“Clean and Jerk” not “Bend and Snap”: Here’s How to Move Furniture Safely


If you’re like me, the part of moving you hate the most is transporting the furniture. These items are heavy and awkward, and within the first 20 minutes of lifting and lugging, I wish I’d just paid a moving company to take care of it for me. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, three out of four people will experience low back pain in their lifetime, often due to moving furniture. However, moving heavy objects doesn’t have to be a strain on your body; you just need to know how to do it correctly. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to move your furniture safely—whether it’s just around your living room or up three flights of stairs:

  • Map it out! Know where you’re taking the furniture and the best way to get there. Then, be sure to clear the path of all obstacles, and take note of narrow doorways and awkward angles around which you’ll have to navigate.
  • Wear grippy, closed-toe shoes (like sneakers).
  • Bend from the knees—like you’re doing a squat—keeping your back and shoulders straight.
  • Face the item as you lift it, and avoid twisting your body.
  • Lift slowly; stop if you’re straining to lift the item.
  • Carry the object above your knees and hold it close to your body.
  • Use a dolly (this dolly, not that Dolly), furniture sliders, or lifting straps, if possible.

Lastly, DDIY: Don’t do it Yourself

It’s easy to overestimate your Hulk status and attempt to move things that are too heavy or bulky on your own; don’t do it! If the item is wider than your feet when you’re standing at ease, then you’re going to need help. Grab a friend—or three—to pick up your sectional or Grandma’s antique hope chest so you don’t end up with an ankle sprain, low back strain, or something worse.

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