Bill W. Asks “Should I Disassemble Furniture For The Moving Company?”

Today’s blog question comes from Bill W., who is planning a move with us in the next couple weeks. In preparing for his move, he had a pretty common question – “Should I disassemble furniture (like beds, tables, bookcases, etc) before the movers arrive?” While it really boils down to doing whatever you are comfortable with, we will try to help you determine some of the easier items to break down for a move.

While not all furniture will require disassembly, it is required to move some larger items like beds and tables, or more fragile items like china cabinets. Also, some furniture like antique pieces, mid-century furniture, etc – is not always possible to disassemble. While most moving companies will have all the tools and materials required to properly disassemble your furniture, the more that you are able to do before the movers come, is usually the faster and cheaper your move will be with the movers.

Disassembling Beds

Determining whether to break down beds definitely depends on the style of bed. The most common frames we see are the simple metal frames that the box spring and mattress rest on. These usually snap or screw in, and are very easy for even a single person to break down. A bed like the one pictured would fall somewhere in the middle – where one or two people would be able to break it down without too much trouble. The toughest beds would be sleigh beds, trundle (drawers underneath), or bunk beds. These beds are the most difficult to break down and then re-assemble, and should only be attempted if you are very comfortable with your woodworking skills.

Dressers With Mirrors

Vanity dressers are usually pretty easy to break down. The most important thing to consider is that once you remove the screws or whatever anchors the mirror to the dresser, the could be very tipsy. For this reason, it is usually best to have two people to remove the mirror from the dresser; one person removing screws/etc, and the other person balancing the mirror.

Kitchen and Dining Room Tables

Most of the time, it is best to remove the legs or base from this type of table. It makes it easier to get around corners or through doorways, and it is the most stable position for moving within the truck. On most tables, simply flipping it upside down onto a carpet, blanket, or other soft, padded surface will allow you to access the connectors. We would estimate that about nine out of ten tables are easy enough to be disassembled by a single relatively inexperienced person – once the table is flipped. Usually, a wrench or screwdriver is all that you need to separate the table top from it’s base or legs. However, if it looks like it may be more involved, leave it for the movers and they’ll be able to get the job done properly.

Bookshelves, Entertainment Centers, China Cabinets

While shelving units don’t usually need to be completely broken down, you should always remove any shelves that are ‘floating’ on pegs or notches. If you can lift up an empty shelf without forcing it, you should remove it and pack them in a blanket, towel, or some other soft, padded surface. This is even more important for any glass shelves.

Some entertainment centers or china cabinets are multiple pieces which can be anchored to each other. In this event, separating them can be quite involved. It would be recommended to only attempt disassembly if you have at least two fairly experienced woodworkers.

Keep in mind, the more that you are able to do before the movers arrive is the more time and money you will save on your move. While you shouldn’t have to take any furniture apart on your own, it is usually a good idea just to save yourself some money. However, if you are uncomfortable working with this sort of thing, just let the movers know and they should be able to handle all of these items and more.

  1. Does anyone know a company who will take down/break down a bunk bed? If they haul away too that would be an added bonus.

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