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How to protect furniture for moving and storage

Whether you’re buying your first home or finding your forever family home, moving house is an exciting time. That’s not to say it doesn’t bring its own problems but by being prepared, often the moving process is much easier.

One issue some people face is damaging a loved piece of furniture during the move. To make sure all your beloved belongings make it to your new home, follow our guide to ensure your furniture is protected during the move or while in storage.

How to pack furniture for moving

When moving, you’ll want to know how to protect furniture from scratches, rips and tears. Your tools of choice will be:

  • Blankets (ideally specialist ‘moving blankets’)
  • Plastic wrap or bubble wrap
  • Cardboard or styrofoam

See the instructions below on how to tackle this for different items of furniture.
If you have lots of large items, you’ll want to decide which pieces of furniture can be dismantled and, importantly, can be reassembled in your new place. These are likely to be bed frames and table legs, all of which you’ll need to wrap prior to moving.

Traditional living room furniture with light grey sofa and footstool

How to wrap furniture for moving

  • Whether fabric or leather, your sofa needs to be wrapped from head to toe using multiple blankets (either used or specially-purchased ‘moving blankets’ from a supplier), sealing them with strong tape and cocooning them in a layer of plastic wrap. This will prevent them from the risk of damage or dirt on moving day, however, it’d be wise to give it a good clean once you’re settled.
  • Tables, chairs and bed frames, whether you’ve disassembled them or not, also need to be wrapped in blankets as wooden furniture like this can easily be snapped, chipped or scratched. Do this tightly, then cover in bubble/plastic wrap.
  • Mattresses need to be placed inside a mattress bag and transported on its side in the moving van.
  • After you’ve successfully wrapped bulkier wooden furniture with angular corners like sideboards, dressers, drawers or desks, attach sheets of cardboard to the corners and to the underside of the furniture in order to minimise the effect of bashing. Again, secure these with tape.
  • To pack a mirror for moving, use tape to draw several large X shapes on its reflective surface; this prevents the shattering of the glass. Use small pieces of cardboard to then create a buffer around the edge of the mirror.
  • Do something similar with a glass tabletop and envelope sufficiently in packing material.
  • Pack your TV cabinet as above. With the TV itself, tape the chords onto the back or base, swaddle in a blanket to protect the screen, enclose the whole thing in plastic and cushion the edges with cardboard.
  • Ornamental valuables including lamps, photo frames, vases and the like need to be wrapped in newspaper. If they’re particularly fragile, a layer of bubble wrap will do the trick too.

How to protect furniture in storage

White office desk and bookcase in home office

Maybe you’re moving, but not just yet and want to get prepared. Or perhaps you’ve moving into temporary accommodation for a couple of months with on your essentials meaning the rest of your furniture is going into storage. If this is the case you’ll need extra considerations in place for variables like mice or moisture.

  • Wrap everything as detailed above, as this will protect your items from surrendering to spiders and their webs, rodents or wood-burrowing pests.
  • It’s more space-efficient to store large items like sofas, mattresses, mirrors or artwork vertically and upright.
  • You may not have climate control in your storage, so it’s advisable to wax wooden furniture before storing to provide that needed moisture in a dry environment to prevent cracking.
  • If your storage unit is at risk of moisture, keep wooden furniture away from the door to prevent it getting damp. For some storage spaces, a plastic tarp can be lined across the floor, protecting furniture not only from water but also from scratching across the floor.
  • Fabric furnishings like upholstered sofas and chairs as well as mattresses need to be cleaned and dried prior to storing. This will provide a shield against mould or mildew.
  • Electronics or anything that can’t afford to be ruined needs to be raised above the floor as this is where moisture lays.
  • Metallic furnishings must be polished to guard against oxidation.

How to move heavy furniture

industrial oak and metal console table accessorised with indoor plants

Moving furniture can be a real backache, especially if you have carpet you’re keen to leave undamaged. Here is some guidance for moving heavy furniture on carpeted floors:

  • Lay moving blankets across the floor to avoid wear-and-tear.
  • Using tape, attach tin foil or cardboard on the base of heavy furniture to create a surface with less friction that’ll help you slide it across the floor. The same principle can also be applied to plastic lids, containers or frisbees.
  • Rollaway furniture on trolleys - this works especially well on smaller pieces.

How to remove heavy furniture marks from carpet

It’s inevitable that heavy furniture will make a mark on your floor, but these dips and dents can often be remedied. Heat and moisture are key, so use steam irons, damp towels and a bit of elbow grease to work the affected area and reinvigorate the fibres. An alternative trick is to leave an ice cube to melt on the dented carpet and use a spoon to gently lift the carpet fibres.

To prevent these in future, use carpet protectors for heavy furniture like carpet protector cups (think of them as furniture’s answer to a coaster), carpet pads that sit beneath the carpet and simply just regularly move your furniture around.

The above advice is for guidance only. Speak to a professional for advice on your personal furniture items. If you need further guidance on furniture or mattresses, take a look at our guides. We also have a selection of care kits that will help keep your pieces in the best condition possible.

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