This article is not for manufacturers and sellers – they know how to pack furniture. Those who did not know, learned from IKEA or fell out of the market long time ago. However, this text is for all those who look at their grandmother’s chest of drawers or a three-door wardrobe with a mirror, or a sofa on which their firstborn was conceived and do not know where and how to start the operation of moving the furniture to the other end of the country or the world.
Before you start unscrewing or packing furniture, make a list of things you want to send. Next step, you should check how much it would cost to replace your stuff with new furniture. Final countdown – you assess the cost of transport service at the courier companies. Finale: if you are not the owner of antique or designer furniture, it may turn out that it is worthwhile ordering a new set of furniture with delivery instead of transporting your old one. You may spend a little more, but will avoid a lot of trouble.
However, if you have already decided to transport and you want to carry out packaging yourself, you should remember a few basic rules.
A pallet – the most important item
Before you start packaging, remove all loose parts of the furniture, including the removable shelves. It is also necessary to dismantle all elements made of glass, including shelves and sliding glass. As for the drawers, it is best to remove them and pack them separately. However, drawers in a stable, wooden chest of drawers can be safely left if well secured against accidental release.
You may risk shipping packed and properly secured furniture, which may be fully or partially disassembled, in cardboard boxes without a pallet. It is like IKEA does, isn’t it? However, you should not exaggerate with optimism and self-confidence gained from your experience with IKEA furniture assembly. Of course, you may ship your furniture safely in cardboard boxes, but you will need to purchase a lot of covering and filling materials, which will increase the overall costs. A much better solution would be to use a pallet.
What do you gain by using a pallet? Firstly, the certainty that nobody will throw your furniture, because it will be handled by lifting equipment (most often fork lift trucks). Of course, although there may also be unpleasant surprises while transporting on a pallet, they happen rarely as the risks are lower. Secondly, a pallet secures the furniture in an upright position – you always know where the top and bottom are. And thirdly, it will be easier to package the furniture in a stable and safe way.
How to secure a piece of furniture onto a pallet?
All you need to secure your furniture onto a pallet are stretch film and bubble wrap, or pieces of cardboard. Cardboard or bubble wrap are great for making protecting elements for corners, sharp edges or any protruding elements. You can attach them using masking tape that will not leave dirty marks on the furniture varnish or upholstery. Then, you carefully wrap the whole piece of furniture with stretch film (overlapping patiently) from all sides and also from the bottom up.
Next, the well wrapped piece of furniture may be placed on a pallet and then should be secured to it with stretch film. You can use fastening belts as well. Proper wrapping with stretch film not only protects the furniture against mechanical damage, but also against adverse weather conditions.
Or maybe a “Russian doll” method?
When you cannot dismantle a piece of furniture, you are often tempted to put something inside to use a void. It’s a pretty good idea that allows you to significantly optimise the use of space in transport. However, you have to do it really carefully. All items inserted into the inside of wardrobes or chests of drawers must be attached and firmly secured against slipping/sliding.
DIY not for everyone
Packaging furniture on your own often requires a spare room for pallets with your stuff. For some people living in a block of flats (without an elevator or with a small one) moving furniture to the ground floor, then finding a place where you can package and store it safely until the courier arrives, may turn out to be the biggest problem.
Facing such difficulties, in many situations the best solution would be to order removal services from a professional removal company.