How to move a dining room table

Moving house poses a great number of difficult problems, considerable risks, and big quandaries that need a good solution if the relocation process is to have any chance of success. One of the greatest of these moving house dilemmas is whether to sell your old belongings or take them to your new home. While it may be wiser to leave some difficult-to-move items behind and buy new ones after the relocation, you will most certainly want to keep many of your cherished possessions, especially ones with high sentimental or practical value. Your stylish and comfortable furniture pieces are likely to be among the items you will not want to part with – after all, it’s not so easy to find furnishings that suit both your practical needs and your aesthetic preferences.

A quality dining room table is one the most valuable furniture pieces in a home, so you will surely decide to take yours along. Moving a dining room table, however, is not a simple task – large dining tables are not only heavy and cumbersome, but also quite vulnerable to damage. To make sure that your treasured piece will arrive at your new home unscathed and intact, you need to provide it with the best possible protection.

How to pack a dining room table for moving

Needless to say, proper packing is key when it comes to ensuring the safety of your items during a house move. Therefore, in order to protect your dining room table when moving it to your new home, you need to pack it the right way.

Useful tip: It’s a good idea to take a picture of your table from all angles before you start packing – it will document the current condition of the furniture and will serve as a proof if you need to file a claim against your movers (in case your table sustained some kind of damage while in their custody).

There are several important steps to take when packing a dining room table:

  1. Clean the furniture well;
  2. If the table has a glass top, remove it first (see below for details);
  3. Spread a soft blanket on the floor and turn the table upside down on it;
  4. Unbolt or unscrew the table’s four legs (or one pedestal leg). If the legs are held in place by glue, try sliding the blade of a putty knife between the leg and the table to carefully break the bond. If you cannot remove the table legs, wrap them in bubble wrap for protection;
  5. Place any removed hardware parts (bolts, nuts and washers) in a sealable plastic bag and tape it to the underside of the table;
  6. Wrap the detached legs in bubble wrap and secure it in place by winding packing tape tightly down the length of the legs;
  7. Remove the table extension leaf (if possible) and wrap it in a moving blanket. Use packing tape or stretch wrap to keep the blanket in place. Apply a couple lengths of duct tape across the table’s underside seam to prevent it from separating during the transportation;
  8. If you’re moving a drop-side table, lower the table leaves and secure them with packing tape to keep them stable;
  9. Fold large pieces of corrugated cardboard around the edges and corners of the table for added protection;
  10. Cover the tabletop with moving blankets. Use as many as necessary to cover the entire surface, overlapping the blankets by about one foot. Wind packing tape around the tabletop or use plastic wrap to keep the blankets from coming off the table.

Useful tip: If the blankets don’t cover the entire underside of the table, you can tape them to the bottom of the furniture. Just make sure you don’t use tape on the table’s surface, as it can leave a sticky residue, peel the paint, or ruin the delicate wood finish.

How to pack a glass table top for moving

Glass tabletops are extremely fragile items that can easily shatter when not handled properly. To ensure that they arrive at their destination in one piece when moving house, you need to pack them with utmost care and meticulous attention to the details:

  1. Separate the glass top from the base and legs of the table. Depending on the type of your table, you may be able to simply lift the top from the frame or you may have to unscrew the top from the base;
  2. Run several masking tape strips (masking tape won’t leave a sticky residue on the glass) in different directions across the full length of both sides of the tabletop to add some extra strength to the glass and to keep the glass shards together if the tabletop breaks during transit (this will help avoid injury when unpacking);
  3. Wrap the entire glass top with packing paper and secure with tape. Be careful not to allow the tape to come in direct contact with the glass surface, as it will leave an adhesive residue that is very difficult to remove;
  4. Cover the paper-wrapped table top with bubble wrap (use bubble wrap with larger air pockets for better protection) and secure the wrapping with packing tape. Alternatively, you can place the glass top between two pieces of foam board that have been cut to the exact size and shape of the tabletop;
  5. Place the wrapped table in a telescopic box (a specialty box designed to provide maximum protection when transporting glass items) of appropriate size. The dimensions on the box should be as close to the dimensions of the wrapped top as possible, so that there is no room for movement that can result in breakage;
  6. If you don’t want/can’t afford to buy a telescopic box, you can build one yourself – flatten a cardboard box that is slightly larger than the dimensions of your wrapped glass table top. Cut one side of the flattened box so that you have one large piece of cardboard. Place the tabletop in the center and fold the cardboard around your glass piece so that the cardboard covers it completely. Trim the excess cardboard, if necessary, to make sure that the cardboard fits around the glass top perfectly, enveloping it on all sides with a sturdy covering. Use packing tape to hold the cardboard tightly in place;
  7. Label both sides of the box “FRAGILE” and “HANDLE WITH CARE” with a permanent marker. Let your movers (or the friends who have come to help you, in case you’ve decided on a self-move) know that the item is very fragile and requires extra caution while handling.

Packing a glass table top is a great challenge, but if you follow the above steps strictly and carefully you have every chance to keep your own glass piece safe and intact during the moving process.

How to move a dining room table

Once your dining room table is properly packed, you need to make sure that it is taken out of your home with great care and is well secured in the moving truck. If you’ve hired professional movers for your relocation, they will know how to take proper care of your fragile piece. If you’re moving by yourself, you’re advised to:

  • Have one person lift the table from one end and another person – from the other end. Lift it by the apron and turn it so that it is vertical to the floor. If the table legs weren’t removed, carry the table horizontally. Manoeuver it around corners and through doorways very carefully to avoid hitting it against walls, door frames, and other items. Never pull the table along the floor, as this can cause damage to both the floor and the table (SEE ALSO: How to avoid property damage when moving);
  • When loading the table into the moving truck, make sure you place it on its longest side against the rubber bars on the wall of the truck. Secure it well with ropes or straps and put your heaviest pieces against it to keep it from shifting during the transportation;
  • If the legs are still attached to the table, you can move the furniture in a standing position and place items below it. The table, however, won’t be very stable and may shift during transit or get damaged from swaying on its legs. If you place the table upside down, make sure you don’t put any heavy items on it. Also, be careful to secure the items you place around the table’s legs well, as they may damage the legs if they shift during the move. All in all, it may be better to place the table on its side and wrap the legs in moving blankets for better protection;
  • When moving a glass table top, make sure you put it on its side (the experts say that glass can withstand the strain of moving much better when kept on its side due to its molecular structure). Never lay the glass piece flat or place anything on top of it. Lean the glass top against the wall of the truck and place some heavier items in front of it to prevent it from shifting or falling. It is also a good idea to add another layer of padding between the wall and the table top and to secure the glass piece in place with ropes for extra protection. If possible, it’s best to sandwich the glass top between two mattresses.

When all the precautions are taken, you’re ready to go. Safe and successful moving!

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