Guide to moving furniture into an apartment with no elevator
Guide to moving furniture into an apartment with no elevator
Moving tips NYC
October 3, 2023

How To Move Furniture Into An Apartment With No Elevator

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Moving into a new apartment is an exciting milestone, but when your new place lacks an elevator, the prospect of hauling furniture up flights of stairs can be daunting. However, with the right strategy and a bit of “know-how”, you can successfully move your furniture into an apartment without an elevator. In this blog, we will explore step-by-step instructions and essential tips to make this challenging task manageable and stress-free.

1. Plan Ahead and Measure Everything

Before you embark on the moving adventure, thorough planning is crucial. Start by measuring all the furniture you intend to move and compare these dimensions with the dimensions of your apartment's doors and staircases. This ensures that your furniture will fit through the available spaces. Take note of any particularly bulky or awkwardly shaped items that might require special consideration.

2. Disassemble Furniture When Possible

Disassemble and label all parts

To make the move easier, disassemble furniture whenever possible. This is especially useful for items like beds, tables, and bookshelves. Follow these steps to disassemble furniture:

Gather Tools: Ensure you have the necessary tools, such as screwdrivers, Allen wrenches, pliers, and a rubber mallet.

Remove Fasteners: Carefully remove screws, bolts, or other fasteners holding the furniture together. Keep track of these pieces to reassemble later.

Label Parts: If necessary, label or group the disassembled parts to make reassembly more straightforward.

Secure Hardware: Place small hardware components like screws and bolts in a moving tote or bin to prevent them from getting lost during the move.

3. Protect Your Furniture

Before moving your furniture, protect it to prevent damage. Here are some ways to safeguard your items:

A. Blankets and Furniture Pads: Cover your furniture with blankets or furniture pads to prevent scratches and dings. Secure them with packing tape or bungee cords.

B. Plastic Wrap: Use plastic wrap to secure drawers, doors, and loose parts of the main body of furniture to keep them from swinging open during the move.

C. Bubble Wrap: Wrap delicate or fragile items, such as glass tabletops or mirrors, in bubble wrap to prevent breakage.

4. Enlist Help

Moving heavy furniture upstairs is a job best done with the help of friends or family members. Here’s how you can ask for help:

A. Invite Friends: Reach out to friends or neighbors who are available to assist you on moving day. The more hands, the easier the task.

B. Communicate Clearly: Make sure everyone knows the plan and their roles during the move. Assign specific tasks to avoid confusion. You can do this by creating a floor plan and checklists before the planned moving day.

C. Ensure Safety: Emphasize safety, proper lifting techniques, and the importance of teamwork to prevent injuries.

5. Rent or Use the Right Equipment

Having the right equipment can significantly simplify the process of moving furniture into an apartment without an elevator.

Hand Truck or Dolly: A hand truck or dolly is essential for moving heavy furniture upstairs. It allows you to transport items more efficiently and with less effort.

Furniture Sliders: Furniture sliders are placed under the legs or corners of heavy furniture items to make it easier to slide across floors and upstairs.

Moving Straps: Moving straps, also known as lifting straps or forearm forklifts, help distribute the weight of heavy items more evenly, making them easier to carry.

Ramps: If you have a particularly large or heavy item like a piano or a pool table, consider renting or using ramps to facilitate the move.

6. Clear the Path

Before you start moving furniture up the stairs, ensure that the path is clear of obstacles. This includes removing rugs, tripping hazards, and clutter. Make sure the stairwell is well-lit to avoid accidents.

7. Protect Your Staircase

Moving furniture up a staircase can put a lot of strain on both the furniture and the stairs themselves. To protect your staircase:

A. Cover the Edges: Use edge protectors or cardboard cutouts to safeguard the corners of walls and the edges of stairs from scratches or dings.

B. Lay Down Floor Protection: Lay down protective materials like cardboard, drop cloths, or plastic sheeting to prevent damage to the flooring.

8. Take It Slow and Steady

Work as a team and don't rush the process

When it comes to moving furniture upstairs, patience is key.

Teamwork: Coordinate with your helpers to ensure everyone is on the same page. Assign specific roles, like those who carry the furniture, those who guide it, and those who remain at the top or bottom of the stairs for additional support.

Use Proper Lifting Techniques: Bend your knees, keep your back straight, and lift with your legs to minimize the risk of back injuries.

Take Breaks: Moving heavy furniture is physically demanding. Take regular breaks to rest and hydrate to avoid exhaustion or strain.

9. Communicate with Neighbors and Building Management

If you're moving into an apartment building, it's considerate to notify your neighbors and building management in advance. This helps avoid any surprises or inconveniences for others in the building. Communicate the date and time of your move, and ask about any specific rules or guidelines regarding moving large items.

10. Consider Professional Movers

If you find that moving furniture upstairs is too challenging or risky, it may be worth considering professional movers. They have the experience, equipment, and expertise to navigate staircases safely and efficiently. While it's an additional expense, it can save you time and the potential for damage or injury.


Moving furniture into an apartment without an elevator may seem daunting, but with careful planning, the right equipment, and the help of friends or the best NYC Moving Company, it's a challenge that can be conquered. Take your time, prioritize safety, and protect both your furniture and your new apartment during the move. By following these steps and staying organized, you can ensure a successful and stress-free move to your new home.

Need Professional Help?

Capital City Movers is ready to help with all your moving needs. Contact us today at (718) 619-4881 for a free estimate, or visit our website for more information.


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