Wouldn’t it be easy if everything you needed to transport during a move could be put inside moving boxes? Unfortunately, your larger pieces of furniture will require a more thoughtful approach to take them safely from A to B.
This article will help you pack your sofa up, helping to keep your sofa as well as your walls & floors safe.
How Proper Packing Protects Your Furniture and Your Home
Moving a sofa may look like a piece of cake but don’t be fooled by appearances. Sofas are designed to be heavily weighted on one side which means they can be awkward to pick up and transport. They are also the wrong shape to go through a doorway so will need pivoting and careful alignment to make it through. Get it wrong and you could have a door-handle through your suede upholstery.
Even if your couch survives unscathed, a trailing wheel or leg can take a gouge out of wallpaper or woodwork. To make your life easier, you need to spend some time packing up your sofa properly.
There are many different methods used by different moving firms but here are three to choose from:
Method 1: Traditional Technique
The technique most often used to pack and move a sofa requires just three materials: a roll of stretch wrap (or microfilm if you have a leather couch), moving furniture pads and packing tape. You may also want to get hold of some couch/sofa covers for added protection.
The traditional method starts with a layer of shrink wrap. Starting at the wheels or legs, wrap around the whole base of the sofa several times. Move up to the arms and, using a figure-of-eight pattern, tuck the wrap under the arms and around the back of the sofa to the other side. Again, repeat a few times. Finish off by wrapping around the top of the sofa several times. Next, you can carefully tip the sofa on its edge and cover with the moving blankets, making sure any legs or exposed wood is covered. Secure with tape and you are ready to transport your sofa to the moving truck. Avoid rubber bands as these can cause the upholstery to be marked, especially sensitive fabrics such as leather.
The rationale for using shrink wrap first is that this protects your sofa from external moisture plus any containment that may be on the blankets. However, some forms of upholstery can sweat and some movers recommend leaving off the shrink wrap until after the blankets are in place. If you have a leather sofa, you should use microfilm as an initial wrap as leather will sweat and potentially be damaged in shrink wrap.
Method 2: Pad Wrap (Diaper Wrap)
This method begins by placing a moving blanket on to some crates and lifting the sofa on to the blanket. The couch is then covered by one or more blankets and these can be gently secured with a small strip of tape across the arms, taking care not to stick directly to the fabric below. By minimizing the amount of tape used, it becomes much easier to unpack at the destination.
Once the sides are done, the bottom blanket can be folded up to cover the top blanket and ensure any gaps are sealed. By making sure the corners are nicely tucked in – like wrapping a diaper or even a gift – the blanket will stay in place with no bunching, making for easier transportation. Again, only a small amount of tape is needed to secure the blanket.
Next, it’s time to shrink wrap the sofa, going round the whole base three or four times and securing the ends with a small amount of tape. Rather than wrapping the top and bottom, you can use two strips of tape and wrap around the whole couch. This will save you time and hold the shrink wrap in place.
Method 3: Disassembly First
If your sofa has lots of detachable appendages (legs, backrests, arms, etc.) it can make your life much easier in the long run if you disassemble it first. Make sure you have the assembly instructions to hand and you feel confident you can put it back together at the other end.
Legs can be particularly inconvenient when trying to maneuver a couch through tight spaces and many people find themselves denting woodwork or tearing wallpaper. If you can reduce your couch to the smallest possible package, you will reap the benefits when it comes to packing and loading time.
Seal any screws, washers, nuts and other bits of hardware in a clear, labeled plastic bag but don’t pack them in your moving boxes. Instead, tape them securely to a part of the sofa frame for easy retrieval at your destination.
Some More Top Tips to Protect your Home and Furniture
- Stock up on packing supplies early
Make a list of all the things you will need to wrap up your furniture. There is nothing worse than going to the store and finding out they’re out of moving blankets or packing tape. New Haven should have everything you need so place your order early.
- Bunch tape to protect upholstery
If tape has to stretch across neat fabric, simply fold it in half so that it won’t stick and cause damage.
- Plan to protect your home
Some thoughtfully placed pieces of cardboard, bubble wrap or old clothes could prevent you from the expense and hassle of a chipped door frame or a cracked tile. Take down mirrors, paintings and lampshades – even if you’re leaving them behind – they are prime candidates for relocation damage. Here is the demonstration video on How to Pack Mirrors & Picture Frames Safely
- Use a dolly
A moving dolly makes it easy for one person to do the job of two, saving you time and effort.
- No dolly? Use furniture pads
Floors can be scratched, torn or chipped when moving furniture. This can usually be avoided if you place a furniture pads, a large blanket rug or sheet underneath items of your furniture.
- Pack with transport in mind
Think about how you are going to transport the sofa to your moving truck and how you intend to store it. For example, if you are using a dolly, ensure that one of the sides is pad-wrapped as flat as can be.
Follow the methods above and take note of the tips and you will find packing up and moving your sofa and couch a breeze. That’s one less thing to worry about when you prepare for your next big move.