Tips for Moving Your Couch Safely

Moving couches and other large pieces of furniture is a real challenge. It’s difficult, exhausting, and potentially dangerous (to you and your furniture). So no surprise that it’s one of the main reasons people hire the College Muscle Movers to take care of the hassles of moving.

If you’re taking on the job yourself, we’ve got some tips that should help you out and give you a better chance of getting that giant sofa where it needs to go.

Lifting Couches Safely

We’ve got a handy little article on safe lifting and it’s worth checking out before you try to pick up a couch or any other furniture: we briefly cover tools you can use, safe lifting techniques, and appropriate postures for dealing with heavy loads.

In addition to those tips, remember that you’re always going to want at least one partner to help you with long awkward shapes like couches.

Getting Through a Narrow Space

Hallways, doors and other narrow spaces are especially difficult—sometimes impossible.

It’s always best if you can plan ahead and measure the space you have compared to the dimensions of your couch before you move, or even before you choose your new home. Measure the height, width, and length of your sofa and the areas you’ll need to navigate through. Keep in mind that a soft couch should have a couple of inches of ‘give’ in it to squeeze through.

Pretty to look at, but not much fun to move through a hallway. Image Credit: Flickr
Pretty to look at, but not much fun to move through a hallway.
Image Credit: Flickr

If those numbers don’t quite match, there are a few options you have. It’s always a good idea to move furniture after removing everything possible, such as legs and detachable upholstery, so take care of that if you haven’t already and see if that gives you some extra space.

If you’ve still got a tight squeeze, use one or more partners to carefully maneuver the couch into different positions—turning it upside down, sideways, standing it on its end, anything that might give you the angle you need.

If that doesn’t work, you’re looking at more extreme methods. If you think it will help, you can try removing the door from its hinges to make more space. If you really love that couch, you can also consider options for having it disassembled and reassembled by an expert, or look into using a crane or other tools to hoist the couch in through a window or balcony.

Protecting Your Couch During Moves

Here are some tips to keep in mind for any couch move:

1. Wrapping your furniture in moving pads and blankets protects both the furniture and the walls from scrapes and rips.

2. Dollies and furniture sliders are a great help when moving furniture around open spaces.

3. Remove as much as you can from any furniture and store it separately for the move; this includes legs, covers, and cushions.

 

And as always, if you’re in the Minneapolis area, give College Muscle Movers a call at 1-800-818-8449 and we’ll take care of that difficult sofa for you.

Which Boxes are Best for Moving: Cardboard or Plastic?

Three things are certain in life: death, taxes, and moving boxes.

It happens every time you have to move, whether it’s as simple as shifting your textbooks from one dorm to another or going cross-country in a rented truck: you’ve got to scramble to find, assemble and fill as many cardboard boxes as you can get your hands on, and then you’ve got to figure out what to do with the pile of mangled cardboard you’re left with when you’re finished unpacking.

But in the past decade or so, a new option has become increasingly available and popular: reusable plastic moving containers. Here at College Muscle Movers, we offer both traditional cardboard boxes for sale as well as plastic containers for rent, and you’ll find many of our competitors both here in Minneapolis and across the country are doing the same.

Why? The answer is pretty simple: Plastic is a better choice for many reasons. We’ll tell you five reasons why, and we’ll also suggest a few occasions where good old cardboard is still a smart choice.

 

Five Reasons Why Plastic Boxes Beat Cardboard

MuscleBox

1. Simple

No need to assemble these babies: plastic boxes come pre-constructed, ready for you to fill. No tape or folding required. This can save you hours of work for a large move.

2. Stackable

Reusable plastic boxes are designed to fit snugly together, making it easier to move large numbers of them and save space in your moving vehicles. This also aids in their structural integrity when stacked, which brings us to reason three…

3. Durable

Plastic moving boxes are much tougher than cardboard. That means they’ll have a safer trip through the streets to your new home or office, and even better, they won’t collapse while you carry them by hand.

This feature is especially important for large moves, especially of offices and businesses.

4. Rentable & Returnable

College Muscle Movers (and most other movers who offer plastic boxes) can deliver your order straight to your door and pick up the empty boxes afterwards. So there’s no need to hunt around town for somebody throwing old boxes away, and no need to flatten and store the cardboard after you use it. No need to fill your new home with old boxes.

5. Reusable

It may not mean much to your move, but the planet appreciates that these boxes can be used over and over again without being thrown away. That’s why they’re often called ‘eco-boxes.’

When to Use Cardboard Anyway

Now, if you’re skeptical, we’ll be honest, there are a couple of situations where cardboard might be the better solution:

1. Small Moves

If you’re just moving a bedroom or a few shelves from your dorm, then hunting down and assembling cardboard boxes will be a much smaller problem. Go ahead, Mother Earth can handle it if you end up recycling just a couple of boxes when you’re done.

2. No Budget

You might be surprised to find that renting plastic boxes is very similar in price to buying cardboard boxes—go ahead, do the math yourself! But it is true that you can scrounge up free cardboard boxes if you’re patient and if you ask nicely in the right stores. Just keep in mind that time is money, so don’t waste too much of it if you can afford a stronger and simpler solution.

 

Pretty simple, right? If you’re moving enough stuff, plastic is the way to go every time for security, convenience, and price.

When is the Best Time to Move in Minnesota?

If you’re able to plan ahead and choose the day and month of your move, there are a few things worth knowing that will help you pick the best time possible for less hassle and lower rates.

Choosing the Best Day to Move

There are some rules that almost always hold true year-round: Weekends are always busier for movers, and so is the first of the month when leases end and renters are looking to make a quick move.

If you’re able to choose the day you move out, you may find that avoiding those days will give you a better chance of getting all the reservations you need on short notice.

Choosing the Best Month to Move

If you’re able to plan ahead, it’s true that many services and supplies can be cheaper during some times of the year, and more expensive during the busy seasons.

For most moving companies, the months of May to September are often the busiest.

The most activity of the year usually occurs during late May and early June, when a long Memorial Day weekend combines with the graduation season during a period of pleasant weather. If you can avoid it, you’ll want to choose another time to move.

Of course in Minnesota, weather is also a serious consideration. You may not have much competition for a moving truck in deep winter, but you probably don’t want to risk a sudden snowstorm.

Planning for Long-Term Storage

If your move involves delivering some of your possessions to long-term storage, that may be an important factor in your decision.

The months of May to September are also the busiest seasons for storage unit rentals, and rates tend to increase accordingly.

However, many storage units allow renters to lock in rates for the long term. This means that if you are able to begin your storage during a quieter month such as November, rather than a more expensive month like January, you can make quite a savings in rental fees.

You can read much more on the subject at SelfStorage.com’s very detailed write-up on how moving seasons affect the price of rental units in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

We’re Here to Help

We hope this guide helps you choose the best day to move, but if you do need to call College Muscle Movers even on the busiest days of the year, we’ll do our best to get you and your stuff where you need to go.

At least it won't be as busy as Moving Day in 19th century New York City.
At least it won’t be as busy as Moving Day in 19th century New York City.

How to Pack and Move Your Computer

A desktop computer may be one of the most important items you move, and there are a lot of things that can go wrong—expensive components can be damaged and important data can be lost. So let us tell you how to play it as safe as possible.

At least computers are a lot more portable than they used to be. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
At least computers are a lot more portable than they used to be.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Plan Ahead

The basics are obvious—you’ll want to power down, unplug and wrap up all cords and accessories, and double check to make sure you haven’t left any discs in the computer.

But before you think about protecting your computer, you should give some thought to protecting all the important information inside it. If you don’t already have one, a backup drive is a very smart investment, even if you’re not moving. You can get a terabyte drive for around $60 if you shop around, and it should be fine at backing up your entire hard drive for years to come.

Backup drives are easy to use and will make sure that whatever happens to your computer, your irreplaceable files will stay safe. You may even wish to move and store your backup drive separately after every backup so that no disaster can strike both copies at the same time.

Packing Carefully

A computer is full of fragile parts that certainly aren’t meant to be jostled. If you still have any of the original packaging and the form-fitting Styrofoam that comes with it, that’s your best bet. But odds are you don’t, right?

Not a big problem. You’ll want to find a box just slightly larger than your CPU tower—you definitely don’t want to give it enough space to knock around in there. Then you want to pack it fairly tightly with padding. Crumpled newspaper and bubble wrap should do the trick. If you’re moving a printer, you’ll want to follow the same process, although it’s a good idea to remove any ink cartridges first and seal them in plastic bags.

That takes care of the tower. You don’t have to worry too much about damage to keyboards or mice, and you can pack your monitor much like you would a flat screen TV. You can check out our guide for details.

Any cords and additional accessories should be easier to pack, although you may want to make sure you pack them and label them separately  from your other electronics to avoid tangles and confusion.

Making the Move

Okay, you’re prepped and packed. Now it’s time to get your precious cargo where it needs to go.

If you plan to use a moving company, you’ll want to make sure that the box your computer is in is clearly labeled, and you’ll want to check that it’s properly insured for the move. This requires estimating the retail value of your computer and specifically requesting the appropriate insurance as standard moving insurance typically will not provide sufficient coverage for such expensive items.

However, if you’re taking a car to your new home, a computer is one of the few items you may want to move yourself even if you’re using a moving company to handle most of your other possessions. This eliminates most of the risk involved, especially if you are moving during extreme cold weather. The back of a moving truck is rarely heated, and cold can cause damage to some parts of a computer, as can the resulting condensation.

If you must expose your computer to cold during a move–and that’s definitely a possibility in Minneapolis!–be sure to give it ample time to reach room temperature before attempting to turn it on.