Moving IKEA furniture to a new home isn’t like any other furniture moving task you’re likely to face on the day of your move.
We’re all familiar with the appeal of IKEA furniture – it’s fairly cheap and relatively easy to assemble. The pride and satisfaction of building your own furniture with your two hands can’t possibly be put into words.
However, when the time comes for you to move house, there will be several good questions you’ll be asking yourself, including, “Is it worth moving IKEA furniture?”
Having already decided to move some of the flatpack furniture pieces found in your current home, you’ll also need to keep in mind a number of important things so that your favorite IKEA furniture pieces reach the new house or apartment perfectly intact and ready to be re-assembled once more.
So, is moving IKEA furniture a good idea at all? How to pack IKEA furniture for moving? How to move with IKEA furniture?
Find the answers to all these questions below.
Is it worth moving IKEA furniture?
The very first question you’ll need to answer is whether moving your IKEA furniture is worth the effort and the transportation cost. Do an honest risk assessment before you rush to take your toolbox and begin to disassemble your DIY furniture. Know that ready-to-assemble furniture may not survive more than a couple of house moves, if that many.
Simply weigh the cost of transporting IKEA furniture versus the cost of just buying new one when you reach the new home. The risk of damage to your furniture pieces during transport is also high due to the way ready-to-assemble furniture is manufactured. To keep the production costs low, IKEA furniture is made from particleboard – an engineered wood product that is not famous for its strength, sturdiness, and stability.
Unlike a priceless antique furniture piece that’s been passed down from one generation to the next, an IKEA furniture item is, in most cases, easy to just leave behind without any consequent regrets. Nevertheless, make sure you base your final decision on the two major factors that usually determine how you approach the various aspects of the house move: MONEY and TIME.
How to pack IKEA furniture for moving
Packing and moving IKEA furniture when moving means primarily one thing: PROPER DISASSEMBLY. But should you disassemble all your build-your-own furniture?
Step 1: Disassemble your IKEA furniture
The problem with most DIY furniture is that it won’t handle turns and twists very well when the large furniture pieces are moved around without being disassembled first. The strain of the move will make the screws, dowels and the rest of the fastening elements to become loose, and that may easily be the end of your furniture as you know it.
So, if you don’t want your large IKEA furniture to fall apart during the moving process, the best solution is to take it apart first to prevent damage. Nevertheless, if you have enough room in the moving vehicle, then you may want to consider taking apart the large items such as dressers, and leaving the smaller pieces in their entirety – drawers and bedside tables, for example.
Step 2: Follow the IKEA instructions
It’s important to have the assembly instructions before you start taking apart your IKEA furniture. Even if you are positive that you will be able to do it without consulting the manuals, it’s still a good idea to have them near you because many IKEA items are required to be disassembled in a specific order.
Don’t worry if you’ve already thrown the assembly instructions away – IKEA publishes all their instructions online so all you have to do is find the ones you need (IKEA Assembly Instructions), download them in PDF documents and then follow them to complete the disassembly task.
Note: You won’t likely find any disassembly instructions. Just find the IKEA assembly instructions for your products and work your way backward to safely take apart your flatpack furniture.
Step 3: Label every single item
To successfully disassemble IKEA furniture to move, you’ll need to label each and every part in detail. You know how important it is to label your boxes for easier identification and smoother unpacking process after the move, right? Now multiply that importance by two when you’re taking apart furniture by IKEA.
Simply use a roll of masking tape and label any individual component you take apart from your assembled IKEA furniture. To make things easier, follow this labeling pattern: from right to left, and from top to bottom.
Keep repeating to yourself that labeling will save you loads of time and headaches on the other side of the house move when you’re getting ready to put back those furniture pieces.
Also, place any screws, bolts, dowels and other fastening elements in plastic sealable bags, then label those bags with the name of the IKEA furniture piece. Keep those plastic bags in a safe place throughout the move.
Should the worst happen and you do find any missing spare parts at the time of re-assembly, you should be able to order them online or directly from the nearest IKEA store.
Step 4: Use sufficient padding
Once you’ve disassembled your IKEA furniture, it’s time to protect the individual pieces so that they don’t get damaged during the process of moving. The main idea here is to provide enough padding between the separate chipboard panels to guard the delicate surface of your particleboard furniture – mostly from scratches and dents.
The easiest way to protect your IKEA furniture pieces is to wrap each one in thick protective coverings, such as blankets or towels. Use packing tape to keep the protective sheets in place. If you’ve decided to move a small furniture item without disassembling it first, then wrap it in moving blankets and again, tape those protectors to keep the pieces covered at all times.
Note: If you happen to keep the original cardboard packages that your IKEA furniture pieces came in, then you can definitely use them to protect the wooden panels.
Step 5: Load safely your IKEA furniture
Finally, it’s time to load your IKEA furniture pieces onto the moving vehicle. Arrange the protected particleboard panels carefully and avoid placing any heavy items on top of them to prevent damage.
If you’re loading small furniture pieces as they are still assembled, then use straps or pieces of rope to immobilize them during transit.
Important info: How to pack furniture for moving
3 Bonus tips for packing and moving IKEA furniture
Now that you know how to move with IKEA furniture, should you choose to move your particle board furniture at all, let’s wrap it up with three final tips for moving IKEA furniture.
1. Use visual aid at re-assembly time
Even though you may have your assembly instructions with you, make sure you take reference photos before you take your IKEA furniture apart. This way, you’ll find it much easier to put the pieces back together after the move is over.
2. Avoid over-tightening the screws
When the time comes to re-assemble the IKEA furniture you just moved, the best piece of advice you can get, besides the one to follow closely the assembly instructions, is to NOT over-tighten the screws.
Be cautious not to overdo the screws with your screwdriver because the particleboard material IKEA uses for their furniture can wear down pretty quickly when too much force is used. As a result, applying an excessive amount of force to make sure the pieces fit tight will only create the opposite effect.
3. Know if movers will move IKEA furniture
It’s important to know that most professional moving companies have limited liability for damage when it comes to moving ready-to-assemble furniture, including IKEA furniture, of course.
In reality, that means that movers will not move IKEA furniture unless it’s been properly disassembled first. Why? As stressed out above, IKEA furniture does not usually stand up to the unavoidable stress and strain during a house move.
Remember this: the cost to repair IKEA furniture that’s been damaged during a move usually exceeds the value of the damaged furniture piece itself.
See also: Will movers disassemble furniture?