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Moving, in general, is difficult – there are no two ways about it. But you must agree that some things are much more difficult to move than others – either because they are very heavy, or awkwardly shaped, or extremely fragile, or highly valuable, etc. If you make a list of such difficult-to-move items, large furniture will be near the top:
So, when planning a residential move, you’ll inevitably find yourself wondering what to do with your large furniture pieces – how to take them safely out of your old home, how to prevent property damage and personal injuries when lifting the heavy items and carrying them around, how to load them onto the moving truck and ensure their safety during the transportation, how to unload them upon arrival and take them into your new place without so much as a scratch. The only way to achieve such a remarkable feat is to take apart your furniture before the move and reassemble it in your new home.
You can complete this task yourself or ask your chosen movers to lend you a hand.
Do moving companies disassemble furniture?
Moving companies offer furniture disassembly and reassembly services for an additional charge.
How much will it cost you to have your furniture disassembled by the movers?
It depends on the complexity of the job (disassembling more elaborate furniture will take longer time and greater effort), the type of your move, and the specific tariffs of your chosen moving company (each moving company makes a list of the extra services it offers and sets their corresponding rates).
If you’re moving locally, you’ll be charged on an hourly rate – the final moving cost will depend on the number of hours it will take the moving crew to complete the job from start to finish. You can request any additional services you need – packing, disassembly and reassembly of furniture, etc., but your move is going to take longer and you’ll have to pay for the extra time, of course;
If you’re moving long distance, the moving costs will be calculated based on the total weight of your shipment and the actual distance to your new home. If you request additional disassembly and reassembly services, you’ll be charged a pre-defined fee. Have in mind though that the moving crew that is going to unload your belongings upon arrival will most probably not be the same one that dismantled your furniture and loaded the moving truck. The new movers will not know what your furniture pieces look like and may not be able to put them back together.
Do you need professional assistance to take apart your furniture?
If you can’t afford the extra charges (or just want to save some of your hard-earned money), you can try to dismantle your furniture yourself – provided that you have the right tools and an extra pair of hands. Keep in mind though that it is going to take you plenty of time and effort to disassemble your pieces, not to mention the risk of damaging them in the process. Besides, reassembly is certain to give you a headache, especially if you don’t have the corresponding instruction manuals. Last but not least, don’t forget that taking apart some more delicate or intricate furniture items may require specialized equipment and expert skills you simply don’t have.
What types of furniture do movers usually take apart?
When moving a preassembled item, it may not be easy to decide if it would be best to keep it as one piece or take it apart. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages – moving the item in one piece will save you a plenty of time and possible problems when reassembling it; taking it apart will make the piece easier to pack and carry and will reduce the risk of damage during the relocation. Despite the dilemma, certain large furniture pieces are almost always disassembled before the move for the sake of safety and efficiency:
Beds (especially king-size and queen-size beds) are very difficult to maneuver through narrow corridors, steep staircases with low overhanging ceilings and other tight spaces. Besides they’re relatively easy to disassemble and reassemble – most beds consist of a simple wooden or metal frame with slats for the mattress to rest on. The slats and the frame are connected by screws or snap-on fixtures that can be easily disassembled. Bunk beds and beds that have trundle drawers and sliders underneath, however, are much more difficult to take apart and put back together. You can attempt to dismantle a simple bed by yourself, but you’re strongly recommended to let the moving experts take care of more complicated types of beds.
Wall units – cabinets and bookshelves
It is virtually impossible to move wall units from one place to another without disassembling them first. Mounted shelving and wall cabinets are usually fastened together by methods that are invisible to the inexperienced eye. Dismantling them is a complex and risky process you should not attempt without previous experience and proper tools. Such furniture needs to be disassembled in the reverse order to assembly, not just pulled apart. This job is better left to the experts.
Bookshelves and other stand-alone shelving is much easier to take apart. If the shelves are floating (sitting on pegs or notches), you can simply lift them off and pack them separately. If they’re attached to the bookcase, you’ll have to unscrew the bolts holding them together. You can easily disassemble the wooden frame in the same way. Just don’t forget to put all the removed screws and bolts in a sealable bag, so that you don’t lose them or mix them with small hardware parts from other furniture.
Wardrobes and Dressers
Wardrobes are very bulky and quite heavy, so they’re rarely moved in one piece. Even if your dresser is a relatively small one, any drawers, shelves and other unattached elements will have to be removed prior to the move. The doors will also have to be detached or at least well secured to the main frame. Any mirrored doors and glass panels must be removed and safely wrapped in bubble wrap and moving blankets.
Some double wardrobes and most triple wardrobes have to be fully dismantled for the move as they are too tall and too wide to be taken out of your home in one piece. The experienced movers will make a quick job of taking the large furniture apart, without any risk of damage or accidents.
Disassembling a large table makes it much easier to be squeezed around tight corners or through narrow corridors. Besides, the flat table top can be conveniently packed and secured in the moving truck (and it will take up far less room in the truck than a table on legs, as well).
It is relatively simple to take apart a dining table, but if the leg fixings look complex, you’d better leave the job to the movers. As far as vanity tables are concerned, you should keep in mind that the sizeable mirrors they usually come with make the disassembly process quite risky. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have them disassembled by experienced professionals.
Desks, armoires, exercise equipment, and other large household pieces are also moved more effectively when disassembled.
What furniture movers may not agree to disassemble?
Even though moving companies offer furniture disassembly and reassembly services, there are some exceptions to the pieces of furniture they will take apart. Most movers will avoid disassembling antiques, pool tables, and furniture pieces that are glued or nailed together. They won’t take the risk, as they don’t have the time and wood-specific expertise to put such complicated pieces back together.
Do movers assemble furniture?
When they deliver your items, the movers will put back together any furniture pieces they have disassembled for the move. Have in mind though that your reassembled furniture may not work or look exactly the same way it did in your old home – if the floor in your new place isn’t perfectly level, for example, the drawers of your dresser may be sliding open all the time, or there may be a small gap between the floor and the first shelf of a mounted wall unit, etc. This is not your movers’ fault.
So, have you made a decision yet? What are you going to do with your large furniture when moving house? Having it disassembled by professional movers may be your best bet to preserve the bulky pieces in excellent condition throughout the relocation process.