Understanding the Process of Shipping Furniturejob offer in a distant state — guess what? You have to move. While it’s an exciting time, moving is one of life’s most dreaded tasks. First, you pack every individual item into boxes for long-distance transport, but that’s just the beginning. What do you do about your furniture? Many people just give away their current furniture and make an IKEA trip in the new city. But it’s much more expensive to buy brand-new furniture compared with learning how to ship furniture across the country.
The last thing we want is for you to get overly stressed out about moving all those boxes and pieces of furniture. Don’t worry too much about moving the antique dresser your beloved grandmother gave you 1000 miles to the other side of the country.
We’ll admit there’s no way to guarantee you won’t stress about moving, but we can make your life a little easier. Moving furniture is like moving memories. You might get sentimental and sad, but the important thing is to remain calm about the future ahead. In this article, we’ll show you how to ship your furniture and make moving an easy process. We’ll make sure you get the 411 on everything and get some tips and tricks along the way.
Understanding the Process of Shipping Furniture
The process of shipping furniture can be complex, but at the same time is quite simple. The task of packing things up and hauling them to another location sounds like the easiest thing in the world. However, when you think about it, it’s actually quite hard. You have to know where to pack what in each box. You have to make sure the furniture will fit inside the truck. You have to package things right so you don’t damage your furniture. There are a lot of moving parts to move.
Planning and Preparation for Furniture Shipping: Separate each room, packing the belongings of each room into one, two or more boxes. Label them with the room they belong to so you know where each box belongs.
Plan Ahead: Being on top of planning ensures your boxes and belongings are out of the way for movers to carry each item without any obstacles. Start packing a week or two in advance, starting with the items you use least.
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Determining the Size and Weight of Furniture: One way to get an accurate estimate of your furniture shipping costs is to take the precise dimensions and weight of the piece. When the company requests that information, you’ll have it handy.
Packaging Materials for Furniture Shipping: During the move, furniture can get damaged if it isn’t covered with protective materials, whether bubble wrap, plastic sheets or blankets.
- Packing materials are particularly important when you’re transporting antique items.
- For antique furniture, it’s best to have a thicker material (maybe a tarp or big blanket of some kind) and then wrap it with plastic as an extra layer of protection.
- Couches, sofas and mattresses should be covered with a mattress or couch cover before being wrapped with packaging materials.
- Wrap larger items with plastic bubble wrap, especially around the edges.
- Plastic wrapping is perfect for mirrors and glass tables, as well.
- Mark any fragile items so that the moving company knows which to handle with extra care.
Disassembling Furniture Before Shipping
If you have large furniture items that can be disassembled, take the time do so. When large furniture pieces are broken down into smaller components, it’s easier to fit them in a smaller box. Sometimes it’s not possible to disassemble a piece of furniture or disassembly is extremely complicated — in those cases, look for ways to minimize the size of the furniture. Removing the legs from tables and couches, can be a surprisingly effective way to save space in the moving truck. You can always do this by yourself prior to the movers coming. However, if you choose not to do this, the movers can do this, but remember that you will pay them per hour, and the time to disassemble furniture can add up.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Shipping Service
The furniture shipping company will provide you with an estimated price for the move. After looking at multiple options, you’ll have to choose a moving company. Weighing their quoted cost with the type of service and benefits the company is your first step in making a decision. Shipping costs should be a reasonable price, but also aligned with the level of service you require — be wary of costs that are too good to be true but also keep an eye out for companies that dump hidden fees at the last minute.
Speed of Delivery
Speediness is a major factor that can determine the type of service and company to choose. Your furniture should be delivered in a timely manner, though the exact length of time depends on the schedule of the furniture shipping company. For an additional cost the furniture shipping company can provide expedited shipping, which is convenient when you’re in a move with a quick turnaround.
One of the most important qualities of a furniture shipping company is its reliability. After all, you’re not going to be very pleased if you arrive at your new home and your furniture delivery is a week late and you can’t get in touch with the transporter! Of course, sometimes events (like inclement weather and road closures) are beyond a transporter’s control — that’s why good communication is so important. One good way to check on the responsibility and reliability of a furniture shipping company is searching for reviews and feedback from previous customers. Join Facebook or social media groups related to furniture shipping — previous customers can share their experiences.
Beyond these factors. You should also look for companies with these qualities:
- They can ship any type of furniture.
- All rules and regulations required by federal and state governments are strictly adhered to.
- Regular updates provided and the transporters exhibit good communication skills.
- Excellent customer service means that the furniture shipping company will take care of your furniture as if it were their own.
Level of Service
There are a few different service levels to consider when shipping furniture — from the most basic level of service to the best, cream of the crop service. Here’s a look at each option.
Basic Curbside Delivery: With curbside delivery, you get the most basic — and affordable — level of delivery. Furniture shipping companies transport your items and drop them off at the end of your driveway. They won’t provide installation services and they won’t assemble any furniture items. It’s your responsibility to carry the furniture inside and if necessary, assemble it. Basic delivery is the best option if you’re on a tight budget, have a small shipment of lightweight furniture, or furniture that doesn’t require a great deal of assembly/re-assembly.
Door-to-Door Delivery: Door-to-door delivery is the “medium-est” tier of furniture delivery. It’s not as basic as curbside, but also not as elaborate and fancy as white glove delivery. It’s the Goldilocks zone of delivery services, not too expensive, not too basic — just right.
White Glove Delivery: White glove delivery is the cream of the crop. It’s a service where the shipping company does all of the work — pack, unpack, and put everything in its new place. The term is typically associated with delivering new furniture items, but it’s also applicable to furniture shipping. Of course, this level of service is more expensive than the other options, but well worth it for furniture that’s complicated to disassemble and reassemble, extremely heavy or very fragile or valuable pieces. This delivery service is going to be more expensive than the others.
Home Delivery vs Pickup/Drop-Off
What should you choose? The obvious choice is home delivery. The furniture shipping company will deliver everything to your new place. Of course, this option costs a little extra, so if you want to save some money on moving costs, the other option you have is to drop off your furniture at the moving company’s headquarters and then pick it up at another location near your new house.
Bottom line recommendation: go for the home delivery! Nothing beats getting your belongings dropped off right at your new place instead of driving to pick them up and haul them back.
Dealing with Damaged Furniture During Shipping
When your furniture arrives damaged, what do you do? Make sure you talk to the moving company to see what your options are. But a recommendation we have is to be proactive.
- Take pictures of all the furniture and boxes, making sure you have documented evidence of all belongings before shipping.
- Make sure you get shipping insurance with the company or elsewhere to ensure you get your money back for any damaged goods.
Shipping Your Furniture with CitizenShipper
If you’ve looked at several popular companies out there and you’re not convinced about the quotes you’ve received, you should look for an alternative. Consider using a furniture moving marketplace like CitizenShipper. Because multiple transporters compete for your business, you can save up to 60-70% compared to those traditional moving companies!
Posting a listing and receiving quotes is easy:
- Create a listing on CitizenShipper. Add your contact info, details about the furniture, the pick-up and drop-off locations and your preferred transport dates. It’s free to post a listing and review quotes!
- Your listing is visible to a network of vetted furniture moving professionals.
- The drivers submit bids on your listing — usually bids are submitted within minutes (yep, it’s that fast)! It’s free to look over your quotes, chat with drivers and read reviews.
- When you choose the driver you like best, you can book your trip!
We take pride in having excellent customer service and making furniture shipping run safe, seamless and stress-free. All of those belongings will be in good hands with our qualified transporters, who can provide frequent updates through our internal messaging system.
Patrick Macfarland has been a teacher, a candidate for public office, and a local tour guide. But now he dedicates his time writing full-time, currently at CitizenShipper and VeraContent.