How to Pack and Move Furniture

Making Furniture Moving Easy – Kind of!

Furniture has to be one of the most difficult items to move.  From moving tables and chairs to couches and beds.  Even mattresses are a real pain.  If you have a large home you can hire a moving company who will take the hernia risk off your shoulders and place it squarely on theirs for a fine fee.  But what if you are a student or a senior or in the military and you don’t have that much stuff, or the desire to risk falling from a third floor apartment balcony while trying to get a recliner into a UHaul?
First things first.  If your item weighs over 150# and is larger than 35 gallon trash can, you probably can’t send it with a traditional carrier like FedEx, UPS or the Postal service.  And if you are not moving an entire household of furniture a moving company is going to gouge you on price.  This type of shipment happens to be our specialty.  There are a variety of ltl freight carriers we can send your shipment with.  But what if you don’t want to pay us to pack your furniture?  And for the record, we do pack furniture and would love to pack yours.  Here are some things to consider:
  1. Covering – Regardless of whether you are packing an over-sized chair or grandma’s old coffee table, you want to cover every square inch in a protective material.  Any part of the item that is exposed is in jeopardy of being damaged.  What is protective material?  It can be blankets or towels.  It can be paper – we use rolls of brown paper and/or tissue paper.  You want to make sure to avoid using any paper with printing or ink on it as the ink can transfer to your item.  Yes, this rules out the use of newspaper.
  2. How Do You Make It Stick – Once you have your covering placed neatl your item, how exactly are you supposed to keep it there?  We use clear plastic film, also known as stretch wrap.  We wrap the item firmly all the way around to ensure the covering does not slip during transit.  If you want to do this at home you can use Seran Wrap or a generic version.  The Costco sized rolls are pretty good for home use.
  3. Edges, Corners and Sensitive Parts – Every corner, every edge and every delicate part of the item needs to be reinforced and/or padded.  This can be accomplished with cardboard around the edges, foam or bubble wrap around sensitive parts and another type of padding under the feet.  Yes, don’t forget the feet!  You can cut an fold corrugated cardboard pieces to wrap around all the edges and the feet.  Once you have padded and reinforced the sensitive and exposed areas, these too need to be wrapped with stretch wrap to make sure they stay in place
  4. Box it or Palletize it – At this point you have two options.  First, you can box your item.  Usually there are not boxesbig enough for large pieces of furniture, unless you just got home from Sears with a new washing machine.  That doesn’t mean you can’t box it.  You can telescope two boxes together or make a custom box from a large sheet of cardboard.
    1. If you box it – you must fill all the negative space within the box so the item cannot move during transit. There should be at least two inches of padding all the way around the item, even under the feet.
    2. If you palletize it – you still need to wrap the item in cardboard for added protection.  How do you get the cardboard pieces to stay?  You guessed it, stretch wrap.
If you palletize the item you now need to secure the item to the pallet.  We use industrial straps for this job.  These supplies and tools are not readily available to the average consumer so your best bet is to find a store like ours and ask them to strap it for you.  Truth be told, if you do most of the prep work yourself it might be best to just have the store provide the pallet and strap.  It shouldn’t be expensive at the point and will save you a lot of hassle.
If you have any questions or need help packing or shipping your furniture, please contact us today!


Leave a Reply