How to Disassemble Furniture When Moving: 10 Steps for Success

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Moving is a word that so often makes us cringe. In fact, there are those of us who would avoid moving at all costs. When it comes to packing, it’s not so bad, it’s just a tedious task. It’s really moving the various furniture and appliances that terrifies us. 
What if we break something? What if it doesn’t fit right in our new space? What if we lose pieces? What if we can’t get it back together? 
There are many scenarios that can torment us endlessly but there are also many simple tips you can put to use to help your moving experience run as smoothly as possible. 

We’re here to share with you 10 tips for moving furniture successfully. These tips will cover everything from assembly and disassembly practices to working through the moving motions and everything in between. 
Without further ado, here are our 10 steps for success. 

1. Make a Plan

Make a Plan

Seems simple, doesn’t it? But you would be amazed how many start moving things randomly with no plans or intended end results in mind. We’re hoping that if you’re moving you’ve at least seen the location you are moving to. 
Whether you’ve looked at pictures or you visited in person, you need a plan. You need a plan for exiting the current facility and entering your new point of residence. 
Plan everything from the tear-down process to the loading process and in what order things will be unloaded and placed into the new space. Feel free to chart it out and determine what will make things the easiest. 
For instance, does that king-sized bed need to be set up before you move in those huge dressers? Maybe that TV stand you took apart can be set in the corner until you’re ready to place it. Whatever you do, don’t go into this blindly or at random. Make a plan! 

2. Supplies are Important

Supplies are Important

Did you read that headline? Supplies are important! It won’t do you much good to disassemble furniture or even start packing boxes if you don’t have the proper supplies to make your move successful. 
Here are a few supplies you should consider right away. 

  • Tape
  • Boxes
  • Dolly
  • Straps
  • Coverings
  • Bubble wrap or something to protect breakables
  • Markers
  • Packing paper

These are just a few basic supplies. You can typically purchase these supplies from nearby stores, right down to the boxes. You might even have a local moving company or moving store that supplies these types of products and that is perhaps one of the easiest ways to get them. 
Packing supplies help keep things orderly and neat and in their place. It will prevent damaging, bruising, breaking, or misplacing important pieces of your furniture. When you disassemble furniture, you’re looking at a lot of moving parts so this will help you keep those together and organized as well. 

3. Take Some Measurements

Take Some Measurements

Fortunately, you may not have to disassemble every large piece of furniture. This will certainly save you some time and some hassle. Disassembling means at some point you will have to reassemble. But guess what, sometimes you can get away with not disassembling. 
Read that again, and let out that sigh of relief we know you’re holding in. 
If you proactively take some measurements, it will help you to determine what has to be taken apart and what can be moved as it is. It’s a given that some things will have to be disassembled but the less the better, right? 
Measure doorways, hallways, corners, and areas that may cause you any kind of trouble. You will want to be mindful of stairs and seemingly tight spaces or tight corners that don’t give you much room to work with. 
You can measure these areas both for the place you’re exiting and for the new place and then measure height, width, and depth of all large furniture pieces and work from there. 

4. Don’t Lose Parts

Don’t Lose Parts

Those nuts and bolts holding your furniture together are going to be extremely important when it comes time to put Humpty Dumpty (or your furniture) back together again. 
Don’t just haphazardly toss all of the nuts and bolts from all of your furniture pieces into a coffee can and think you will enjoy putting that puzzle together. Trust us, it doesn’t work out very well and things will inevitably come up missing. 
For each piece of furniture that you disassemble, establish a bag or a container and store ALL of those small parts and pieces together for a single piece of furniture. 
Wait, we’re not done yet. Before you go any farther, label that bag or container so you know exactly what piece of furniture it goes to. We mean it! Don’t skip this part. 

5. Is the Move Worth It?

Is the Move Worth It?

There comes a time when it might be a better choice to simply say goodbye to a functional piece. Bulky and heavy items may or may not be worth the move. On the other hand, maybe you have a piece of furniture that is quite worn and wobbly that you’re concerned won’t survive the move. 
It might just be time to let some of these pieces go. 
Of course, that choice is solely up to you but it’s a serious matter to contemplate as you’re working your way through preparing for a move. 
There really is no right or wrong answer here. The choice is up to you. Just be aware that sometimes the efforts to require said furniture pieces are not quite worth it. You might be able to replace that extremely heavy couch that you don’t really like anyway for the same price it’s going to cost you to move it. 
Do you get the picture here? 
Just consider all of the factors. These factors will be personal and unique to your situation but looking at the big picture may help you to pinpoint some furniture that you don’t have to stress about during what is certainly already a stressful process for you. 

6. Trust the Professionals

Trust the Professionals

Surely you’ve heard of those moving companies that will come in and take care of those tedious and challenging tasks for you? Those companies exist because there is a need for this service and expertise. 
The burden of moving can be extremely overwhelming, so why not do it right. Trust the experts in the field to come in and help with your move. Find a local company to support and then drill down into your options. 
When you hire a moving company, you can pack things ahead of time and literally just hire them to move the heavy stuff and the boxes. Moving companies can take care of the disassembly and reassembly process for you and they can worry about all those minor details, like how to make it fit through the doorway. 
If you’re going to hire movers to help you out, be sure to plan ahead. You don’t want to wait until the last minute. You need to be able to discuss with them expectations on both sides and be able to schedule for your move. 
It will cost you a bit of money out of pocket but we think you will find it’s well worth the cost to have the support for the move. Plus, these guys are trained for just such a time as this. 

7. Bring in the Friends

Bring in the Friends

If you can’t afford movers or you simply want some help prepping for the move, invite your friends and family over to help. 
Set up a system and quit trying to do it by yourself. You can invite close friends and family and typically bribe them with refreshments. Whether you offer pizza and beer or you grill on the back patio while everyone is working, friends can make the process so much smoother. 
Just be sure to keep the party organized so it doesn’t turn into something ineffective or chaotic. 

8. Keep Instructions Handy

Keep Instructions Handy

The challenge to disassembly typically rears its ugly head later on – when you’re trying to reassemble. If you followed our guidance on keeping things organized and labeled, this process can run much more smoothly. 
Another thing that can help dramatically for reassembly purposes is to have all valid instruction manuals handy. You get bonus points if you keep these stashed away for everything and you know right where to find them. 
You knew you were saving those darn manuals for a good reason! 

9. Proper Tools Matter

Proper Tools Matter

This should go without saying but it’s rather important. You cannot disassemble or reassemble if you don’t have the proper tools available. Most furniture can be put together or taken apart with simple things like screwdrivers and wrenches. 
As you take things apart, note the tools you will need to reassemble and keep those handy so you won’t be hunting for tools to get things done when you’re ready to put things back together again. 
As you’re considering tools, don’t forget proper straps and things like dollies for those heavy pieces. 

10. Keep it Safe

Keep it Safe

Above all else, keep your processes safe. Be mindful of personal protective equipment as you work through the disassembly process. Furniture can be back-breaking to move. Understand the proper processes for moving pieces and take caution to protect yourself appropriately. 
Don’t just work it in however, keep yourself and anyone helping you safe with the proper safety practices and equipment at your service. 

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