How to Pack and Move a Sofa

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Packing a sofa is one of the most tedious tasks during a move. It not only requires a considerable amount of strength but also careful handling.

People may use different types of couches ranging from sofa cum beds to leather sofas, or one simply made of wood. Usually there is a specific way to move a sofa, but when it comes to packing, the instructions may vary depending on the kind of sofa you have.

In order to give you a full understanding on packing and moving a sofa, here is a guide that will enable you to pack and move your sofa safely.

Packing a Sofa

You'll need to pack your sofa in a way that won't damage the fabric during the move. You can use either couch covers or packing blankets to wrap the furniture, depending on the fabric.

  • If you are using blankets, wrap them around and tape them all together. Be sure to cover any finished wood (i.e., the legs).
  • Stand the sofa up on its ends and tape it around a few times to make sure the blankets are secure.
  • Wrap the sofa in microfoam, taping it together securely.
  • Next, wrap the sofa in paper pads, again taping everything together.
  • Finish by shrink wrapping everything. Make sure that you don't use shrink wrap directly on the sofa as it can cause condensation that will ruin the fabric.

Packing a Sofa Bed

The first step in packing a sofa bed is to secure the mattresses' mechanism. Sofa beds weigh a few hundred pounds, so it's advisable to call for help from a friend or a moving service to reduce the efforts.

Follow these simple steps to prepare your sofa bed for packing:

  • Remove the cushions and place them in a plastic bag to protect them from dirt and debris during the move.
  • Open the sofa bed and remove the mattress from the mattress base and pack it separately from the sofa.
  • Fold the bed frame back inside the sofa bed so that you can tie the mechanism in place.
  • Tie the mechanism by wrapping a piece of twine through the handle of the bed and around the bottom of the sofa.
  • Now that the bed frame is secured to the bottom of the sofa, it should not fall out when you tilt the sofa during the move.

Packing a Leather Sofa

Since a leather sofa is more prone to weather damage than other sofas, you will need to pay special attention to protecting it. Here are some steps to follow for packing a leather sofa:

  • Wrap your leather sofa in furniture blankets to protect it from scratches, scuffs, tears, and dirt. Tape the furniture pads securely to hold the blankets in place. Never let the tape come in contact with the surface of the leather as it can damage the finish or take the color off.
  • Stand the couch on its end to make sure any finished wooden legs are covered and protected as well.
  • After covering the sofa in furniture blankets, it would be a good idea to wrap the entire thing in shrink wrap to hold the blankets in place. This is safe as long as you wrap the sofa with furniture pads prior to applying the shrink wrap.
  • Never wrap a leather sofa with stretch wrap directly! The plastic creates condensation which can cause mildew to form and damage your sofa. That would also result in some expensive repairs. Additionally, if your sofa is exposed to extreme heat, the shrink wrap could melt and stick to the leather.

Storing a Leather Sofa

A leather sofa needs to be stored in a secure environment which poses no threat to the material. Following these guidelines will ensure perfect storage for your leather sofa:

  • Have your leather sofa cleaned before placing it into storage

    You may opt to have this done professionally or by yourself by applying leather cleaner and conditioner with a lint-free cloth. These products can be purchased at most hardware and furniture stores.

  • Store a leather sofa in a climate-controlled storage unit

    Leather is susceptible to cracking and peeling in extreme heat or dryness. Excessive humidity and dampness can contribute to mold and pest infestation. While climate-controlled storage is a bit more costly, it will offer optimum conditions for sustaining the quality of your leather sofa.

  • Cover your sofa with furniture blankets

    Use furniture blankets to protect the leather sofa from dirt, dust, and moisture while it is in storage. Don't use plastic shrink wrap as it will trap moisture and cause mold and mildew to form.

  • Cover the floor of your storage unit

    Cover the floor with sheets of plastic or use a wooden pallet to elevate your sofa. This can prevent damage from condensation and vermin.

  • Don't place any items on top of the sofa

    Placing heavy boxes or other items can leave permanent indentations in the cushions of your leather sofa. So, refrain from putting any items on top of a leather sofa.

  • Leave a four- to six-inch space between the sofa and the wall

    This will enable enough ventilation and airflow. Be sure to keep any chemicals, paints, or any items that could result in damage away from your leather sofa.

Moving a Sofa

After you have wrapped your couch with the suitable material, get ready to move it to the loading truck. The steps below explain as to how you can move a sofa with utmost care:

 How to Pack and Move a Sofa

  • Plan the route before you begin

    Ensure that your pathway is clear of any obstacles and that your sofa will fit easily through any doorways, hallways or stairways. Be careful not to bump or scrape the sofa against any door frames. Avoid sharp edges that could puncture the sofa fabric.

  • Make sure you lift the sofa correctly

    You can seriously injure yourself by lifting a heavy couch improperly. Lift one corner first to judge the weight of your sofa and avoid straining. Then, have a friend hold the opposite end and together slowly lift the sofa off the ground. Be sure to keep a straight back and hold the sofa as close as you can to your body as you carry it. Always bend at the knees and never at the waist while lifting and settling the couch down.

  • Don't drag the sofa across the floor

    This can cause the bottom of the sofa to become badly scuffed, scratched and dirty. It can also damage your wood or tiled floors.

  • Moving the sofa up or down the stairs

    Count the number of stairs you will be ascending or descending and measure the width and height of the stairway to plan the best possible method.

    You can also build a makeshift ramp out of two boards to get the sofa up or down the stairs. While slowly sliding the sofa down the boards, carefully back down in between them.

    Have a friend help you by supporting the sofa from the other side and directing your footing. Blankets can also be used to slide the sofa down short flights of stairs.

  • Loading the sofa onto the moving truck

    Carry the sofa to the moving truck and lower the sofa to the floor of the truck by bending at the knees. When loading your moving truck, it's best to pack your larger items toward the back of the truck, with the boxes and smaller furniture items at the front of the truck -- near the door.

Hiring help

If you'd rather not risk injury or damage to your beloved sofa, you could always hire a moving company to handle that for you. Just fill out a free quote form and you'll be connected to a moving company in your area.

Patrick Hanan  Posted by Patrick Hanan on April 15, 2010

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