An orange sofa in a room overlay

How to Pack Furniture for Cross-Country Moving

Posted in How-to on March 31, 2022

Although the furniture is sturdy, many components can get damaged when you are moving cross-country. Therefore, it is important to know how to pack furniture properly in order to ensure its safety during transportation. You would not want to arrive at your new home and see your favorite sofa scratched or broken.

A disassembled item has many parts susceptible to irreparable damage if not appropriately packed when moving across the country. Wooden frames, upholstery, and parts made of glass are delicate components that can easily get broken or torn. Often the only thing you can do is to replace the item, and unnecessary expenses are not needed during long-distance moving.

You Need to Know How to Pack Furniture for Moving Properly

Certainly, one of the relocating essentials, when you are going to a new state, is furniture. There is no reason you should not move all pieces that are in good condition. Buying new items is not a sensible move to make as you will spend a lot of money on the relocation itself.

However, you cannot just hurl these objects in the back of a truck. In order to protect your household possessions, the following things have to be taken into consideration:

  • Appropriate protective materials that are crucial for safe transport,
  • How to apply these materials when packing furniture,
  • How to properly pack these objects for transportation,
  • What not to do when relocating these objects,
  • The importance of professional help.

In his article, you will find many useful packing tips for relocating household possessions and many relocating hacks that can make your relocation much more efficient. Most importantly, you will learn how to protect furniture when moving.

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How Do You Pack Furniture for Cargo? You Need to Wrap Everything Carefully in Protective Materials

When organizing your packing for relocation, you need to know how to prepare furniture for moving. Packing materials are instrumental for the safe move of your belongings, especially when they have to be loaded into trucks. Bumps and collisions can severely damage your possessions if they are not adequately covered with protective layers. Here are the main items that you will need to use:

  • Protective paper, bubble, and plastic wraps,
  • Protective blankets for relocating,
  • Sealing tapes and cords.

As you can see, wrapping furniture for moving will take a huge chunk of your time, but do not be sloppy when doing this. Wraps will protect your items in storage units and during transportation.

Lifting Tools Are Mandatory for Heavy Pieces of Furniture

Under no circumstances should you attempt to lift any heavy item yourself, and it is not even recommended to try it with a friend’s assistance. Injuries that can occur in these situations can be severe. There are professional tools like utility dollies and lifting straps that utilize the laws of physics and render lifting easier. Bear in mind that you do not have to purchase these tools. They can be rented from the local storage companies.

Different Items Require Different Sorts of Wrap When Moving

You will have different types of coverings – bubble, plastic, paper, and blankets. You will want to wrap all fragile objects in bubble wrap and place a “Fragile” label on the container. Wooden parts are also covered with bubble wrap, but it is recommended to cover them additionally in paper to prevent any damage from collisions between the pieces. For upholstery, you should use plastic coverings. Blankets are often used as a final protective layer, and here is a useful video on how to cover a table for transportation.

YouTube video

What Is the Easiest Way to Transport Furniture? Disassemble as Much as You Can

The most recurrent question is how do you pack heavy furniture. And one of the best possible long-distance relocating tips that you can get is to disassemble everything into smaller parts if possible. Most of the large objects can be dismantled, and they often come with an instruction manual. Please note that you will need to use basic tools such as screwdrivers and wrenches for dismantling.

First, Measure Everything and See Whether It Will Fit Your Truck and New Home

A common relocating mistake that people commit is not to measure everything precisely. Often, when packing the relocating truck, you realize that it does not have a big enough trailer. You would want to transport everything in one go. Also, have a clear idea of the dimensions of your new rooms. You would not want to move to a new home and realize that a certain piece will not fit into a room.

How Do You Pack Wood Furniture for Moving? Sofas Can Generally Be Dismantled Into Many Smaller Parts

When preparing a sofa for a move, you should first remove all the cushions. Then check the instruction manual to see what can be separated. Often, the entire frame can be disassembled into smaller parts with a screwdriver. Upholstery can also be removed when you are unscrewing parts, but it is generally not recommended to do that.

Many sofas will also have small legs attached to their main wooden frames. It may seem trivial to you, but you should unscrew them as it will save a lot of space in the trailer. More importantly, the lower boards to which these legs are attached will have much greater stability when stored.

Tables Are Easy to Disassemble for Relocating

Legs are often the only things that can be disassembled when preparing a table for a move. Nevertheless, it saves a huge amount of space. Basically, you only need to find a part called a leg assembly. At this place, the legs and the table surface are joined together. Simply unscrew these leg assemblies and appropriately wrap each part.

Beds Are Similar to Sofas When It Comes to Disassembling

Firstly, make sure to remove the mattress from the bed frame and prepare it for storage. The frame can also be completely dismantled into separate parts. The springboard that holds the mattress should be removed first. Then, you should unscrew the headboard and the sideboards that make the bed frame. Afterward, appropriately cover each part with protective layers. A mattress is always placed separately and in a vertical position in order to save space.

Modern Desk Chairs Are Quite Convenient for Relocating

Desk chairs can easily be disassembled. By using the lever, you can completely lower the chair, and many can completely be lowered to their bases. In addition to this, the seat often has a knob or screw that can be removed. Thus the seat will be separated from its base. More traditional chairs probably cannot be disassembled, but they can be stacked onto each other for transportation.

Cabinets and Cupboards Often Have Glass Parts That Need to Be Carefully Packed

The same applies to cabinets and cupboards. Remove drawers and unscrew doors with a screwdriver. However, many doors will have glass windows that can easily be shattered during transportation. You will have to carefully wrap them in bubble and paper coverings and use stickers to label the container as fragile.

Smaller Parts Like Handles, Knobs, and Legs Should All Be Separated

A great relocating tip that you should consider is removing all the smaller elements like door handles, wheels, and legs from your items. Above all, this will render the packing much easier as it can save a lot of space. But, it is also an additional safety measure since many of these protruding parts are made from metal that can severely scratch other objects if they collide with each other.

Dedicate Special Containers to These Smaller Parts

There will be a lot of small legs, screws, knobs, and handles unscrewed, and you will want to pack them in an orderly manner. There will be a lot of mess when you start unpacking after relocating if you do not know which screw goes where. A lot of people also like to take pictures of disassembled parts and have a visual representation of what goes where.

A chair wrapped in plastic and boxes stacked on top of each other behind it
Having everything packed in an orderly manner will render your relocation much easier

There Are Certain Things That You Have to Avoid When Packing Furniture

The following mistakes are quite common when it comes to relocation, and you should really try to avoid them if you want to move smoothly to a new state. Here are the most common ones that you should definitely be aware of:

  • The most important thing to establish is what objects will actually have a purpose in your new home. Relocating decrepit stuff that cannot be used anymore is not a sensible choice. It is understandable that an emotional bond with an old item can be quite strong. However, in reality, it will just incur additional expenses and take up space. Consider getting rid of such items by donating or recycling them.
  • Another huge mistake is not thoroughly cleaning the objects. First of all, any particles like stale morsels can create friction and scratch the surface, especially if it is a varnished one. Secondly, professional cross-country moving services will refuse to load dirty objects into their trucks. Finally, it is much easier to furnish your new home when everything is already cleaned.
  • Measure the openings through which you will have to carry these objects. This basically means that it is best to know the width of your doors at your new place. You wouldn’t want to arrive and find out that a board or a frame cannot fit through the doors.
  • Many people become quite sloppy when it comes to wrapping big objects. When you see a big headboard or a table surface, you’ll maybe think that such sturdy objects will not require much protection for transportation. But it is quite the opposite. The likelihood of unloading a ruined wooden surface is quite high
  • Many people omit the paper that is supposed to be stuffed between different parts and just cover everything with bubble layers thinking that it will be enough for protection. However, that is not the case. The paper or cardboard is extremely important as it will absorb any potential collisions that may occur between two stacked objects.
  • Finally, make sure to do everything slowly and carefully. You must not rush anything. When disassembling objects, you can easily cut yourself or pinch your fingers. On the other hand, if you have to move a heavier part, do not perform any sudden and rushed movements. The injuries that can occur range from mild to severe if you are not careful.

Always Consider Hiring Professional Help if You Have the Means

If you want to make your relocation as stress-free as possible, consider hiring professional long-distance movers. They will make the entire process much easier, especially with regard to this issue of relocating heavy objects. Professional packing services will be provided, and you will not have to worry about their safety as storage services are available as well.

You will have a lot more time to focus on other issues that arise, like the anxiety about relocating out or finding employment if you are relocating without a job. Having to move your household possessions requires a lot of effort, and as mentioned above, there are risks of getting injured. Therefore, seriously consider hiring professional help from cross-country movers.

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