How to Ship Your Furniture – Best Practices for Long and Short Distances
Planning to relocate across the country to a new house? Or are you looking to send an heirloom armchair to your younger sibling in Europe? Maybe you just sold an antique desk on eBay and you’re looking for a safe way to ship the piece to its new owner. Whatever you’re motive or the size of the items, one thing is constant—shipping furniture demands the utmost care.
You need to mitigate the risk of dents, scrapes, scratches, or broken parts while in transit. How so? It’s all about leveraging the best practices in packing & shipping furniture and partnering with a well-versed shipping partner such as Ship Smart. Read on for valuable tips on how to ship furniture—both long and short distances.
Shipping Furniture Long Distance
You live in Los Angeles and you want to ship an office desk to your brother—who is over 2,000 miles away in Miami. How do you go about it safely? As a general rule of thumb, items are more susceptible to damage and mishandling the longer their distance of transit. For this reason, it’s crucial to ensure the furniture items—whether large & bulky or small & delicate—are properly and safely packaged.
Measure and Weigh the Items
Before packing your furniture, you need to have an accurate measurement of all the pieces. The metrics help determine other activities such the packaging and even finding the best courier to use. Aside from distance, other factors that influence your method of packaging and shipping include:
- Dimensions and shape: Are any of the items oddly shaped with protruding parts? For large items, also consider whether they can be dismantled into smaller pieces. When moving items over long distances, accurate calculations reduce the risk of damage due to over/under-sized containers and help cut on costs.
- Weight: It goes without saying that heavy items offer a unique challenge when it comes to packing and shipping. The number of ways they can be transported is limited and you may be forced to use custom wooden crates for long distance shipping.
- Value of the item: The thought of moving your highly valuable antique desk can be unsettling—especially across several states for thousands of miles. This is why it’s important to partner with a shipping company that has a reliable track-record and one that offers full-service insurance options.
With the dimensions and weight measurements out of the way, you need to look at the best way to package and ship furniture over long distances. Although the packaging material and methods largely depend with the specific item, the general best practices include:
- Proper sized box: Based on the furniture dimensions and other metrics, get a shipping box that is appropriately sized—neither too big nor too small.
- Separate any detachable parts such as legs or drawers and package them separately.
- Cushion the furniture with Styrofoam or bubble wrap—which is then secured with packing tape. For wooden items, cover the corners and any other exposed sides with corrugated cardboard.
- Place the furniture items in the box and place padding on all sides to prevent movement. The box should be further secured with polypropylene strapping and packing tape to keep it intact.
The next—and arguably the most important—step is finding a reliable long-distance mover. At Ship Smart, we strike a rare balance between top-notch services and affordable prices. We believe in making the process of shipping furniture across states or internationally as simple as possible. The task doesn’t have to be intimidating or stressful—our wide range of services are designed to give you peace of mind. We can quickly dispatch a team from one of our over 300 locations across the U.S. to pack, consolidate, ship, and even deliver your furniture long distance.
PS: It’s crucial to use a sturdy box when moving furniture over long distances to reduce the risk of damage or loss of items.
Shipping Furniture Short Distance – Under 300 Milles
Let’s assume you’re planning to move some ottomans and a TV stand to your new house, which is a few miles away. In such a scenario, boxing or crating might seem like overkill—i.e., too much hassle and expenses for such a short distance. But keep in mind that your furniture is still at risk of getting scratched or nicked as it’s loaded onto trucks. So how do you secure your items while avoiding unnecessary crating and boxing? Two words: Moving Blankets!
Moving blankets—also known as furniture padding—are often used by movers to cover/wrap vulnerable parts of furniture. If you’re shipping furniture to a destination that is less than 300 miles away, professional moving companies such as Ship Smart can provide furniture padding and other moving essentials. Here are some of the benefits of using moving blankets:
- Reduces the risk of breaking: Finding out that your sofa has a broken leg can kill your otherwise euphoric mood from successfully moving. Moving blankets provide extra cushioning in the event that you drop or bang your furniture on a wall or floor.
- Prevents shifting: Items in a moving truck are prone to get bumped around while in transit. Furniture padding acts as a buffer between the items to mitigate movement.
- Protects surfaces from scratching: Your furniture can also be a culprit. Carrying furniture out of a door or dragging it across the floor can result in chipped paint or scratched floors. Moving blankets help prevent such damage.
- Keeps away grime and dust: Between packaging, shipping, delivery, and unboxing, your furniture is bound to be exposed to dirt, dust, grime, or even extreme weather conditions. Moving blankets create a thick barrier of protection against these elements.
In addition to moving to furniture padding, it’s also advisable to disassemble furniture, wrap items in stretch wrap, use felt pads to protect furniture legs, and seek help when moving heavy items.
Ship Smart – The All-In-One Furniture Shipping Solution
While DIY tips on how to ship furniture can save you a lot of money, sometimes it’s better to leverage the services of well-trained professionals. Experienced movers are equipped with all the necessary skills and industry knowledge to ship furniture in the safest way possible.
With the help of Ship Smart’s extensive shipping network, you can rest assured that your valuable furniture is in good hands. Our services include on-site packing, boxing, and custom crating services, curbside and full-service pickup/delivery options, expedited shipping services with guaranteed delivery dates, and full-service insurance options (even for high-value goods). Simply put, we aim to meet your unique needs. For more advice on how to ship furniture call a moving expert today at (866) 333-8018.