main toolbox when reassembling.
Once all of the furniture has been disassembled it can be carefully packed using furniture pads, blankets, tape and shrink wrap. Take care not to touch exposed materials with the sticky side of the tape.
Rallying the Troops
If you are handling the loading yourself, you will need some help from friends and family members. For maximum efficiency, no more than four or five helpers should be working at any one time.
Getting in some good quality pizza and beer is often incentive enough to bring in some outside help; just make sure the food and drink is kept under wraps until the job has been done.
As already mentioned, you will need another person when using a forearm forklift strap to move heavy items. If moving a piano, be sure to lock the lid and use a piano board and strap to avoid damaging the delicate mechanisms inside.
Once you have arrived at your destination and before unloading your dismantled furniture, it is worth giving each room a good clean and wiping down each piece of furniture and appliance to remove any dust picked up during transit. You can then bring in the furniture and start rebuilding it again. It is wise to start with the beds since everyone will have had a tiring day and will probably want an early night!
Having followed the guidance earlier in this article, you should find it fairly straightforward to reassemble your furniture and get your appliances up and running again.