An armoire is an elegant and functional standalone cabinet with drawers, shelves, and sometimes hanging space that offers extra storage for your clothes and other personal items. Armoires can be exceedingly heavy because they are usually made of solid wood, and that fact makes them really difficult to move when the time has come for its owner to move to a new home.
Luckily, when there’s a will, there’s a way. Learn the best way to move an armoire by yourself – that is, without hiring professional movers to do it for you.
Get the necessary armoire-moving muscle power
Armoire dressers are bulky and heavy pieces that require plenty of muscle power to be moved from one location to another. Just take a quick look at your lovely cabinet and ask yourself whether moving an armoire to a new home is a job for a single person, or not. Of course, you already know the answer to that question.
If you have decided not to count on the assistance of professional movers (yes, movers will charge you for the job), then you’re going to have to gather up your posse of loyal friends to move your armoire safely out of the home.
Here’s an idea: invite your friends over to a furniture-moving party and watch their enthusiasm disappear up into thin air. How many guests do you expect to turn up on Moving day?
Get the right moving equipment
The best way to move an armoire is to use the right tools to get it safely out of your home. Proper moving equipment will help you avoid damage to the wood piece itself or injury to your back (or your friends’ backs, for that matter). Fail to use the proper tools for moving heavy items and crushed fingers, toes, or feet are also possible.
- A furniture dolly is a must-have piece of moving equipment when moving an armoire without the aid of professional movers. The two-wheeled hand truck – the simple yet effective L-shaped first class lever – may be a bit trickier to navigate and control, but it’s still your best bet to move an armoire downstairs or upstairs.
- Furniture sliders are something that may change forever the way you approach the task of moving heavy furniture. Those sliders, made of durable plastic and hard rubber, will enable you to slide any furniture piece fairly effortlessly across the floor of the room without causing any damage to the floor surface. All you need to do is place one slider under an armoire leg, and then push gently in the direction you want your cabinet to be moved. High-quality sliders can be bought from your local moving company or from a home goods store.
- Furniture blankets will provide a great level of protection for your cherished furniture piece. You must have your armoire wrapped up in thick furniture blankets (ordinary household blankets can also do the trick) so that you can have the peace of mind that it will stay protected even if it is accidentally bumped into a doorway or a wall.
See also: Does my furniture need furniture movers?
How to move an armoire by yourself [Step-by-step guide]
How to move a large armoire? Let’s cover the basic steps you need to follow to get the job done without having to hire moving labor.
- Step 1. Empty the armoire. Now, you must know perfectly well how heavy your standalone furniture piece is, don’t you? Your initial efforts will be all about reducing its overall weight – that is, making it much lighter for easier and safer handling. Empty all the drawers and cabinets and pack their contents separately. Also, remove any clothes hangers and other relatively sharp items that may scratch the inside of the cabinet during the haul.
- Step 2. Take care of the drawers. Your armoire may be empty now but its drawers will still add to its total weight. Every extra pound will only make the wood piece harder to move around, so the usual advice here is to remove the drawers altogether and pack and move them separately. The disadvantage here is that those detached drawers will take extra space on the moving vehicle. Another option is to leave the drawers in the armoire, in which case you have to secure them with a piece of rope or pieces of packing tape over the blankets (see below).
- Step 3. Remove any glass elements. You must remove any glass shelves or glass doors equipped on your armoire dresser prior to moving it. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws that hold the hinges together, then take down the glass doors while exercising great caution. Wrap those glass armoire components with packing paper first, and then some blankets. You can place pieces of cardboard over the glass panels as an extra precaution. Keep the screws and other small fastening elements in a plastic bag.
- Step 4. Protect the armoire. Padding and wrapping the large and heavy furniture piece is the crucial step of moving an armoire to another home. Ultimately, you’ll need to wrap with moving blankets the entire armoire for clothes in a way that no part of its surface remains unprotected. While placing the protective covers along its perimeter and width, use generous portions of packing tape to hold the wrapping together. Use tape only over the blankets themselves, never directly onto the delicate armoire finish to avoid damage. /How to pack furniture for moving/
- Step 5. Slide it across the room. It’s time for the tricky part – to get the heavy wardrobe out of your home. One good option to do just that is to place a slider under each leg of the armoire and slide it across the room until it reaches the doorway, and then transfer it to the hand truck to get it out and reach the moving vehicle. Do it slowly, have all available hands and always push rather than pull.
- Step 6. Wheel it out of your home. The option that will usually make more sense is to use the hand truck to move your armoire all the way to the moving truck. Be extra careful when loading the heavy furniture piece onto the dolly itself – make sure you use the proper lifting techniques to avoid personal injuries, especially back injuries. Once onto the two-wheeler, secure your armoire with straps to keep it stable while having your pals hold on to it at all times to keep the balance. Also, you will need all the support you can get when moving the armoire downstairs, strapped safely onto the hand truck.
- Step 7. Load the armoire safely. Do not make any abrupt movements while wheeling the armoire cabinet out of your home – you may also appoint a person to warn you if something unexpected is about to happen. When you reach the vehicle, use the loading ramp to get the wrapped and strapped dresser up and into the back of the van. Finally, strap it securely to the side so that it won’t move during transport.
Read also: How to move heavy furniture