How to move a wardrobe?

Your wardrobe may or may not conceal the entrance to a secret passage; there may or may not be a monster in the closet; the old dresser may or may not be an exquisite antique of great value – whatever the peculiarities of your clothes storage unit, two things are certain:

  • It is the piece of furniture that keeps all your formal outfits, casual garments, daily attire, and any other clothing items you own safe and clean and ready-to-wear;
  • It is a large, heavy, solid, cumbersome piece of furniture that is exceptionally difficult to move – even a few feet away.

What are you to do then, if you need to move house? You’ll certainly want to take your clothes’ loyal guardian along, but then you’ll have to move the heavy wardrobe – and not just to the next room, nor even downstairs, but to another home (which may be half way across the country)! You may be wondering if it is at all possible to accomplish such a Herculean task – yes, it is and it may not be as difficult as it sounds at first.

Moving a heavy wardrobe to a new home is quite a challenge indeed, but if you know how to properly organize it and how to best prepare your large furniture piece for shipment, you have every chance of success.

So, what is the best way to move a wardrobe?

Step 1. Make sure your old wardrobe will fit into your new home

There is no point in spending the money, time, and effort, required to move a large furniture piece to your new place only to find out that it won’t fit through the doors or into the available space. You are strongly advised to take accurate measurements and create a detailed floor plan of your new home well in advance, so that you know for sure which of your old household items will fit in and which ones are not worth relocating.

If your wardrobe is too large or somehow inappropriate for your new surroundings, you should leave it behind (sell it or give it someone who will be able to use it) and get a new one after the relocation.

If your wardrobe fits in, decide on its perfect location and exact position, so that it is taken directly to its rightful place upon delivery and not moved around several times.

Step 2. Get hold of proper packing supplies

If you’ve decided to take your wardrobe to your new home, you need to provide it with the best possible protection against damage during the relocation process. The large furniture piece will have to be safely taken out of your old property, cautiously loaded into the moving truck, properly secured inside the vehicle, carefully unloaded, and taken into your new home without so much as a scratch. To ensure this best-case scenario, you’re going to need quality packing materials (furniture blankets, bubble wrap, plastic wrap, large cardboard pieces, packing tape, etc.) and specialized moving equipment (a dolly, furniture pads, moving straps, strong ropes, a variety of hand tools, etc.).

Needless to say, if you hire professional movers to help you relocate, they will have all the necessary equipment, as well as the required experience and technical know-how to safely dismantle your wardrobe (if necessary) and transport it to your new home without any risk of damage.

Good to remember: Make sure you have enough wardrobe boxes, suitcases, and bags to pack the clothes from your closet as well.

Step 3. Empty your wardrobe

When moving a wardrobe, you need to empty it first. You’re advised to start packing its contents as early as possible. It will take you several days to sort out your clothes and organize them for the move. You need to get rid of everything that is too worn out to be put on ever again; to set apart old clothes in good condition that you can’t use or don’t like anymore, so that you can either sell or donate them;  to pre-pack out-of-season clothes and specialty clothes that you won’t need before the relocation; and so on. Then, you will need some time to properly pack your garments for moving.

SEE ALSO: How to pack clothes for moving; How to pack hangers for a move

Step 4. Get your wardrobe ready for shipment

Once your wardrobe is completely empty, wipe down all the surfaces and remove any drawers, shelves, and other unattached elements (otherwise, they may get loose and shift during the transportation, breaking themselves or causing damage to the wardrobe). Wrap them in moving blankets, secure the wrapping in place with plastic wrap or packing tape, and mark them properly to know exactly where they came from.

Then, you need to take care of the doors. You have to either detach them from the wardrobe and pack them separately or secure them well for the transportation (if you fail to do so, they may swing open at any time and cause various troubles).

Some wardrobes come with lockable doors with a latch, so you can simply close them. Others are not secured, so you’re going to need tape or straps/ropes to keep the doors tightly closed. Be careful, though, not to use packing tape directly on to the wood or any other delicate surfaces, as it can take off veneers or finishes, or leave sticky residue that is difficult to remove.

If your wardrobe doors have mirrors or glass panels, it’s imperative that you remove them, put large clean cardboard pieces over the glass, and wrap the entire doors in bubble wrap (don’t forget to secure it in place with plastic wrap or packing tape). Consider wrapping the fragile pieces in an extra protective layer of moving blankets as well.

If your wardrobe is not too large and can be moved in one piece, all that is left to do now is to wrap it in furniture blankets or any other appropriate protective covers (pay special attention to the corners and edges!) to prevent scratching, denting, chipping or other damage during the relocation process.

In case your wardrobe is too wide or too tall (such as some double wardrobes and most triple wardrobes), you will have to go a step further and take it apart.

Step 5. Dismantle your wardrobe

Wondering how to disassemble your wardrobe for the move? Here is what you need to do:

  • Start from the top of the wardrobe – use a flat head screwdriver to turn the large bolts on either side of the top side board anti clockwise (this will release the top base of the wardrobe);
  • Remove the top side board and wrap it in bubble wrap or moving blankets;
  • Move down to the bottom of the wardrobe – there will be two screws holding each side of the wardrobe together. Use your flat head screwdriver once again to turn the bolts anti clockwise and detach the wardrobe side boards from the bottom;
  • Number all detached pieces and mark them as to left/right/top/bottom;
  • Take all screws and bolts out of a wardrobe piece, place them into a sealable bag, and attach the bag to the corresponding piece, so that you can easily assemble your wardrobe back together again;
  • Once all wardrobe pieces have come apart, you can wrap them in moving blankets and safely move them to your new home.

Good to remember: It is also a good idea to take photographs at every step of the disassembly process – they may come very handy when reassembling your furniture piece.

If your wardrobe splits into segments, you can have the segments disconnected instead of fully dismantling the wardrobe. The individual segments can be easily lifted and carried to the moving vehicle. This will help load the truck quicker and lock things securely in place inside the moving van – the heavy square segments are very solid and unlikely to slide around.

RELATED: How to pack a walk-in closet for moving

Step 6. Ensure reliable moving help

Moving large and heavy furniture is very difficult and quite risky – you can easily get injured or damage your bulky piece. You need assistance – either several reliable friends who can help you disassemble your wardrobe or lift and carry it to the moving vehicle in one piece, or professional movers who can handle the job in a safe and efficient manner.

In fact, considering the numerous risks and hardships of the moving process, your best bet is to hire professional moving services. The experienced movers will not only take proper care of your large furniture and bulky appliances, but will also help you handle all other aspects of the arduous relocation process and will guarantee the successful outcome of your moving adventure. Just make sure you find qualified and trustworthy movers to work with – get a moving quote, ask for in-house estimate, compare the offers you receive from different moving companies, research your chosen movers well, and read the moving paperwork carefully before signing it. Your heavy wardrobe and all your other earthly possessions will be safely and quickly relocated to your new home.

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