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How to Use a Service Elevator on Moving Day

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A high-rise apartment in the city is where you always wanted to live and now you do. You finally landed the perfect place, chic and spacious with a fabulous view of the metropolis. Even more importantly, you have the ideal spot for your new sofa to sit.

The only problem is getting the furniture and all your other belongings up to the 17th floor hassle free. The first thing you need to do is accept that it will be an annoyance to stuff your entire life in a tiny space. However, with acceptance you can begin to come up with answers on how to make the process easier. This guide is a brief tutorial that offers tips on how to use a service elevator when you are moving into a high-rise residence. With a little knowledge and manpower, the only way is up from here.

Hold the Elevator

Before you even considering unloading the truck and moving your stuff in the elevator and through your new front door, you must contact the landlord to discuss any restrictions and also to reserve the elevator for the day of your move. In most, if not all, cases high-rises will have service elevators dedicated to tenant moves and maintenance use; however, many will not and you will have to use the main elevator in the lobby. Once your property manager grants approval for the respective day and time, you should plan your move accordingly.

Most landlords will ask you to move in during the day, not too early or too late, to avoid heavy tenant traffic. Once you have a day and time set, inform the movers if you have hired any. Also, if there is not a padded service elevator to move your furniture and belongings, you may have to take extra precautions as to not scratch or damage the main elevator with your stuff. If this is the case, wrap your furniture and make sure there are no loose objects protruding from any boxes that could scratch the carpet or walls.

Dolly and Commercial Hamper

The most efficient way to load and unload your belongings on and off an elevator is with a dolly and a large hamper. By stacking boxes on a dolly, you are able to carry more in at once instead of transporting each container by itself and taking up a lot of time. Using a commercial hamper is suggested since they are large and you can place many items in them at once. For example, you can fit a few lamps, some plants and even your television in the deep cloth basin, simply rolling it on and off the elevator. Like the dolly, this will save you time from going back and forth from the truck to the elevator with only single items in hand.

Making it Fit

Just the thought of a sofa in an elevator is awkward, nevertheless making it happen. Fitting furniture into an elevator is complicated and must be done with much care and consideration. Whatever you do, do not just show up on moving day with your new sofa in tow and expect it to fit in the elevator. Take a trip to your new apartment and measure the height of the elevator doors and the inside of the unit. Compare the measurements with those of your sofa to see if the piece of furniture will fit in the space.

If not, chances are you may have to remove the legs or arms of the furniture in order to make it fit. Believe it or not if you can't do the job, there are businesses that specialize in disassembling sofas so they fit through elevators and entrance ways. Many major metropolises have such services like Dr. Sofa, based out of the Bronx, New York. According to a 2007 New York Times article, Shlomi Gal-On of Dr. Sofa said, "Even some of the city's most luxurious apartments have tiny elevators and door frames."

However, if your sofa cannot be disassembled by a service then your worst nightmare might become your reality as you are forced to return your new couch for a smaller fixture or buy a new one all together if your old sofa is too big. Absolute last and most expensive case scenario, you may have to hire a hydraulic furniture mover to come to the rescue if you just can't bear returning or trading in your beloved couch. This type of mover will literally hoist your couch to your window and move it through the pane if possible.

Three Man Job

One of the most important things to make sure you have during an elevator move is enough man power. Ideally, you want to have one person upstairs, one at the elevator and one at the moving truck so your belongings are being supervised at all times. If you hire a moving company and they only bring two men to do the job, you should act as the third, overseeing your stuff during the entire move. And just remember, eventually you will get everything in the elevator and in your new apartment, especially that oversized couch!

Staff Writer  Posted by Staff Writer on July 1, 2013

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