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How to get a sofa through a door
Of all the items to manoeuvre during moving day, sofas have to be the most cumbersome. With tight doorways and awkward sofa frames to contend with, it seems that wiggling, shuffling and clumsily skirting around corners is the only way to get your sofa from A to B.
But it doesn’t need to be this way. With the right know-how, you can move your sofa by yourself – all it takes is a little prep work.
Take a look at our top tips for how to move a sofa easily.
Get started by sizing up your sofa, including the height, width and length. You will also need to measure the doorway’s width and height, along with any other areas you think might cause issues, such as hallways or foyers.
Next, locate the widest/deepest point on your sofa and measure it up against the narrowest point of your doorway – this will tell you how easy it will squeeze through, and how much extra space you have when pivoting around corners.
TOP TIP: A sofa’s height is usually shorter than its total depth, so you may need to rotate your furniture 90 degrees to get it through with ease.
If it’s looking unlikely that your sofa will move out of its space unscathed – maybe it’s nearly there, except for a few inches - then you should think about dismantling its removable parts.
While some sofas, particularly older, more traditional sofas, have their legs and armrests built into the frame, newer styles typically have detachable elements which are held in with fastening elements. Removing these are ideal if your sofa has noticeably lengthy legs or bulky armrests that protrude from the frame.
How to disassemble your sofa
Step 1: To see if your sofa can be disassembled, firstly turn it upside down and take a look at how the legs are attached. If you can see screws, or if the legs move when you twist them leftwards (you may need a little elbow grease to get them to come loose) then you should remove them before moving day.
Step 2: Next, take a look at how the armrests are attached. If there is a gap between the armrest and the seat back, then it’s likely they are separate sections on the frame and can be parted. To dismantle this area, use a screwdriver/wrench to remove the bolts or screws which are holding the arms in place. After a good couple of turns, the section should come loose.
TOP TIP: Keep any fastening elements or spare parts in a safe place, as you’ll need them when it comes to reassembling.
TOP TIP: If your sofa is in a tight spot, unscrew doors which are likely to get in the way. This will free up that vital extra space you need when moving your sofa through doorways.
Protect the fabric and frame
Regardless of how careful you are when moving a sofa yourself, all that hard work can soon be undone if it’s knocked about in the back of a moving vehicle.
To protect your sofa against wear and tear during its travels, you’ll need a few rolls of bubble wrap and furniture plastic wrap. Bubble wrap is great for supporting delicate wooden pieces, such as the base of the sofa and legs (if they aren’t detachable, of course), while plastic wrap will protect upholstered sections, such as sofa seats and sofa backs.
For areas which stick out from the wider frame, such as armrests, you’ll need to tape pieces of cardboard around the corners (this will prevent scuffing during the move). Just make sure to secure with plastic wrap to keep the cardboard in place.
If you would prefer to swap plastic for a more sustainable option, grab a dust cloth or old sheets. Simply throw over your couch and tuck into all the tight spots before moving out. Then, once you’re in your new space, remove the covers and give them a wash.
Now your sofa is prepared for the move, you can finally get to work. To get going, grab either end and angle the sofa so that it sits in a V shape – this makes it smaller, horizontally, so that it’s easier to get through the door.
If you realise your sofa is a lot heavier than you can carry, however, there are some ways you can make the job easier.
Here are our top tips for moving a sofa through a doorway:
- If you're moving the sofa on a carpeted surface, place cardboard or a furniture-moving blanket on the floor to make sliding easier.
- Place an oversized furniture slider, or multiple small sliders on each corner, on the floor and rest your sofa on top. Then, glide your sofa out of the doorway – this means no scuffed floorboards or damaged carpets along the way.
Of course, if you’re in any doubt about your abilities as you go along, hire a professional to do the job. They will be able to dismantle, package, move and reassemble your sofa for you – ideal if you’re eager for a hassle-free moving day.
TOP TIP: When lifting your sofa, remember to lift from your knees, not your back, in order to prevent back injuries.
TOP TIP: When using a furniture moving slider, remember that you can only push them along the floor; if you try to pull them, the friction between the furniture and the floor will increase and your sofa won’t budge.
If, upon closer inspection, your sofa looks like it has seen better days, don't worry - you needn't send it to the rubbish heap. Instead, we recommend getting your sofa reupholstered before you start booking moving vans or recruiting family members to help out.