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How to Move Office Furniture

Moving a Desk

Before packing any heavy furniture, including your office desk, inspect it for damage. If you're using a professional moving service, take photos of any chips or scratches so you can identify if new damage occurred during the move.

Empty the desk, packing small items in boxes. Wrap breakable items individually in plain newsprint, tissue paper, or bubble wrap. Pack heavier items on the bottom, then mid-weight items, with lighter or fragile items on top. Remember to label the box with a permanent marker.

If the desk has a keyboard tray, remove it. Pack the keyboard tray and its hardware with the rest of your desk items.

Wrap the desk completely in moving blankets, securing the blankets with packing tape. Make sure the tape doesn't touch the furniture's finish, where it could leave sticky residue or even peel the paint.

Now that you've got everything packed up, it's time to move the desk. You want to first map out your route through the house or apartment, measuring to make sure the desk can fit through tight spots. You'll need two people to move a desk safely. Together, lift one short end of the desk to place it on the moving dolly or sliders. If you're using sliders, repeat this step for the other side. One person should pull while the other pushes the desk through the home.

If you hire a full-service moving company, the movers should wrap the desk and load it onto the van for you.

Moving a Secretary Desk

A secretary desk is a tall desk, often with drawers or shelves at the top, concealed by doors. The writing area usually has a hinged cover. To pack your secretary desk, begin by removing all items from the desk, including those in drawers. Pack in a box you label, indicating the contents.

Detach any removable trays, drawers, or shelves. Wrap these items in bubble wrap or packing paper, and pack them in a box labeled desk parts. Pack all hardware in sealed plastic bags inside the box.

Close the desk's drawers, doors, and the hinged lid. Use stretch wrap to secure all non-removable parts of the desk. Then, use moving blankets or other padding to protect the desk from top to bottom. Seal with packing tape, being careful not to use adhesive on the desk's surface, only on the blankets.

You'll need at least two people, maybe more, to move a secretary's desk. Lifting with your legs, carefully load the desk onto a moving dolly or sliders. One person should keep a supporting hand on the top of the desk to prevent it from tipping. Be careful not to let gravity take over as you lift the desk.

To move a secretary's desk up or down stairs, two people can "walk" the desk down the stairs, stopping at each step. Moving gloves or forearm lifting straps might make the task easier.

Moving a Safe

Moving a safe may be fairly straightforward, but you'll want to take extra care with the items inside.

If you're moving yourself, you might move the safe and its contents together in the moving van. Otherwise, you'll want to remove the items and place them in an envelope or a smaller box to store in the glove compartment or trunk of your car. If these items are important enough to place in a safe, you don't want them in the hands of strangers — even if it is your trusted moving company.

Make duplicate copies of important paperwork, such as the deed to your new home, birth certificates, marriage certificates, legal documents, and tax documents for the past 10 years. There are certain documents, such as marriage and birth certificates, which must be originals with a raised seal. Obtain duplicate copies before you move and pack each copy separately so you are less likely to lose both sets.

Moving a safe is similar to moving any other heavy furniture. Wrap the safe in moving blankets to prevent damage not just to the safe, but to walls and other items on the moving van.

For safes weighing more than 1,000 pounds, it's recommended to hire a professional mover, although it can be done with two people and a dolly.

First, remove the safe's door, as most of a safe's weight is in the door. With two people, lift the safe onto a dolly and secure it with straps. Move slowly and carefully to load the safe onto the moving van.

Moving a Filing Cabinet

Before moving a filing cabinet, slim down the paperwork inside by following the U.S. government's guidelines for managing household records.

Separate important papers that should travel with you, such as birth and marriage certificates, legal documents, and recent tax returns. Then pack in a box or storage container any documents that will remain in the filing cabinet in your new home, including:

- appliance manuals, service contracts, warranties
- receipts for big-ticket or tax-deductible items
- home improvement records
- car service records
- insurance policies
- investment certificates
- bank statements less than a year old

After your filing cabinet is empty, remove the drawers or lock them so they don't slide. Protect your filing cabinet with moving blankets.

Many filing cabinets have wheels to make moving easier. If your filing cabinet is small or light enough, you may even be able to move it with the paperwork inside.

If your filing cabinet weighs more than 100 pounds or cannot be lifted easily, use a furniture dolly.

Moving a Bookcase

Before moving a bookcase, remove everything from the shelves. This is the time to assess which items you want to keep and which you'd prefer to sell, donate, or give away.

Pack books spine-up in a moving box, as this will help you fit more in one box. Be sure to reinforce the bottom of the box with packing tape or use plastic storage bins instead. Because books weigh a lot in proportion to their size, take care not to overload boxes. Pack one layer of books and then fill the rest of the box with lighter items from the bookshelf or from your home office. Take a picture of the box's contents and tape it to the outside of the box so you know what's inside when you get to the new house.

Remove the shelves from your bookshelf, if possible, to reduce the weight of the furniture. Pack shelves in boxes, along with a bag of accompanying hardware. Wrap the shelves with plain newsprint, bubble wrap, or cloth. Then seal and label the box.

Wrap the bookshelf in moving blankets to protect it. If the bookshelf weighs less than 50 pounds, you can move it yourself using proper lifting techniques. Bookshelves weighing more than 50 pounds require two people or a moving dolly/sliders.