When the time comes for you to move house (again), one of the major issues you’ll have to solve is what you should do with your furniture pieces – will you move some of them with you or will you just leave those bulky items behind?
In addition to worrying about your regular furniture units, you’ll also need to make a decision about any IKEA furniture pieces you may own. IKEA furniture pieces are both fun and affordable, and they do have a special appeal of their own, particularly when you’ve assembled them with your own two hands.
The very first question you should answer is whether it’s worth the trouble of moving your chipboard furniture all the way to the new home. You’re going to have to take a few factors into consideration before you can reach an informed decision.
And if you do decide to move your IKEA furniture with you, then what’s the best way to protect it so that it survives the upcoming move unscathed? Bear in mind that moving IKEA furniture to a new home is a bit different than moving solid-wood furniture. Why? Particle board furniture is far less sturdy than solid-wood furniture, meaning that there’s a higher chance of it being damaged during the relocation.
How to pack and move IKEA furniture safely? Follow these 7 steps to find out.
Step 1. Double-check if moving your IKEA furniture is worth it
First and foremost, you do a risk assessment before you rush to pack and move your IKEA furniture to the new house.
Is it worth moving IKEA furniture at all? There are a few things you need to know before you can make the right choice in your particular case:
- IKEA furniture is not renowned for its strength and sturdiness. Why? It’s made from particle board – an engineered product that’s manufactured from wood chips and a synthetic resin which are pressed and extruded during the production process. Basically, this means that your ready-to-assemble furniture may not survive the move, especially if it has to be disassembled at the old home and put back together in the new one.
- IKEA furniture is fairly affordable, at least in most cases. What this means is that if you happen to be moving across the country, you’re likely to pay more money for the transportation of your pressboard pieces than to purchase brand-new IKEA furniture after the move. Do the math and see for yourself – if the numbers don’t work in your favor, then packing and moving your IKEA furniture cross country doesn’t make any sense.
- IKEA furniture seldom has any sentimental value, so it should be much easier for you to just discard your particle board pieces without any regret. If you had priceless antique furniture in the house, then things would have been completely different.
2. Determine whether you have to disassemble the IKEA furniture
Should you disassemble IKEA furniture when moving?
The correct answer to this question will depend primarily on what types of IKEA furniture items you own. Here’s what you should know when trying to figure out whether you should move your IKEA pieces as they are or you should dismantle them first to make things easier for yourself.
- Moving IKEA furniture without disassembling it first is the easiest option provided that the units can pass safely through all the doorways, hallways, corners, and even staircases in your home. Measure up the pieces and if they can be taken out of the home safely, then all you’ll need to do is wrap them up in protective blankets.
- Moving IKEA furniture as it is may be easier in terms of time and effort but it’s not likely to be the safest option you have. Note that the screws, bolts, and dowels that keep the pieces together in flat-pack furniture can become somewhat loose when the units are being moved around and the particle board elements could break or crack due to the added strain.
- There are risks involved in moving IKEA furniture to a new house either way but as a rule of thumb, you should consider disassembling the large ready-to-assemble furniture units such as dressers, beds, and bookcases for safer and easier handling. However, you can still leave smaller units such as drawers and nightstands fully assembled as a way to speed up the relocation process at both ends.
3. Take photos of your assembled IKEA furniture
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words and when you’re moving your IKEA furniture to a new house, you’re likely to find out that this adage is truer than you might think.
Before you get down to business (understand disassembling the large IKEA pieces you own), you’re strongly recommended to take multiple photos of the items as they are – that is, fully assembled. Why? It’s easy to guess that you may need to use those reference photos in the new home during the reassembly process.
So, use your digital camera to take not only full-size photos of the furniture pieces from a distance but also close-up pictures of the way the segments of each unit are attached to each other. Have numerous shots of the spots that contain any fastening elements to serve as a guide when you’re putting them back together in the new place.
Keep the photos safe throughout the house move – it’s best to upload them to an online storage cloud service such as Google Drive, for example.
4. Follow the instructions to disassemble partially your IKEA furniture
You’re going to have to have the correct disassembly instructions before you begin to take apart safely your large IKEA furniture.
There are several things you need to keep in mind when it comes to using instructions to disassemble your IKEA pieces:
- IKEA furniture needs to be disassembled in a specific order simply because it has been assembled the same way. Failure to follow the pre-set order might lead to damage – somewhat unlikely but still possible depending on the concrete IKEA furniture model. So, don’t take any risks.
- Use the assembly instructions to disassemble your big IKEA furniture units. How? It’s simple: just work your way backward – from the last page of the assembly instructions booklet to the first.
- Don’t worry if you can’t find the assembly instructions for your IKEA furniture pieces. Just visit the IKEA website and search for the furniture model: IKEA Assembly Instructions.
- Needless to say, the assembly instructions you use to disassemble your IKEA furniture units will help you put back together those pieces once you find yourself in the new home.
5. Label each disassembled furniture piece
As soon as you begin the disassembly process, one important thing you should do is to label each furniture element as you take it apart. Proper labeling of your IKEA furniture is critical because it can save plenty of valuable time after the move.
Don’t write directly onto the furniture components – instead, stick small pieces of painter’s tape onto the items and label them accordingly. Make sure you use painter’s tape and not regular packing tape since the latter is likely to damage the surface of your IKEA furniture.
Similar to labeling moving boxes, you just have to use a labeling system that will make sense during the reassembly time. To keep things simple, you can choose to use the following furniture labeling pattern:
- from top to bottom, and
- from right to left.
By having the assembly instructions with you and having the individual pieces all labeled correctly, you shouldn’t have any problems when it’s time to put back your furniture pieces in the new place.
Another important aspect of the IKEA furniture disassembly job is to keep all small fastening elements – screws, bolts, dowels, hinges, etc. – in a safe place such as inside a sealable plastic bag. When you’re done disassembling a unit, use a permanent marker to write down on the plastic bag the name of the furniture piece those small elements have come from.
6. Wrap your IKEA furniture in moving blankets
It’s time to protect your IKEA furniture pieces no matter if you’ve already disassembled them or you’ve decided to keep them as they are. Whichever way you decide to go, you shouldn’t let the furniture items leave your house without being well padded with the proper packing materials.
Basically, the easiest way to protect IKEA furniture is to wrap each disassembled piece in thick furniture blankets or regular bath towels. Once you do it, use pieces of tape to keep the pads in place.
Sometimes it makes sense to bundle a few smaller furniture elements together to save space and packing materials, so feel free to do it as long as you use a few sheets of packing paper between the pieces to avoid direct wood-to-wood contact.
In case you’re moving an IKEA piece as it is, without disassembling it, then you’re going to have to wrap the entire unit in thick moving blankets to keep them from getting chipped, scratched, or dented during the actual transportation.
Also, if you happen to keep the original cardboard boxes that contained your IKEA furniture when you first bought it, then you should use them to protect the pieces on the road.
7. Move the IKEA furniture with utmost care
Once you pack up your IKEA furniture pieces, it’s time to transport them safely to the new place.
The first step is to take them out of your home without any damage. In case you have already disassembled fully some of the IKEA units, then you shouldn’t have any problems with this step.
However, if you’re moving some of your IKEA furniture items without having them disassembled first, then you should ask a few friends to help you take those large pieces to the truck outside. Once inside the vehicle, use straps or pieces of rope to secure the furniture units so that they don’t shift around during transit.
Also, you should consider using a moving dolly to make things easier and safer when moving furniture to another home – not only IKEA but other types of furniture items as well.
Keep in mind that some professional moving companies will not move ready-to-assemble furniture unless it’s been disassembled first. The main reason is that IKEA furniture and IKEA-like furniture do not usually survive a house move due to their decreased strength and durability.
Be sure to contact the best furniture movers in your area if you do need professional help moving your IKEA furniture or your non-IKEA furniture.