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Is Your Furniture Too Big For Your New Home?

in Preparing for a move by Wendy Gittleson 1 Comment

945883899_e8aece9e5e_zMaybe it’s the fact that I like to live in smallish urban homes, but for some reason, I’m jinxed when it comes to sofas. In fact, I lived in one spacious (by local standards) New York apartment which had 19 inch hallways. I couldn’t even fit a sofa into the living room. For five years, I was stuck with a college-ish futon.

Even today, my older Bay Area home was definitely not built for overstuffed comfy sofas. Even getting a low-profile, shallower than normal sofa through our doors was a challenge. Ninja’s movers got it through with no damage to the sofa or door, but as much as we want to replace the not-too-comfortable sofa, we’re not sure how to get its replacement in.

Despite the fact that ultimately my sofa fit, there were moments of frustration, bordering on blame. Movers hear it every day. They do everything they can to get a piece of furniture to fit, but, sometimes to no avail. In the vast majority of cases, of course, it’s not the movers’ fault, but stressed out customers don’t always see it that way and for good reason- they paid good money to have their furniture moved. No one is happy if the job can’t be completed.

The best way to prevent a less than satisfactory moving experience is to measure. If you have any relatively large furniture, make sure it will fit before you decide to move it.

1. Measure furniture from every dimension. You might not think that sofa height would be what prevents it from entering a doorway, but if it’s a narrow doorway, it might be the very problem.

2. See if the legs come off and if they do, measure again.

3. Measure every doorway, including back doors.

4. Measure stairways and elevators, if they are involved.

5. Measure each and every turn. That might involve a little high school geometry, but here’s a fairly easy formula.

If your beloved buffet cabinet or armoire won’t fit through the doors or around the turns, there might be alternatives, but be prepared, they can be expensive. If you have large windows, removing the window may be an option. If it’s on the first floor, that’s not usually too difficult, but second floor and up requires extra equipment and expertise for hoisting. Occasionally, with tall apartment buildings, a crane can be called in. At that point, though, you might want to ask yourself if the furniture is worth the extra cost.

If your furniture absolutely won’t fit, there are alternatives. You can do like I did and buy a futon, but, if a futon is not exactly your style, three sections of a sectional can make a nice sofa. Some companies, like Jennifer Convertibles, make furniture that can be disassembled and reassembled in preparation for your move. In fact, they even do it for you!

Even larger case goods, like wardrobe closets and large desks, can be disassembled and reassembled in some cases.

Another option is to forgo the big furniture altogether. If you own, build storage, which can add character to your home. Instead of a large sofa, buy a love seat and and an extra chair. You could even buy several chairs instead of a sofa or love seat. Four chairs gathered around a round coffee table make a wonderful conversation pit.

10 Things You Might Not Think About Before Moving – But Should

in Local moving, Long-Distance moving, Preparing for a move by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

It’s fairly easy to find advice on the obvious aspects of moving, like packing or hiring a mover, but there are several things that most people don’t think about and they can make the difference between a predictable and even pleasant move and a moving disaster. If you follow these few tips, your move might not be perfect, but you could be saved a lot of headaches.

1. Talk to your cities – You should contact both your current city and the city where you are moving. You should also speak to your management company or landlord if you rent and your homeowner’s association if applicable. Many cities and neighborhoods have ordinances regarding where moving trucks can park and what hours they are allowed. Some require permits. Be as specific as possible and exaggerate the time needed – it’s always better safe than sorry.

2. Talk to your neighbors – Many vigilant neighbors are on-guard for things like moving trucks. They are common tools of burglars. Neighbors can be very helpful during a move, even if it involves small things like them allowing the truck to block a part or all of their driveway. You also want to make sure that the street in front of your home is as clear as possible. That might require asking your neighbors to move their cars.

3. Try to schedule your move outside of rush hour – Most movers charge a flat fee getting to your move and returning from your move (unless you are moving out of your metro area), but you will be charged for the time traveling between homes.

4. Prepare your electronics – Always back up your computers. If you are packing your own electronics, remove CDs and DVDs. They are best packed in their original boxes with the original packing material, but you should always make sure they are packed securely and that nothing can move.

5. Prepare your appliances – If you have gas appliances, they should be disconnected by a professional. Most moving companies can recommend a profession to service your appliances. All appliances should be emptied and cleaned. Remove shelves and drawers from your refrigerator.

6. Make sure your appliances are compatible with your new home – Not all homes have gas lines for dryers or for ranges. If not, you might have to either install a gas line or purchase new appliances.

7. Don’t pack items that can’t be moved – The general rule of thumb is that if it’s flammable, corrosive or explosive, a moving company can’t move it. You can move non-corrosive cleaning fluids, but even those are prone to leak. They are best either left behind or transported in your own vehicle in a plastic container. Return your propane tank to the store. Some stores will be able to issue a certificate for an exchange in your new city.

8. Don’t pack small valuables – You should move all valuable jewelry, money and papers yourself. Valuable art and antiques can be handled by a reputable mover.

9. Measure the rooms and doorways in your new home – Often, people move their home full of furniture only to find that their oversized sofa or refrigerator simply doesn’t fit – either in the room or even through the door. If you have concerns as to whether your furniture will fit through the doors, contact your moving consultant. It could require a visit to your new home or at least a few measurements.

10. If possible, get rid of the children and the pets for the day – If you can have your children and your pets stay with family members or friends for a few hours, you might save yourself and the movers a lot of headaches. If you don’t have friends and family that can help, you can always contact child care and pet day care facilities. If that is out of the question, keep them out of the way as much as possible.

 

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