Who can forget the iconic scene on Friends when Ross enlists Rachel and Chandler to help get his new sofa up the building’s stairs? Ross struggles to get the sofa around a turn, and it just won’t go. The frustration soon leaves him repeatedly screaming “PIVOT” at his friends before finally chopping the sofa in half and then trying to return it to the store.

For many of us, moving a sofa into a new home is the most stressful part of moving. Will it fit through the front door, up the stairs, through the living room door opening? The suspense is overwhelming. But you can prepare beforehand. Obviously, hiring professional furniture movers is a good place to start. But, if you insist on doing it DIY, here are some handy steps to keep in mind.

1. Is It Worth It?

The very first question you need to ask yourself is, “how great is that couch, anyway?” Is it worth moving? Or would it be nice to start your new life with a new couch? And make sure to measure! If the couch doesn’t fit, why make the trip?  If you decide to part ways with your couch, you might want to find a local thrift store that offers free donation pick-up or try to sell it on Craigslist or a similar platform that requires the buyer to transport it. Moving a gun safe is probably a no-brainer, but think twice before you pay someone to move a couch you’d rather have hauled off for free.

2. Preparing Properly

Once you’ve decided to go ahead and move the sofa, you’ll need to disassemble it as much as you can or have the movers do it for you. Taking a couch apart includes:

  • Taking off all sofa cushions, including decorative pillows.
  • Removing the legs of the couch, either by unscrewing or turning anti-clockwise. Place all together and wrap or place in a large plastic bag.
  • If it’s a sleeper sofa, be sure to secure the bed with rope so that it won’t unfold on the movers.
  • If it’s a modular or large couch, detach pieces, so it’s easier to move parts into your new home individually.
  • Keep all fasteners in a plastic bag, label, and tape to one of the pieces.
  • If you’re doing it yourself, take pictures of how the fasteners worked so you’ll remember on the other end.

3. Wrapping the Couch Before Moving

Once you have disassembled the sofa, you need to pack it to keep it protected all the way to its new destination. If movers are doing the work for you, they’ll have this system down, but if it’s all you, here’s how the professionals do it.

  • Use bubble wrap or plastic bags to wrap removed parts such as cushions, so they won’t get dirty or dusty while in transit.
  • If the couch has parts that stick out or ornamental details, use bubble wrap to cover the fragile parts, securing it in place with packing tape or movers’ wrap. Be careful not to tape directly over the upholstery or on polished wooden surfaces.
  • If you’re moving a recliner sofa, secure the metal parts with a furniture strap to prevent it from opening during transportation.
  • If your couch is antique or more valuable than a regular sofa, wrap the entire piece in shrink wrap.
  • Finally, make sure to wrap the couch in furniture blankets on the truck and secure with furniture straps.

4. Moving the Couch

Couches are heavy, so don’t try to move it yourself! Either have the couch movers do it or call upon friends to help. Make sure you have sliders handy to position the sofa for easy removal from the house. And have a furniture dolly on hand to get it out to the truck.

Find out how much your move costs!