Essential Tips For Shipping Furniture

Updated March 12th, 2024

Moving can create some unique challenges—suddenly you’re going through everything you own deciding what to pack and which items go in the trash or donation piles.

When it comes to packing items like clothing and dishes, the process is pretty simple. Just grab a box and some packing materials and start putting everything inside. However, moving furniture is a little more challenging, especially if you’re using a shipping service—after all, you can just drop off a couch.

Thankfully, there are ways you can easily ship furniture. Not sure what they are? Here’s everything you need to know about shipping furniture.

Figure Out the Approximate Weight

Before you can start packing up your furniture, you’ll need to have a general idea of how much it actually weighs.

Why does furniture weight matter? After all, isn’t the shipping service going to weigh the item before handing you a bill? Yes, the shipping service will weigh your package. Most companies charge by weight. However, you need to also know the approximate weight so you can purchase the right supplies.

So, for furniture pieces weighing under 150 lbs., you can probably get away with using a furniture box. Items weighing over 150 lbs., typically go into a crate. If you’re wondering why you should use a box or a crate, the answer is pretty simple. A crate is significantly stronger than a box, so it’s better able to support heavier weights. After all, you don’t want your box splitting open during transit.

Get Out the Measuring Tape

You can always eyeball the approximate size of the piece you’re shipping. However, this can mean you’re paying more for shipping than necessary. Yes, weight affects shipping prices, but so does size. If you grab a huge box for a small end table, you may end up paying more than necessary.

Measuring the furniture before purchasing a box or crate also ensures you don’t end up with one that’s too small. Now, you’re headed back to the store to buy another box.

Use Plenty of Packing Materials

Whenever possible, break down any furniture before shipping. This can be as simple as removing lampshades or taking the legs off of tables. You’ll probably need a screwdriver, but chances are, you have one in your toolbox or even a junk drawer. Not only will breaking down your furniture make it easier to pack, but it can also prevent damage during shipping.

If you haven’t purchased packing materials, now’s the time to make a list. You’re probably going to need sheets of foam. You’ll use the foam to wrap the legs of tables and chairs, along with lamp bases. Foam corners are also handy to have. The corners work great at protecting table edges, for example. Just stick the foam corners around the areas you want to protect from damage.

Packing paper is something else to consider. The paper can prevent your items from moving around inside the box or crate and it’s more eco-friendly than packing peanuts.

Don’t forget about the various nuts, bolts, and screws used to hold your furniture together. Toss these small items into a sealed baggy and tap it on the back of a chair or table. You can also keep the baggie with you if you don’t want to ship it with the furniture.

Get the Furniture in the Box

This is when it’s a good idea to measure the furniture before purchasing the shipping box. You want the piece to fit snuggly but still have a little wiggle room.

Once the furniture is in the box, grab the packing paper and fill in the loose areas. The goal is to ensure the furniture is stable inside the box. You don’t want it shifting during shipping. This can cause damage that may not be easily repairable.

Seal the Box

Okay, this step doesn’t seem like it’s too difficult. However, there’s a right and wrong way to seal a box for shipping. You’ll need a roll of packing tape. Don’t try to use masking or painter’s tape; it’s not strong enough to survive the shipping process.

Apply at least three strips of tape across the top and bottom of the box. Next, apply strips of tape to the sides and flaps. In other words, you’re taping every possible access point on the box. After taping the box closed, grab a waterproof marker. You’re going to want to indicate which side of the box is up.

Head to the Shipping Office

After ensuring your box or crate is securely sealed, the next step is to transport it to the shipping office. It’s vital to double-check the address details on your package to prevent any delivery mishaps.

Once at the shipping office, you’ll need to cover the shipping fees. After these steps, your package will be on its way to its destination.

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