While everyone is inside protecting the NHS, it's important to remember to avoid injuries. Although we have outlined some basic principles here, we know that any heavy furniture moves can be risky and complicated. We urge our readers to do their own research and thoroughly evaluate the job at hand! At this time we are all doing our best to avoid unnecessary injuries, so we hope some of these basics can get you going.
Attempting to move heavy furniture, especially if you’re alone, can be awkward and inconvenient. Trying not to damage the piece of furniture you’re moving, all while avoiding bumping into other household appliances can be somewhat of a hassle.
There are, however, several techniques you can implement to save yourself from hauling hefty items around and potentially straining your back. Whether you’re moving home or simply repositioning an item of furniture, use these tips as inspiration for some safer moves:
Sliders are made of either single-part or multi-part plastic so that the furniture can be pulled with ease across most surfaces. Place a slider under each corner of the furniture, such as the legs of a dining table, creating a barrier between that and the floor. Available to purchase from most DIY and hardware shops, sliders work by reducing friction to allow for smooth movements across your surface without the risk of damage.
Moving blankets are an alternative to sliders. Although they are generally used to wrap up the entirety of a piece of furniture for protection, placing the whole blanket underneath and holding onto one side will allow you to easily slide the item to the new location.
- Break furniture down into smaller parts
Although more time consuming, you can always make furniture sleeker and lighter by removing any detachable features. When moving a sofa, for instance, you can usually remove the feet. The same principle applies to other items - unscrew and dismantle any legs, knobs, shelves and racks. Move these smaller items separately to rebuild them in the new location.
A moving dolly is one of the most convenient methods of transporting furniture. With a square platform and four wheels, an item can be placed on top and wheeled to its new position. Alternatively, a hand truck is an L-shaped mechanism that stands upright with wheels on the bottom. With a handle on the top, you wheel the base under the piece of furniture and tilt the handle towards you so that it’s leaning backwards in order to wheel it around.
Ideas for lifting up heavy furniture
Moving furniture may require you to lift separate units completely off the ground, as opposed to merely sliding them across the room. Lifting heavy furniture is sometimes impossible if the weight of the item exceeds how much you are able to lift without risk of injury. Although, certain devices can be of aid in the lifting process.
Shoulder dollies, for example, are carrying straps designed to take some of the weight off your back when you lift. Usually, two people will stand either end of the piece of furniture and attach it with straps which connect to a harness. The harness allows you to utilise your stronger muscle groups and gives you more leverage.
Manual lifting procedures often boil down to these key principles:
- Bend at your knees (not your waist)
Squat down at your knees as opposed to bending over and potentially harming your back, as the majority of the weight will rest on your legs and arms as you rise to stand.
- Carry the object close to your body
Don’t attempt to walk while holding the furniture with outstretched arms. Ideally, you want to carry the item as close to your body as possible. This will help you to maintain your balance by transferring some of the weight to your upper arms and shoulders, instead of just your forearms.
- Don’t twist your body in the lifting process
It’s important not to writhe around while carrying a piece of furniture, as twisting and fast movements can result in a drop. When you need to turn your body, lead with your hips and let your feet follow. Ensure that you can always see where you are going - lack of vision can lead to an accident.
How to get heavy furniture upstairs
The safest and most efficient way to move heavy furniture upstairs is by creating a makeshift ramp. You can do this either by folding up some moving blankets and placing them on each step, or by building a sturdy alternative like a plywood ramp. Then, implement the following steps with assistance:
Step 1: Lower the longest surface of the piece of furniture onto the ramp. Make sure that the pathway up the stairs is completely clear.
Step 2: Hold the bottom corners of the item and push it up the ramp. If you attempt to pull it up from the top of the item, there’s a chance it will slide off the ramp.
Step 3: Attach a strap or a rope around the item and have a person at the top of the stairs hold it and guide it up the ramp. Communication is key to ensuring that each push or pause is made in unison.
How to remove carpet dents from heavy furniture
Small dents in carpets are caused by heavy and continual pressure from items such as large display cabinets. Place a few ice cubes in the dents and wait until it melts. Absorb any excess water with a sponge and use either a coin or spoon to lift the carpet fibres. You can also steam the dents on top of a piece of cloth with an iron before lifting the fibres. Your carpet will be looking as good as new in no time.
Stay safe, stay home, Fern xx
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