Moving heavy furniture is a complex task in itself and carrying it upstairs makes it even more challenging. While professional movers can easily do such jobs in less time, you can also do it yourself once you know the proper technique and the kind of tools that can help with the maneuver.
Whether you are moving your couch to the second floor of your house or moving into an apartment building with no access to a service elevator, you will need to make a plan to move your furniture upstairs safely. If anything goes wrong, not only can it damage the staircase and furniture, but can also injure you seriously. To avoid any mishap, you need a reliable helping hand along with some important tips that will come in handy in carrying your furniture safely.
Read on and find out how to carry heavy furniture upstairs by yourself without breaking anything or your own body.
Make a plan for the move
The first step is to make a plan as to how will you proceed and what do you need to move the heavy furniture upstairs. It's not as simple as lifting something and carrying it above the stairs. The furniture can be huge or oddly shaped while the stairs could be congested. Moreover, if it’s a big piece of furniture you will need at least one person to lend you a hand.
Follow these steps to make a plan for the move:
Measure the furniture and the staircase- Before you lift anything heavy and start your move, make sure you know how much space it will need and at what angle you need to haul it. Measuring the dimensions of the furniture and the width of the stairs will make sure that you don’t get stuck on your way.
You will also need to focus on how much space you have to turn and the height of the ceiling. Otherwise, you will have a "PIVOT" moment like Ross! Make sure you remove all paintings on the wall and any low-hanging lights to keep the staircase unobstructed for the move.
Consider the staircase shape and the material it’s made of- The type of stairs and the material they are made of also play a big role in determining how to move the furniture. If it’s a straight staircase, it will be quite simple to carry anything upstairs. However, for spiral and helical stairs, the job will be much more challenging. This is because you will need to haul through the narrow path and there will be less space to turn. , if the stairs are made of marble or wood, you will need to be extra careful so you don’t damage them on your way.
The position and angle to move the furniture- Once you know the dimensions of the furniture and the amount of space available, you will be able to decide at what angle you need to tilt the furniture. You may have to position it vertically or horizontally depending on the space. You may also position the furniture sideways or move it diagonally.
For example, if the piece of furniture is big in length, like a sofa or a wardrobe, you can move it horizontally so it doesn’t collide with the ceiling. Moreover, if you are moving something less than 2 meters in height, move it in a vertical position so it’s easy to turn around the corners.
Prepare for the move
Once you have a plan to move the furniture upstairs, you will need to prepare the stairs and banisters for the move. Other than that, you can disassemble the furniture into smaller pieces so it’s easier to carry upstairs. Also, you will need to gather all the important tools and equipment that will help in the easy hauling of heavy pieces of furniture.
Protect the stairs and banister
To protect your staircase from any kind of damage during the haul, follow these tips explained below:
- You can use a moving blanket or any old piece of clothing to wrap the banisters and railings. Secure the wrapping in place using packing tape so it does not slide away.
- Use stair edge guards to cover the edges of the steps to prevent any damage or slipping.
- You may also use floor runners made of neoprene with having non-slippery surfaces. These are easy to install and safe to use irrespective of the type of stairs.
- If you have wooden or marble stairs, cover them with old blankets or rugs and secure them in place with the help of painter’s tape. This will provide soft padding to the staircase and will prevent any kind of damage even if any heavy object falls on the stairs during the move.
- To protect carpeted steps, you can cover them with self-adhesive plastic film. This will keep the stairs clean and non-slippery thus preventing the carpet from tearing off during the haul.
- In case you are moving into an apartment building and there is no service elevator, you will need to move all heavy pieces of furniture upstairs by yourself. However, instead of protecting the staircase you can simply cover the furniture in soft padding and use appropriate moving tools for a safe maneuver.
Disassemble the furniture
The next step in preparing for the move is to make sure that you can easily manage to lift your furniture. If it’s too heavy and you don’t have any professional help, you can easily injure yourself. Here are some tips you can follow:
- Empty the furniture to reduce the weight thereby preventing its content from falling out on the way. For example, if it’s a chair or couch, you can remove the cushions and if it’s a bed with storage, you can remove its contents to make it light-weight.
- If the furniture has doors, you can also use painter’s tape to secure them in place and make sure they are tightly closed.
- Disassemble the furniture into as many pieces as you can to make the move easy and manageable. You can remove the drawers, shelves, and any detachable parts.
- Stretch wrap the furniture to keep the cushioning material in place and then add a layer of padding with bubble wrap around its edges and corners. Lastly, wrap the entire piece in a moving blanket to protect the stairs and banister.
Gather moving tools and equipment
The last step in the preparation process is to gather all the necessary tools and equipment required for the move. Here is a list of tools that can help while carrying heavy furniture upstairs:
- Hand truck: A 2-wheeled dolly would easily carry a heavy piece of furniture. Besides, it is easy to roll up and down the stairs and you can turn it easily around the corners.
- Moving straps: It is a moving tool with one moving strap and a pair of harnesses. It will help you lift any heavy piece of furniture easily through the stairs with your upper body strength. For this, you will need one more person to share the weight.
- Clothing: To get a good grip on the furniture and to prevent any mishap, you will need to wear your work gloves along with close-toed shoes with anti-slip soles.
Get help from your folks
Although you can carry heavy furniture upstairs by yourself with the help of the right techniques and tools, you will still need at least one more person to lend their support. The best approach is to hire professionals for the job as they can do it in much less time using their expertise and years of experience. However, if you don’t want to pay for such services you can ask someone reliable to help you with the move. If you are all alone at your house, ask a friend or neighbor to accompany you.
Carry the furniture upstairs
After all the planning and preparation, the last thing to do is execute your plan of carrying heavy furniture upstairs. Read this step-by-step procedure to get an idea as to how you can do it efficiently-
- To start with, appoint a person as a bystander who can spot you and your other friends from a distance to warn you about the obstructions and guide you from a distance.
- Stand on a stable surface, keep your legs at shoulder-width, bend your knees, keep your back straight, lift the furniture using your legs’ strength, and get a good grip on the item before you move ahead.
- If you have one friend to help with the move, lift the furniture from one end and ask them to lift it from the opposite end. The stronger person should be on the downside, as they will be applying more strength in the lifting.
- If you have two friends to help, ask them to be on the downside because their combined strength will help in lifting the item easily.
- The person on the higher steps should hold the furniture from its top-end while the person on the lower steps should hold the lower end of the furniture. This will help in maintaining a good balance and will make the haul less risky.
- Coordinate with each other and move ahead at a slow pace. The person moving ahead first will have to walk backward on the stairs so don’t rush to get upstairs.
- Be careful around the corners when you need to turn. You may have to change the angle and position of the furniture for an easy maneuver.
- Pause in between to relax; you don’t need to get to the upper floor straight away. Stop at every few flights of stairs otherwise, you will strain your muscles.
- If there are a lot of items to carry, start with the heaviest item so that by the time you are tired, you will only need to haul the light-weighted objects.
Using tools to move heavy furniture upstairs
One way to carry your furniture upstairs is to simply lift it and walk up the stairs. This will be the ideal situation when your furniture isn’t very heavy and the stairs are straight. You will simply need to be cautious about the stairs and prevent any mishap. However, if the furniture is too heavy you will need to use moving tools and equipment as explained below:
Using moving straps:
- Take the harness, carry it around your shoulders, and ask your friend to do the same with another pair of harnesses.
- Slip the moving strap under the furniture and attach each of its ends to your respective harnesses.
- Keep your back straight, bend your knees, and place your palm flat against the furniture. Ask your helper to do the same.
- Straighten your arms, stand up, and use the leverage from the straps to lift the item using your shoulders’ strength and your leg muscles.
- Make sure the stronger person stays on the lower stairs to carry the weight while the other person moves ahead steadily on the stairs.
Using hand truck or dolly:
- Take your friend’s help and place the piece of furniture on the hand dolly in such a way that its longest parts align with the upright ladder support. To balance the weight, keep its center on the flat base of the dolly.
- Secure the item on the dolly using bungee cords or flat hook straps.
- Stand behind the dolly, place your hands on the handle, and tilt the dolly towards yourself to keep the item balanced on it. Then roll the hand truck towards the staircase.
- While carrying the dolly upstairs, stand backward on the stairs, tilt it on your side and pull it up so that the wheels land on the first step. Continue this by pulling the hand truck, one stair at a time.
- If you are carrying the items downstairs, position the hand truck on the top of the stairs and lean it against your body. Now slowly roll it down, one stair at a time.
- Ask your friend to assist you and support the furniture while guiding you on the stairs. Make sure not to lose the balance otherwise; the dolly might fall midway on the staircase thus injuring you and damaging your furniture.
Carrying heavy furniture upstairs by yourself: Is it practical?
If you have decided to carry your heavy furniture upstairs all by yourself, there is no reason to doubt yourself as long as you know what you are doing. Make sure you have someone to help you out with the move and have access to moving tools that will help ease the process. As long as the stairs are not very complex and the furniture is easy to handle in terms of weight and shape, you are likely to pull off the job efficiently. If you still have any second thoughts on moving heavy items, you can approach professionals and find out how much will it cost and whether it will be something you will prefer.