How to Move Awkward Things: Couches and China

It’s moving day, and everyone is busy packing except you. You are standing in the living room, hands on your hips, looking back and forth between the couch and the door. How am I supposed to get this thing out of here?!

Have no fear! We are here to help, with this first post in our “How to Move Awkward Things” series. Let’s get started!


Your weapon of choice in this battle is the measuring tape. Measure the width, height (with and without legs, if they are removable), and length of your couch. Then measure the width and height of whatever area you need to move your couch through, whether it’s a stairwell, elevator or door frame.

Do a general measuring of the space on the other side of what you want to squeeze the couch through as well. There’s no point in successfully moving the couch through a door only to get stuck in the stairwell!

You have three options for fitting a couch through a doorway:

  1. If the doorway is wider than the couch, you are good to go! Simply walk it on through.

  2. If the doorway is wider than the couch is tall, then you can turn it on its side (with the legs pointing horizontally), and walk it through that way.

  3. If the doorway is taller than the couch is long, then you can stand it upright and angle through the door.

If none of the above situations is going to work case, try removing the couch legs or taking the door off its hinges for a few extra inches of wiggle room, or simply look for other ways to get in/out of the room, such as a back door or a large side-window.

If all else fails, you can always call a professional to take the couch apart, move it and put it back to together in your new home — an effective, but expensive option.


These items are obviously very fragile, and need as much protection as they can get. Here’s what to do:

  1. Layer the bottom of the box with packing peanuts, packing foam or wadded newspaper. This is an important step, so don’t skip it or skimp on the padding!

  2. Wrap each piece in bubble-wrap or newspaper (or both).

  3. Place large serving platters on the bottom.

  4. Stack cups, bowls, dishes, etc. in sets of three or four, upside down.

  5. Plates are strongest standing up on their edges, and should be packed accordingly.

  6. For serving dishes with lids, wrap the dish and lid individually, then together.

  7. Continue packing the box this way until it’s full, then fill any remaining space with extra packing materials, until everything is snug and secure. You want there to be no wiggle-room.

  8. Top the box with extra packing materials, close it and tape it up, and write FRAGILE — CHINA/CRYSTAL in big letters on the box!

For help moving other awkward things, check out our guides on Electronics and Expensive Clothes and Art and Aquariums.

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