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10 Things You Should Not Move by Yourself

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When it comes time to move, whether you hire a mover to help you pack or choose to do it all by yourself, it is entirely your decision. However, some things are too difficult for the average non-professional to handle safely. In these specific cases, it's best to hire someone than moving the item yourself.

Aside from being large or heavy, these items can pose logistical problems. That's why it's best to let a professional handle it, rather than risking damage to the item and injury to yourself. There's no shame in asking for a little help, so if you have one of the following items on this list, consider hiring moving help.

Did you know...?
The average person shouldn't lift more than 51 pounds. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), anything over 51 pounds could contribute to back injury.

1. Pianos are too valuable to move on your own

They're big, heavy, expensive and fragile. If you have an antique piano that's worth thousands of dollars, do you really think you should be moving it in and out of rooms or up and down stairs without some kind of professional assistance?

There are also federal regulations against moving ivory between states. The moving company will need to remove any ivory keys on your piano if it does not meet the antique requirement. It's best to pick up the phone and call a specialty mover that has years of experience in moving pianos just like yours.

2. Pool tables need the touch of a professional

Moving a pool table by yourself can damage the item as well as your walls and floors. Replacing and repairing the green felt that covers the playing surface can cost you $300, because refelting is a painstaking and time-consuming process.

Trying to move a pool table without really knowing what you're doing can spell disaster, and the last thing you want to do is ruin the table in any way. Plus, you don't want to hurt yourself moving the pool table up or down stairs without the kind of assistance you need.

3. Fish tanks are among the heaviest items you can move

If you have a smaller fish tank, then you can probably handle it yourself. It's best to get help with any tank 20 gallons or more. Broken glass shards flying everywhere is not a great way to start your move.

It also depends on what kind of fish, reptile or animal you are keeping in the tank. Some pets are more difficult to move than others. For example, if you have a 100 gallon fish tank full of exotic fish, your tank is going to be fairly difficult to move. In addition to moving the tank and emptying the water from it, you'll need to find a way to transport your displaced fish and a place where they can be housed during the move.

TIP: Depending on your needs in this department, specialty movers can help you move your aquarium and fish, so you don't have to worry about misplacing your pregnant guppy during the move.

4. Moving expensive art is really just a judgement call

Based on the value and the rarity of the piece, you may want to hire a professional to help you prepare and move the artwork. Reprints or posters that you bought at Target will be fine in your car, but anything of great value, like an original painting or sculpture, should be moved by someone who specializes in moving art.

Often, these specialty art movers will have custom-made crates and packaging for the paintings or sculptures to be stored in during the move that prevent breakage.

5. Exercise equipment can cause injury if moved incorrectly

It's alright for you to lift heavy objects when you're working out in the gym, but when it comes time to move, leave the heavy lifting to the professionals... even when it comes to moving your big, heavy exercise equipment.

While treadmills or elliptical machines can be hard to put together, they can be equally cumbersome to move once assembled. With so many different moving parts, you could wreck your house if you try to move it. Not only do you risk pulling a back muscle, there are so many places for your fingers to get caught trying to maneuver one of these machines through a tight space.

6. Don't risk scratching your big-screen TV

Your brand new 60" flat-screen LED television would be in much better hands with some professional movers. After all, you're going to want a functioning TV to watch once you settle down in your new home. Compared to some of the other items on this list, your television might not be as heavy, but it's equally as precious.

Professional moving companies now have special packaging and custom-made TV boxes that can store your television perfectly. They know exactly how to handle it to ensure that it arrives at your new destination without a scratch on it -- ready to be hooked up, plugged in and turned on.

7. Washing machines might be easier to sell than move

Big. Heavy. Expensive. Difficult to move. These are all criteria for things you're not going to want to risk moving yourself. If you decide that you'll be taking your washer and dryer with you, first compare the expense to purchasing a brand new machine.

Many people choose to leave their washing machines and dryers behind, because it costs more money to move them than to buy new ones. This is especially true if you have older models and are due for an upgrade anyway.

A quality washer and dryer can last 20 years, so you may plan on bringing the set with you. Movers who specialize in appliances will use moving bolts to secure the drum for transit. If you do not use these bolts, the constant shaking will render your washer and dryer unusable and no longer covered by their warranty.

8. You may not expect to see plants on this list

Many people do not anticipate the difficulty associated with moving plants. Yes, you can move plants yourself, and you can do it safely and easily. This isn't only about killing the plants, though. It's about possibly damaging your other belongings. You don't want to get soil and water all over your furniture, do you?

Depending on the type of move that you'll be making -- and whether it's a long distance or local move -- your plants will have to:

  • Be packed properly to protect the roots
  • Be packed so that the root ball stays moist
  • Receive enough sunlight to stay alive
  • Experience little to no wind
  • Arrive at your new house in one piece

While you can handle this on your own, the task becomes a lot more intricate if you have more than one plant. Then, you'll require the assistance of specialty plant movers.

9. Wine bottles can be worth more than your vehicle

Aged wine is expensive. Luckily, there are professionals that know how to move your wine collection the right way.

Whether you have a full-scale wine cellar in your basement or a couple of carefully protected vintage bottles kept in a safe place, professional movers can transport your wine bottles safely and securely. You won't have to worry about unpacking to find a giant crack running along the side of a bottle and the contents of your '78 Pinot Noir reduced to a puddle at the bottom of the box.

10. There are companies who specialize in backyard structures

Backyard structures, like storage sheds, gazebos or barn, will require a crane or forklift. You're certainly not going to fit these on the back of the average moving truck, so it's a good idea for you to book specialty movers to transport them.

Even the swingset or jungle gym that your kids play on will demand hired help. While you may not mind leaving this behind, your kids may have something to say about it -- especially if they still enjoy playing on it.

Nicole Schurott  Posted by Nicole Schurott on December 20, 2018

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