7 ways to stay safe when moving heavy items upstairs
Moving is never easy, but the prospect of moving furniture between levels is particularly daunting. Here are a few ways to keep you, your walls, and your furniture safe during a multi-level move.
1. Cost out your move.
You should always get an in-person estimate for any move. While you are still gathering ballparks from moving companies or furniture movers, the number of floors in your home can affect the estimate, so make sure they are aware of all the levels in your home.
2. Be safe.
If you choose to move items on your own, you’ll want to follow safe packing and moving practices. Stairs can present one of the biggest concerns, so a first step is removing all clutter from stairs and making sure you have safety equipment and supplies. This is necessary even if you’re hiring moving companies or furniture movers. A first rule of thumb is only lift items you can carry comfortably. If an object is too hard to lift, it may be too hard on your body and risk your safety. These rules apply double for stairs.
3. Rent a dolly.
This will always be money well spent, as a moving dolly can help not just with stairs, but also makes it much quicker, easier and safer to move heavy items or stacks of boxes in general. Four-wheel dollies are usually the best. Moving companies and furniture movers may rent dollies, and local tool rental or home supply stores will carry them for a reasonable daily price.
4. Check the space.
Before you get started on moving items up the stairs, make sure they’ll fit. This may seem obvious, and yet so often people get couches, chairs and other large furniture stuck in the stairway — causing them to lose time and perhaps damage the item, walls or banisters. The most important thing to check for is turning space. Will the item fit around corners and clear low ceilings?
5. Remove legs, drawers, cushions.
Take a little extra time to make sure the item is as small and as light as possible. You’d be surprised how much weight drawers add to a dresser or armoire, even when the contents have been removed. Removing legs and cushions from chairs, couches or other furniture makes it easier to turn items or get them over banisters, and less likely to scratch the walls.
6. Recruit a friend.
When moving a large item between floors, it’s best to have at least three people. Two to push, and a “middle linebacker” to pull from the front end. This arrangement provides enough force to hold the object even if someone slips.
7. Protect the banisters.
Wrap banisters in clean packing blankets, then wrap them tight with packing tape. Make sure not to touch the tape to the wood underneath.
There are pros and cons to self-moving. Dealing with stairs are one of the potential cons. Don’t be afraid to consult with furniture movers or moving companies if you’re unsure about your ability to move your own belongings, and definitely do so if you are physically uncomfortable lifting any large items.
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