Dismantling & Reassembling Furniture

There’s a lot of planning that goes into moving house and one important part is figuring out how to get a large bed or wardrobe from your bedroom into the back of a van. Nearly all removal companies or a man with a van service will offer a dismantling and reassembling service but this is a time-consuming process and a question we get asked a lot is ‘can I dismantle and reassemble my own furniture to reduce the cost?’ and our answer is yes.

Before you start rummaging around in the shed looking for your old tools or unscrewing your furniture,  We’ll breakdown the process into easily digestible steps so you’ll have a good grasp on what’s involved but the key aspects are:

  • Correct tools for the job
  • Plenty of space for dismantling and reassembling
  • Following the instructions or a logical process
  • Storing the nuts, bolts and screws in a safe place
  • A lot of Patience

1. To Dismantle or Not to Dismantle

Don’t attempt to dismantle your furniture before checking if it can be removed from its location to the van in one piece. A common mistake is to take a piece of furniture apart and only to realise you could have easily moved it without the help of your screwdriver and you don’t want to add unnecessary time to the move.

In the removals industry, we call it a ‘D’oh’ moment and it’s not fun. To avoid this, measure the Height, Width, and Depth of the furniture and compare that to the doorframes along the route to the van in your home or office. If the furniture can’t fit upright then imagine it on its side, back or any other angle, and make sure there are at least a few centimetres give on all ends.

You really don’t want to force it through because that usually causes damage and adds to the stress of moving house. Now put on your moving house checklist which items of furniture can and can’t be moved in one piece and read on.

2. Preparation

Before you begin to panic and decide to take a hammer and crowbar to the furniture, have a look for the instruction manuals. If you’ve got them, great! Study them well and you’ll be on your way to reverse engineer the furniture but, if you lost them years ago, I’ll explain the next steps you need to take.

When looking at the bed, wardrobe, or whatever it is, analyse how it’s constructed and what nuts, bolts, and screws have been used to hold it together and find the matching tools. For example, if a screw has a cross-section, you’ll need a ‘Phillips Head’ screwdriver and if a bolt has a hexagonal shape on its head, you’ll need an ‘Allen Key’ (very common for Ikea furniture).

If you need to buy the tools, don’t go on eBay and get a cheap £1.99 screwdriver set because 9 out of 10 times it will break and just imagine it’s the night before the move and your tools are broken or don’t match. It’s a stressful place to put yourself into!

3. Dismantling

Right, you’ve got the correct tools and you’re ready to go but hold on for a moment. Before you start dismantling, make sure you’ve got plenty of space to work with. Remove the boxes, bags and any clutter from the room or stack them up in the corner.

As mentioned before, we’re assuming you don’t have the manuals so it’s time to think logically of how the furniture has been assembled and most importantly, think safety! Wardrobes are a prime example of this because they’re usually the most complex and dangerous to build or dismantle. Use tape and a pencil to label each part (top, sides etc…) and take photos and this means reassembling at your new property will be much easier with a visual reference.

Now you’re ready to go and with at least 2 people, remove the wardrobe doors with one person bracing the door and the other unscrewing. Once the doors have been removed, lay down the wardrobe on the floor (front first) and remove the back pins (little nails), and take off the back. After that, remove the top, sides, inner sections, and bottom.

You’ve just taken great care in dismantling it and you don’t want to cause any damage during transit so wrap each section with a generous amount of bubble wrap or thick blankets. I’ve mentioned this before but I will again, keep all of the screws, nails, and bolts in a Tupperware box and keep it somewhere safe. Losing any of them could mean disaster when trying to put it back together.

4. Reassembling

Once the removal company has delivered your items and you’re ready to reassemble, carefully unwrap the wardrobe and reverse everything you did. Did you remember the labels and photos? Good. As you’ll find out, this is will be a great help during the reassembling process. But before you attempt to reassemble, are you tired after the big move? You probably are and if so, wait for the morning until you start reassembling. Tiredness can cause a lapse of judgement and that’s when accidents happen.

Rounding Up

We could write many more paragraphs about how to dismantle and reassemble each item of furniture but that would be an endless blog. In a nutshell, it’s about having the correct tools, common sense and breaking the process down into logical steps. However, if for whatever reason you feel uncomfortable doing this, just ask the removal company and they’ll be more than happy to help.

I hope you’ve found this blog helpful and here at Macro Removals, we’re more than happy to offer free advice and if you’re looking for a home, office, man and van or packing service, please feel free to contact us.