moving large items without breaking your back

Whether you’re moving into or out of a new house, or you just want to do some rearranging at home, there are items that are heavier than you that need to be moved! And some of them are big and bulky, making them even more difficult to maneuver.

But what are you supposed to do? Especially if you don’t want to hire help or you don’t have volunteers available.

You’ll have to figure out how to move those items without scratching and scraping and ripping and tearing. What if you’re moving a large television, for example? It’s probably an expensive item to fix or replace, not to mention that it’s fragile.

If you’re searching for the right way to move something without hurting yourself, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re discussing what to do when moving large items. Keep reading to learn more.


It’s important to be prepared for anything that you plan to move. Don’t just guess how large an item is. Measure it.

You’ll need to make sure that moving large items through the doorframe or another area of your home isn’t going to cause damage. Trying to fit something through a tight space can gouge your furniture and your walls.

Taking a few extra minutes to measure your spaces and your items will help save you headaches and money in the long run.

Empty Shelves and Drawers

Before attempting to move furniture with shelves and drawers, make sure to clean it out first. Pack up what’s inside the furniture to make it lighter and easier to handle.

If you can’t take the shelves or drawers apart from the furniture, try taping it shut so that it doesn’t wiggle around when you’re trying to move it. Moving large items is all about thinking ahead.

You can also remove pulls and knobs so that they don’t snag on things in transit. It will also prevent broken pieces from trying to carry the furniture incorrectly.

Take Furniture Apart

Try removing legs or other removable parts from your furniture before moving it. It will make the items lighter and there will be fewer parts with the potential to damage something in transit.

Mark separate items with painter’s tape to keep it organized. Painter’s tape will adhere effectively and you can write directly on it with a marker.

Use Pads or Blankets

It’s always a good idea to cover furniture and important items with some kind of protection, like blankets or pads. You should ensure that the blankets or pads are wrapped tightly and securely so that your item doesn’t slip while you’re carrying it.

Think about how easy it can be to lose your balance, especially if you’re carrying something large and awkward. It’s best to have something between your item and the wall, or other furniture, and that which you’re carrying.


Perhaps the most important tip when it comes to moving large items is to push instead of pull. Pushing is much easier on your body and you should use this technique to move and lift.

First, push the item where you want it to be before you have to lift it. You can use a piece of cardboard or slides, which we’ll discuss in a moment, to easily glide your furniture across the floor.

When you’re lifting, push with your legs. Don’t pull with your back. This is the easiest way to keep your balance, too.

Use Your Head

Don’t forget to ask yourself simple questions about the things you’re trying to move, like how much they weigh and whether you’ll need help moving them or not. Use your brain and your muscles to accomplish the job correctly, the first time.

Don’t Forget the Tools

Of course, you’re never alone with the right tools on hand. Even the ancient Egyptians employed the use of tools when building great structures like the pyramids. Don’t try moving heavier, larger items without the help of technology.

Lifting Straps

Lifting straps work like a pulley system similar to those used to move pianos from high story buildings.

With DIY style lifting straps, you can use your own weight and strength as leverage to lift heavy items with ease. It’s all about physics. Your body acts as the fixed pulley with these moving straps wrapped around your item.

Utility/Furniture Dolly

The utility or furniture dolly are essential items when it comes to moving. There are endless boxes and furniture to carry from the truck or house. A utility dolly will make moving all of your items much easier and faster.

It’s an upright tool with two wheels that you can either stack boxes on or use for certain furniture.

A furniture dolly has four wheels and it’s flat. It’s commonly used to move refrigerators and other large appliances.

Stair Roller

A stair roller is just like it sounds. They attach to heavy objects so that you can simply roll them down the stairs. You’ll still need a guide and it’s best to use this tool with two people.


Glides can be used to slide furniture around and get it closer to the door. They’re simply plastic disks that you slide under the legs of your furniture to easily slide them across the floor. Don’t forget to push, not pull.

You should be able to find these tools for rent at your local moving and storage facility. Other carriers might include truck rental agencies and hardware stores.

Moving Large Items

Moving large items doesn’t have to be a back-breaking endeavor. All you have to do is follow these tips to ensure the safety of your furniture, and yourself. Not to mention your walls, floors, and any people helping you.

Be careful when lifting, especially. Make sure to concentrate your focus on your legs when you’re picking up heavy items. The weight of your body, as well as the weight of the item, should rest on your upper thighs.

Also, remember to wear comfortable shoes that support your knees and back. A good sole that grips the ground is highly recommended. And, don’t forget to tie your shoelaces!

When you need help moving large items, or if you have questions, contact us. We’re locally owned and operated in San Francisco.