How to Move Furniture Safely and Efficiently

Getting chairs, tables, and other pieces of furniture away from the painting site is a priority for contractors. If you’re taking on a project yourself, you should make it one, too. Based on the pros’ advice, we present several strategies to make the process go smoothly.

1) Safety first

Know your limits. If that armoire is more than you can handle on your own, admit it to yourself and ask for help. Saving money by doing house painting yourself is a fine idea, but you could lose more than you save if you hurt yourself in the process. Do what you can to prevent this from happening.

When you can do it, moving furniture along the floor (rather than picking it up) is the way to go. Truly heavy items are best slid, not lifted, if your goal is to minimize bodily harm.  Squares of cardboard can be placed under a couch’s legs, for instance, in order to keep it from scratching or gouging the floor while it slides. Stores also sell products whose purpose is to make furniture easy to slide while shielding carpet or hardwood from damage.

2) Teamwork pays off

This isn’t the time to play lone wolf. Get a friend to assist you; if you have to bribe him or her with a cold beer or pizza, so be it.

3) Hello, dolly!

A hand truck, also known as a dolly, is a very good idea when you’re clearing the furniture from a room. Companies like U-Haul rent them out, as do stores like the Home Depot. Fridges, bookshelves, armoires, and other bulky items may be much less tricky to handle with a dolly. Though a mattress can usually be carried or dragged out of a room, it’s also likely to fit on a hand truck.

4) Don’t move the bookshelf while the books are on it

In other words, if a piece of furniture is loaded down with heavy things, take them off before you move it. Seems like a no-brainer, but people often try to pick up a full shelf for efficiency’s sake, and it ends in tears. If a shelf holds a large number of books, you may want to box them until it’s back in its place. The last thing you want is for it to start raining books while you’re pulling a monster shelf across the floor.

This tactic is even more crucial when you’re working with a china cabinet. Protect your dishes and lighten your load — everyone wins.

5) Keep doors, the floor, and vertical surfaces safe from harm

Putting something under the legs of the furniture you’re sliding helps prevent your flooring material from scratching, scuffing, or tearing. Similarly, placing a blanket around an object can keep it from harming a doorway (and vice-versa).

Like every step of painting preparation, getting furniture out of the room you’re painting should make your work easier — and your results more impressive. After all, having free range of motion in the space you’re working in makes everything a little less stressful.