Tips for Transporting Big-Ticket Items (Part 2 – Series)

Making a furniture purchase is exciting, until you realize that you still have to get it to its final resting place, home. Preferably, you’d like to transport it with as few dings and dents as possible, or in the case of a mirror, all in one piece. There are some pretty basic rules for getting large items moved quickly and efficiently:

1.    Get the Right Stuff

The right tools will determine if you’re successful or not. This isn’t an easy task, and most furniture isn’t going to simply fold up and fit in your trunk. Instead of showing up empty handed, bring along the basics. Have a truck, a dolly, rope, blankets and towels. That’s for the very minimum. If you’re moving something delicate, you’ll want even more blankets, plus some pillows for padding. I have never moved a mirror or a glass tabletop without pillows and it has been a lifesaver.

2.    Slide Along

Don’t try to lift and carry. That runs the risk of hurting your back, knees, shoulder, wrists and basically any other major body part. However, if you slide furniture along the floor instead of trying to hoist it around, it will be much easier on you and it’ll go faster. This is especially true for couches, but make sure they’re sliding on one end. You’ve probably seen the episode of “Friends” where Ross’s couch gets stuck in the stairwell, right? You want a couch to be standing tall instead of sitting long, so it’s easier to hook around corners and through doorways.

You can lay down cardboard to make a path to slide something along, or put a piece on a blanket to slide across the floor with ease. Combine the two steps and you don’t even have to lift things up to get them on your porch.

3.    Find Some Help, Then Get More

If it’s a truly large, heavy piece, then enlist your friends. Offer to pay them with food and you might be surprised at who comes out. Some tables or dressers may weigh in on the upper end of 200-300 pounds. Most people are going to have one heck of a time moving something like that, let alone maneuvering it around obstacles and watching where they’re going.

The truth is, you can probably expect most people to take about 100 pounds max. You’ll need at least one other person to help control wobbles, falls and doors. So, for a 300-pound dresser, you’ll need at least four people to move it safely.

4.    How Light Can It Get?

Take everything apart that you can. Yes, it might be a pain to take all the drawers out of a dresser or take the legs off a table, but it makes a huge difference in weight. Even removing the cushions from a couch can make a big difference. Aside from the weight, it’s also safer to take those things out. If you don’t remove them, you at least have to secure them. You don’t want a drawer to fall out when the dresser is being moved, only to have you or a friend trip over it. Even most recliners will break down into two pieces, which can turn it from a two- or three-person job into something you can do on your own if you’re careful.

That being said, try to get it in through a large entrance first before you start breaking the piece apart in the driveway. Traditional entryway doors are usually only 3-4 feet in width which doesn’t give you much room in terms of clearance. If you have a garage door, use that, most single doors are typically 8’ x 7’; double doors are typically 16’ x 7’, giving you much more room.

5.    Get the Pros

If you’re really not sure if you can move this item or you simply don’t have the resources to do so, hire someone. There are many companies that will hire professional movers, so there shouldn’t be any shortage of options. Be sure to check them out thoroughly. The good ones will take care of everything. All you should have to do is tell them where to go.

Moving large items doesn’t have to be something you dread. With a little bit of planning and some friends, you can do it yourself and have a good time afterward. Just be smart and safe, and you’ll get things done in no time.


Megan Wild is a home decor expert that loves writing about ways you can help save the Earth through decorating. You can check out more of her tips on her blo