Stretching isn’t just for athletes. The first step to successfully preventing injury is making sure your muscles are ready and limber.
Take a few minutes before hoisting that bulky furniture and stretch it out. You need to especially make certain that your legs are well stretched—especially if you will be moving furniture up or down stairs.
Navigating heavy furniture to its destination is hard enough without dodging floor clutter or having to stop to move other furniture out of the way.
You want to think ahead and not only clear a path but also measure to make sure your furniture is going to fit. Measure both the final destination for the furniture and any potentially problematic paths (doorways, hallways, corners, etc.). No one wants to move a piano up the stairs just to find out it won’t fit through the doorway.
Secure the Furniture
Ensure that nothing is going to fall off the piece of furniture or fly open mid-move.
Essentially, all bits that have the potential to move need to be secured, as the last thing you want is a door flinging open and causing injury or damage. Use a few moving straps to secure any doors or drawers shut. Tape will also do in a pinch, just keep in mind it needs to be both strong and non-marking. Frog Tape is often a good choice for securing lighter objects.
Make It Lighter
A heavy piece of furniture can feel overwhelming to move simply because of its weight, so think about ways to make it lighter.
Can any drawers be removed? Maybe a few shelves? Or perhaps the whole thing can be disassembled into smaller, more manageable pieces? It can be tempting to move a piece of furniture as-is to get it over with, but taking time to make it lighter and more manageable can be an absolute game-changer, especially if stairs are involved.
Protect Your Furniture
Concerned about damaging your antique dresser during the move? A little prep work can go a long way to avoid scratches, nicks, or dents.
First, wipe any dust or dirt off the piece. Any debris left on has the potential to scratch. Next, you are going to want to take a clean moving blanket and wrap it around. Some people use tape to secure the blanket, but the best way is an industrial size roll of plastic wrap. Both moving blankets and plastic wrap are readily available at most hardware stores.
Lift with Your Legs
It may be one of the most overused sayings when it comes to moving, but it’s consistently used for a reason—it’s 100% true.
You want to get down into a squat when you pick up something. This will help you avoid using your back, and furthermore, help you avoid pain and injury.
Work as a Team
Most furniture is heavy, awkward, or both, so working as a team to lift and navigate is a must.
Ideally, you’ll want two people lifting a piece of furniture, each stationed at an opposite side. Additionally, you may also have someone giving verbal cues for navigation, opening doors, and ensuring your path is clear.
Use Simultaneous Lifting
Simultaneous lifting is key to moving furniture without injury. Lifting an item while your partner is stagnant or vice versa puts everyone at risk for injury.
Simply counting down “3-2-1” before lifting or putting down furniture is the easiest way to make sure that you and your partner are working in unison. Remember, injuries often happen when there is a lack of communication between lifting partners.
Sometimes lifting isn’t even necessary at all. If you are moving something across a level floor, slide it instead—it takes far less effort and you are less likely to injure yourself.
A moving blanket or carpeted pads are great to move furniture across hardwood or other slick surfaces, while plastic sliders are perfect for carpet. Simply just tip the piece of furniture and position the sliders under the corners or legs, place the furniture back down, and away you go.
Moving is undoubtedly a hassle and it’s natural to want to get it done is one shot, but try to avoid rushing.
Simply taking your time is one of the best ways to safeguard against injury and damage. It is easy to say, “stretching takes too much time” or “we don’t need a break, we can power through,” but those five minutes can save you months, years, or even a lifetime of pain that could have easily been avoided.
A moving injury can set you back financially if it requires you to take time off work and it can have a major impact on your daily living, so is it worth the risk? When in doubt, get the professionals involved. Professional movers have the experience, knowledge, and equipment to get the job done quickly and efficiently while completely eliminating the possibility of injury.
Whether you are simply swapping around your furniture, moving to a new home, or bringing in one of 2020s most trendy sofas, following our tips can lead to a great moving experience. A little furniture moving know-how goes a long way in protecting both your furniture and your health.