Why You Should Disassemble Your Furniture Before Moving

So you’ve finally found your forever home and now it’s all about moving from your old digs to your new one. Boxing all of your items is tedious, but it’s relatively easy and you can stack everything in your apartment. But what about all your furniture?

Before you decide to take your furniture with you, make sure everything you have, especially solid items like sofas and chairs, will fit through the doorway, elevator or stairwell of your new apartment. If it won’t, then it’s time to donate it. While it’s certainly not cheap to buy new furniture, it’s definitely better than realizing too late that it won’t fit in your new place.

To make your move easier, you should do your best to disassemble your furniture as much as possible. It’s a quick and easy way to save money and time!

Why Should I Disassemble My Furniture?

There are dozens of small and big tasks that you need to finish in order to have a successful NYC move. Adding on furniture breakdown to that list might seem overwhelming. Of course, many NYC moving companies do offer disassembly as part of their moving package. So do you do it yourself or leave it to the movers? Below are a couple of reasons why you might want to go the DIY route:

  1. It will save you money – the more you do yourself, the more money you save. Local NYC movers charge an hourly rate, so if they have to spend time disassembling your furniture, that’s money out of your pocket. And while they might have knowledge of basic disassembly, you should let the movers do what they do best – load and unload your items.
  2. You have specialty furniture – movers don’t disassemble everything. If a piece of furniture requires specialized equipment, they will not take it apart. That includes IKEA furniture and other build-it-yourself items. 
  3. Movers can’t disassemble/reassemble for safety reasons – there are some items that moving companies will not dismantle due to safety reasons such as cribs, wall shelves, etc. 

Won’t Moving Companies Disassemble My Furniture

Yes. Most professional movers will disassemble your furniture…for a price. How much it will cost you will depend on the complexity of the item. Generally, local NYC movers charge an hourly rate and can certainly help you disassemble and reassemble your furniture, but it will take more time and thus more money. The more complex the item, the more time it will take making your move.

Of course, there are good reasons to get professionals to dismantle your furniture. You might not want to damage your furniture when taking it apart or perhaps you don’t have the necessary tools. If you’re not handy, you might not remember how to put the item back together as the manual is probably long gone. Professional movers typically disassemble bed frames, dressers, tables, and vanities. In general, NYC movers will not take apart your Murphy bed, IKEA furniture, couches, and other items that require specialized tools. For that, you’ll need to either do it yourself or call a handyman who deals with these items.

Of course, if you don’t want to spend the extra money and time, you can always disassemble the items yourself, though that might mean you will have to splurge on tools and spend some time watching YouTube videos to figure out how to properly disassemble different pieces of furniture. Once you’re in your new apartment, you’ll also have to put everything back together again!

What Needs to be Disassembled

Many items in your home probably have moveable or breakable items, which can be a huge hazard when moving. Plenty of items can be taken apart so long as you have a screwdriver and maybe a wrench/pliers. While everyone’s furniture inventory will be different, most people tend to have the following items that can be broken down:

  • Beds – bed frames tend to be pretty large and generally contain many complicated pieces. Depending on the type of frame you have, taking it apart might take a few hours. If you have something like a captain’s bed, you don’t need to take apart the entire frame, but you should remove the drawers. For metal frames, it should be easier to dismantle the entire frame down to easier to move sections.
  • Desks –  Desks generally are small enough to fit through doorways, but you don’t want the drawers and sliding keyboard tray popping out when moving. While you can just use tape to keep the drawers and tray from moving, it’s easier to just remove them altogether.
  • Wardrobes/dressers – even if you have a smaller dresser, it’s a good idea to remove any drawers, shelves or other unattached elements. For wardrobes with mirrors, make sure you dismantle the mirror and pack it in bubble wrap to keep the glass from shattering. Larger wardrobes will require a full disassembly as they tend to be too tall and wide to fit through doorways.
  • Tables – It’s generally pretty easy to take apart a table as you just have to remove the legs from the top. Make sure to tape together the legs so they don’t get misplaced.
  • Build-your-own furniture – Anything that you’ve put together yourself (such as IKEA items) probably won’t travel well. For the most part these items were meant to be simple to assemble and disassemble so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue taking it apart. And if you’ve lost the manual, you can always look for the instructions online. Just make sure to print it out before you move.

To make your life easier, make sure to put all of the screws and other items for each piece of furniture in a plastic bag. Then tape the bag to the furniture. This way when you’re ready to put everything back together, you won’t be missing anything. You’ll want to start dismantling your furniture well in advance of move day. Depending on how many items you have, you might want to start as early as a month beforehand to make sure that you spend the proper amount of time with each item. With that said, if you’re just moving a few items, you can generally get it all done in a weekend. Don’t try and do everything yourself. Ask family or friends to help out to prevent any damage to you or your furniture.

The list above isn’t exhaustive. When determining what items to break down, you should first check to make sure the furniture isn’t too large to fit through the doors and/or hallways of your apartments. After that, consider the safety of moving a large piece of furniture. Even if you hire NYC movers they might not be comfortable lugging around a heavy and unwieldy piece of furniture. After all, one wrong step and it could lead to property damage or injury. It’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Finally, you should disassembly any furniture that might be too fragile for the move. For example, anything that has delicate ornaments, glass panels, mirrors, etc. can be tricky to move in one piece. You’re better off taking apart the furniture and wrapping these delicate areas with extra padding. Even if there aren’t any glass pieces or ornaments, consider the strength of your furniture’s joints. As you might know, NYC streets aren’t the smoothest and even the best drivers will have to contend with potholes, cobblestones, and generally bumpy roads. 

Furniture Reassembly

After they have disassembled your furniture, the movers will reassemble your furniture once they deliver them to your new home. While they will do their best to ensure your furniture looks and works the same way as it did before the move, that’s not always guaranteed. While they won’t reassemble things incorrectly, small differences in your apartment could change things. For example, a floor that isn’t level could lead to your dresser drawer sliding open. On that note, while the movers might help you uninstall some items, they might not reinstall things such as your air conditioner, wall mounted TV, etc. for safety reasons.

If you disassembled your items, you should reassemble it yourself as you know where you put all the nuts and bolts. Hopefully, you kept everything together and didn’t accidentally pack away the tools in a box!


As one of the top-rated moving companies, NYC and beyond, NYC Great Movers has the experience and skills to help you during your move. While we can disassemble some furniture, as professionals we highly suggest you take apart and put together the items yourself. Of course, if you don’t want to go through the hassle, you should contact us directly to ask about our services. We can work together to find the best solution to make your moving day as stress-free as possible.



Are there items you don’t disassemble or reassemble?

Some items we will not disassemble or reassemble include cribs, wall shelves, pool tables, bunk beds, and Murphy beds. Please call use to get a full list.

Will you help attach light fixtures?

No. You should ask an electrician or your super/landlord to help attach light fixtures if you are not able to do so yourself.

Will you help hook up my dishwasher or fridge?

We will not hook up any appliances for liability reasons. You can ask your super or call a plumber to ensure everything is hooked up properly.