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How to Disassemble Furniture When Moving

Last Updated: Thursday, November 16th, 2023

Moving homes is not just about packing boxes; it also involves the challenging task of figuring out how to disassemble furniture. Whether you’re trying to fit a bulky sofa through a narrow doorway or are puzzled by the intricacies of a modular cabinet, disassembling furniture can be daunting. But don’t reach for that hammer just yet!

Our comprehensive furniture disassembly guide is designed to arm DIY enthusiasts and those looking to save on the costs of moving homes with the necessary knowledge and tools. We delve deep into the nuts and bolts of the process, answering questions like, “Do removalists dismantle furniture?” and providing step-by-step instructions on furniture disassembly. And if ever in doubt, we’ll also help you discern when it’s time to call in the professionals.

Why Disassemble Furniture?

For many, taking apart a beloved piece of furniture might be daunting. But it can often be the difference between a hassle-free move and a stressful day. Not only does disassembled furniture take up less space in the moving truck, but it’s also easier to transport, reducing the risk of damage.

Key reasons to disassemble furniture include:

  • Easier to move and navigate through doors and hallways.
  • Reduced risk of damage during transportation.
  • More efficient use of space in the moving truck.

But what about the items you decide not to move? Transitioning to a new home is an excellent opportunity to declutter and let go of things you no longer need. At Smoothmoves, we offer specialised decluttering services to assist you in this process. Instead of holding onto pieces that might not fit or match your new space, we help you sort, dispose of, or donate them responsibly. Let us streamline your move and enhance the efficiency and aesthetics of your new home.

Plan Ahead with a Moving Checklist

Before jumping into action, preparation is key. Whether you’re planning a home or office move, each comes with its own set of challenges. Draft a moving checklist tailored to your specific needs, taking into account the differences between home and office furniture.

For home removals, the primary focus might be on bulky items like sofas, bed frames, and dining tables. These are often personal items with sentimental value. As part of your checklist, inventory everything you want to move, especially noting down household furniture that might need disassembling.

In contrast, office removals might involve a different set of furniture pieces: large desks, office chairs, conference tables, cubicles, and filing cabinets. Some of these can be intricate with built-in electronics or specialised functionalities. It’s crucial to list these items separately and ensure that any sensitive office equipment is appropriately handled during the disassembly process.

By tailoring your moving checklist based on the type of move, you not only ensure you don’t miss out on any vital steps or items but also get a clearer picture of the magnitude of the task ahead. And remember, each piece, whether from a cosy home or a bustling office, requires its own unique care and attention during the disassembly process.

Understand Your Furniture’s Material and Structure

Before you start, understand your furniture’s material and design. For example, different fabrics need distinct care. Leather can scratch, and certain woods might crack if mishandled. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions if available. Lost the manual? Most manufacturers provide online versions.

Arm Yourself with the Right Tools

Having the correct tools can make a world of difference. The basics you’ll need include:

Hand Tools for Disassembling Furniture:

  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Wrench set
  • Spanners
  • Allen/Hex Keys
  • Screwdrivers and/or a drill
  • Rubber mallet

Labeling and Storing Diassembled Furniture:

  • Sharpie & Ziplock bags for labelling and storing small parts
  • Painter’s tape for labelling

Smootmoves Tip: Always keep your workspace tidy. A clutter-free environment reduces the chances of misplacing parts or potential trip hazards.

Safety Comes First

Disassembling furniture isn’t just about efficiency—it’s also about safety. Always ensure you’re in a well-lit room. Avoid rushing, as this is when accidents often occur. Wearing gloves can shield your hands from potential splinters or sharp edges. If you’re dealing with glass components, consider wearing safety glasses.

Time Management is Key

Never underestimate the time needed to disassemble furniture. Allow at least 30 minutes for smaller items and up to several hours for larger, more intricate pieces. Quality is more important than speed, ensuring a smoother disassembly process and reduced risk of damaging your furniture.

Prioritise Your Furniture

Start with pieces that absolutely need disassembling, such as large wardrobes or bed frames that won’t fit through doors. Next, consider items that will be easier to transport when disassembled, like modular sofas or large dining tables.

Protecting Disassembled Parts with Eco-Friendly Packing

Once your furniture is taken apart, ensure the pieces are protected. Wrap wooden components in cloth wraps or biodegradable packing peanuts. Glass or fragile parts can benefit from foam padding. Plus, Smoothmoves also offers reliable moving boxes for rent in Sydney, providing a cost-effective and eco-friendly solution. Forget about the hassle and cost of buying boxes – hire moving boxes from us and make your next home or office relocation as smooth as possible!

Smoothmoves Tip: Keep screws, bolts, and other components in labelled Ziplock bags, and then seal those bags in a container with padding.

When to Consider Hiring Professional Removalists

While DIY can be cost-effective, some pieces of furniture—especially antiques or items with sentimental value—require a delicate touch. Disassembling furniture can be a two-person job, especially for bulky items. Ask friends or family members to lend a hand. In such cases, hiring professionals may be the best route. At Smoothmoves, we offer specialised removalist services to ensure even the most intricate pieces are handled with care.

Do Removalists Dismantle Furniture? Yes, many professional moving companies, like Smoothmoves, offer specialised services where they handle the disassembly and reassembly of your furniture. This can be particularly useful for those who may not have the time, tools, or confidence to disassemble furniture themselves. It also ensures that items, especially those delicate or intricate ones, are handled with the utmost care.

The Art of Furniture Disassembly

Every piece of furniture tells a story, from that antique armoire passed down generations to the modern modular sofa you just bought last year. Recognising the uniqueness of each item is crucial. Here’s a systematic way to approach it:

Step-by-Step Disassembling Process

  1. Evaluate Each Piece: Does that side table really need disassembling, or can it slide into the moving truck as it is?
  2. Document the Process: Taking photos isn’t just for Instagram. Snap pictures at every step. This visual diary will be your best friend when it’s time to put everything back together.
  3. Gentle Touch: Begin with easily detachable parts like the legs of a table or the cushions of a couch. A gentle approach ensures that the integrity of your furniture remains intact.
  4. Organise Small Parts: There’s nothing more frustrating than missing screws or bolts. Keep them safe, labelled, and attached to their parent furniture.

The Road Ahead: Post Disassembly and Reassembly

Once your furniture is disassembled, the task isn’t just about stacking the pieces. Ensure they travel safely to their new home by laying them out systematically, using cushions or padding in between. As you embark on this journey, be mindful of potential obstacles, especially tripping hazards, when carrying disassembled parts.

Furniture Reassembly Tips:

  1. Set up a dedicated assembly area in your new home.
  2. Try reversing the disassembly steps for reassembly.
  3. Always adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines for reassembly.

Disassembly Difficulty and Common Mistakes

While some items, like bed frames, are easier to disassemble, modular sofas can be complex. A common mistake is using an inappropriate tool for a particular component, such as using a flat-head screwdriver for a Phillips screw or not marking which screws belong to which item.

Always refer to manuals and ensure you’re using the right equipment.

Tips for Kids & Pets During Disassembly

Keep children and pets away from the disassembly area. Moving can be stressful, so perhaps arrange for a playdate or set up a safe space for them to stay entertained.

Post-Move Furniture Care

After reassembling, your furniture might need maintenance. It’s good practice to tighten bolts after a few days or polish and clean surfaces to rejuvenate their look.

Storage Advice for Disassembled Furniture

Planning to store furniture? Disassembled furniture pieces use less storage space. Ensure the storage area is dry to prevent moisture damage, and consider using pest repellents. And if you run out of room, consider renting one of our self storage units at our Brookvale facility.

How To Disassemble Furniture FAQs

Should I disassemble IKEA furniture or move it as-is?

It often depends on the item of furniture. Some IKEA pieces are better moved as-is, while larger items might need disassembly.

How do I protect furniture corners and edges during a move? 

Use edge protectors or padded wrapping to protect furniture during a move.

What’s the best way to transport glass items? 

Always wrap glass and other delicate items in foam padding and mark the package as fragile.

What should I do if I can’t figure out how to reassemble a piece?

Always refer to the manufacturer’s manual or the photographs you took during disassembly. If those aren’t helping, consider seeking professional assistance or checking online forums for guidance.

Smoothly Transition to Your New Home

At Smoothmoves, we understand the intricacies of furniture disassembly. Whether you’re searching for practical advice on how to disassemble furniture or considering expert removalist services to ensure your treasured pieces remain intact, we’ve got you covered. After all, one question we often hear is, “Do removalists dismantle furniture?”. The answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’ when you choose Smoothmoves. 

Our team is just a call away, committed to making your move smooth and hassle-free. Our primary goal is to provide a seamless transition, ensuring every piece of furniture, whether assembled or disassembled, finds its perfect spot in your new home.

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