The ultimate guide to moving heavy furniture

Moving heavy furniture is a daunting task for a lot of people. It can be very strenuous on the body and, without the correct equipment, can result in injury or damaged furniture – and no one want that!

That’s why we’ve put together this essential guide, packed with expert tips, to help you help yourself and keep breakages to an absolute minimum. Let’s dive in.

Are you up to it?

Before you do anything at all, it is always important to ensure you are fit and able enough to move heavy furniture – after all, your health is paramount. Generally speaking, if something seems like it is too heavy to lift it usually is, so don’t be afraid to ask for help . A lot of furniture will require at least two people to move it safely and pack it into a van. And this means either getting a friend to come along for the ride or hiring a professional to share the load.

Where to start

You should always plan before you start moving heavy furniture, you’ll be surprised at how helpful planning can actually be! With a little planning you can ensure that you don’t get to moving time and just use your strength to get you through it.

Take a step back, assess the furniture, its size and the way you will get it out. If you can recall how you brought it in (if you can remember that far back!) then you can mimic that technique in reverse. But only do that if it went well getting it in, of course!

Planning to move those heavy furniture items

There are a few things to think about before you move heavy furniture. By doing all of these things you give yourself the best chance of moving those heavy items smoothly, unscathed and damage-free.

Can the item be disassembled at all?

If your heavy piece(s) of furniture can be disassembled at all then this is a good thing to do. Not only will this make the item lighter, which will make it easier to pick up and load/unload the van, but it will also make the item easier to manoeuvre through halls and doorways.

If you remove any nuts, bolts, washers, or screws be sure to put these in a bag and keep them with the piece of furniture.  We recommend you label it too if you are going to have lots of bags with parts from different pieces of furniture.

a woman calling a man with a van to help with moving heavy furniture

Do I have the right equipment for the move?

You may need additional equipment other than your hands, brain and strength to move heavy furniture. Make sure you have these items at hand if you anticipate a tricky manoeuvre will be on the cards.

Moving dolly

A square or rectangular moving dolly can be a good option when moving heavy furniture. A dolly is essentially a metal platform with wheels on the bottom. With this piece of kit you can sit heavy pieces of furniture on its surface and then wheel them around.

For longer items, you can use two dollies. And even better, you can get different-sized dollies, so assess which option would be best for the furniture you are shifting.

Furniture sliders

Great for moving heavy furniture, make sure you get the right sliders for the surface you are shifting the furniture on. For example, if you are sliding furniture on carpet, you will want to get some especially designed for a soft carpet surface.

To use sliders just place them under the four corners of the furniture and then push the item – using 2 people can often make this easier. If you are moving something which that could tip over easily, then be extra careful not to topple it over when sliding it along. This will require a steady hand and a sharp focus.


You should also have blankets to hand too. Use them to cover the furniture at all times when handling it and in transit. This will ensure that any bangs and scrapes don’t damage the furniture or walls, door frames, windows, vehicles or anything else the furniture could come into contact with.

You can also use blankets to help move furniture by putting them beneath the item and pulling the blanket. The furniture will then just slide – perfect for pesky items that are difficult to grip. Again, be sure to be careful doing this with anything that could tip over.


If you are not physically strong enough to lift the furniture, then you will need to hire professionals to do the job for you. Moving professionals will have all the equipment required plus the expertise when it comes to manoeuvring the furniture. They will also be insured so if anything is damaged, either your furniture or the property then you will be fully covered.

However, with this in mind, it is always worth checking insurance policies first and perhaps asking for proof too as there have been many occasions where people have thought they were insured, and they weren’t. Some companies’ insurance policies only cover them up to a certain amount. So if you are moving particularly expensive furniture it is important to confirm the value of the coverage.

The route

Sometimes your route is limited and there is only one way in and one way out. If that applies to you then your decision is made for you, and you don’t need to read the rest of this paragraph. However, if you do have options on which way out to choose, you should decide on this before your move takes place.

The easiest thing to do is simply pick the route with the most space. If you have a route where there are double doors, then this would be a good option as you can easily fit furniture through. Choose the route with the least tight turns and, if possible, select the route where you do not have to lift the furniture over anything like fences and radiators as this will be particularly difficult with heavy furniture.

Techniques for moving heavy furniture

a group of friends moving heavy furniture

Carry tall items at the top and the bottom

Tall items such as wardrobes and dressers should be carried by two people. Tilt the item to one person and allow them to grip it at either end. The trick here, is to make sure someone holds it at the top and the other holds it firmly at the bottom. This centres the point of gravity, hence making the lift more controlled and as a result much safer.

“Hook” chairs around corners

Tip chairs onto their side and then move the back of the chair through the doorway first. Then curl the chair around the doorway and it will slide through. Note that you may still have to remove the legs when using this technique.

Stand sofas on their end

Sofas can be heavy with an average three-seater weighing in at around 127 kgs, so extra care is due here. Tip sofas up onto their end and then put their back through the doorway first in order to curl it around the doorway. You will need two people to do this and may still need to remove the legs.

If the sofa is taller than the door frame when stood up, you won’t be able to stand it up first and then get it through the doorway. Instead lift it over to the doorway on its side. Have some of the sofa already through the doorway and then lift the end up which is already through the doorway up to stand it up in the next room. You will only need to do this if you have limited space as you may just be able to pull it through on its side.

Using a mattress sling

Moving a heavy mattress that flops all over the place not only makes the task more difficult, but can also result in getting the item dirty. To move a mattress easily, make a simple rope swing. With this straightforward measure, you can make a mattress more stable and overall easier to move.

Mattresses usually have holders for positioning the them, so thread the rope through these handles and then at each end loop before tying the rope to create a handle. Flip the mattress over so the rope is at the bottom for an easier time shifting the item.

Loading the furniture in the van

It is important to load the moving van correctly. We promise this will make your life easier when it is time to get the furniture out! As a good rule of thumb, you should always put the heavy furniture in first and have it at the bottom. If you have to put it on top of other items, then you could easily damage them, and it will make it harder for you as you will have to lift the furniture higher.

Getting the size right

You should also assess what size van you will need for the job. If your furniture is large or you have a lot of pieces, then you need to make sure you have a van big enough. Measure the furniture and find out the volume of each piece and then add it together to work out the total. Then measure the internal dimensions of the van to make sure it fits.

If you are hiring a van it should have the van specification on the website, if not you can ring the company up and they will be happy to provide you with the dimensions.

What if you can’t move heavy furniture yourself?

If you can’t lift heavy furniture yourself or don’t have someone who can help you then VanaMango is the perfect affordable solution. With thousands of furniture couriers nationwide we can move any piece of furniture anywhere in the UK.

Flexible moves with VanaMango

We can also offer unlimited availability for dates and times so you can always get your furniture collected and delivered at a time that suits you. With qualified, professional, and insured transport providers you can rest easy knowing your items are covered and that your furniture will be moved safely. So don’t wait any longer, book instantly on our website.