How to Disassemble Furniture When Moving: Step-By-Step Guide

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    Does thinking about moving all the bulky furniture you have make your head spin? Have you no or little experience in assembling or disassembling the furniture? Do you feel like it’s impossible to assemble or disassemble furniture by yourself? Yet, with this step-by-step guide on how to disassemble furniture when moving, you’re going to see that it’s actually easy!

    Step 1: Getting ready to disassemble furniture

    Before you buckle down to work there are some things that could make your life easier if done beforehand. Disassembling furniture can be tricky so a solid plan can really come in hand just like with moving in general.

    Get to know the tricky spots in both the new and the old place

    You probably already know all the parts of your home that are going to cause problems when moving. However, it wouldn’t hurt to refresh your memory and it could save you a lot of time and energy. But don’t forget to take your time to examine your new home! Try to find all the tricky spots – like problematic corners, stairs, hallways, doorways – that could damage your furniture or that are simply too narrow.

    Flight of stairs.
    Stairs can be a major obstacle when moving furniture.

    Make sure to measure everything before dismantling furniture

    Measuring all the furniture and all the doorways and hallways along the path is the most important step in this step-by-step guide. The reason for this, as you will probably see, is that not every piece of your furniture needs to be dismantled. That’s right! There’s a chance that even some of the bulky pieces – that you can’t imagine passing through that narrow doorway while assembled – can actually pass through it without a problem.

    Choosing between professional help or doing it yourself

    After you’ve found out what to take apart, it’s the time to decide. Ask yourself whether you want to hire professionals to help you or you want to do-it-yourself. If you are already hiring a moving company just know that you will have to pay extra if you want them to disassemble your furniture. On the other hand, if you decide on the DIY option you are going to want your family’s or friends’ help. This way you can prevent many injuries, save yourself some time and energy and maybe even have some fun!

    Preparing all that you might need to disassemble furniture

    Examining all the furniture in order to prepare the necessary tools for disassembly is also very important. You don’t want to start to disassemble furniture and then suddenly have to stop because you’ve realized that you miss a specific tool.  One way to find this information by examining the furniture yourself. Another way is to search in instruction manuals that you should’ve gotten with each piece of furniture. These instruction manuals can be really handy especially for the furniture that has to be dismantled in a specific order. However, if you didn’t get them you can search for them on the Internet, ask the furniture store where you’ve bought the piece to give one to you. If none of that works, you can always go to YouTube for help.

    Here are some of the many hand tools that you’ll most likely need:

    • screwdriver
    • wrench
    • hammer
    • Lineman’s pliers
    Having the right tools is vital to disassembling furniture.

    Step 2: Time to disassemble furniture

    If you’ve done all that mentioned above then you’re all set to go! Try to make as much free space in the room as possible as it’ll be easier to maneuver all the parts while dismantling. Use instruction manual for each piece of the furniture to help you take it apart. If you can’t find anything about disassembly in it don’t worry because you can just easily follow instructions for assembly in reverse order.

    Have in mind that not every piece of furniture nor all its pieces can be disassembled. No matter how logical it may seem to you. So don’t try to forcefully disassemble it – you can only damage the furniture that way. Furthermore, if you do come up with a problem while taking something apart, make sure that you write it down! Make a list, some sort of a guide, where you’ll write down step-by-step how you managed to disassemble it and describe in detail the difficult part. Although it may seem like a waste of time, it can really save you a lot of time because you will need to reassemble that piece in your new home.

    Step 3: What to do with all of the disassembled parts

    After you’ve dismantled a piece of furniture you should write down how many parts, screws, bolts, and nuts it has. One could say that writing all that down is an exaggeration, but trust me when I say that lists are going to be your best friend in this part of the disassembling process. When you finish a list you can attach it to a part of that specific piece of furniture or to the box where you’ll put the piece. These lists will make your job a lot easier if some part goes missing, or if parts get mixed. You’ll save yourself irritation, time and energy because you’ll know exactly what is missing and you can easily replace that.

    Post-its on the wall.
    Lists are your best friend when moving.

    What you should be careful about

    There are many things that you should be careful about when you disassemble furniture. But here’s a list of some of them that are important after you’ve dismantled furniture.

    • don’t mix parts of the furniture –  you can put different colored sticky notes on each part or you can just put all parts in one box.
    • be careful with screws – you should be especially careful with the screws for they are small and they get lost easily. You could put them all in a plastic bag and attach it to the furniture – again, make sure that you attach the bag to the piece of furniture that it belongs to.
    • use sturdy boxes – if you opt for using boxes make sure that you use strong and sturdy boxes. Things that are more prone to damage, like glass, should be protected with more than just a box. You can, for example, wrap them in a newspaper.
    • double-check that all the parts are protected – don’t transport parts of the furniture, even the wooden ones, unprotected.
    • have tools accessible – when you finish packing everything make sure that you pack tools someplace that is easily accessible. They are going to be one of the first things that you’ll need when you start unpacking.


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