Our top tips to easily getting your sofa through a doorway

23rd September 2021

Let’s be honest – moving house is almost never an easy or stress-free job. And quite apart from all the money and admin involved, just the simple job of physically moving your stuff from one place to another can be one of the most annoyingly difficult aspects of the entire process. That’s especially true where your sofa’s concerned – as one of your bulkier pieces of furniture, it’s not always happy being moved through doorways, so if you’re struggling to get that particular job done, things can get quite frustrating, quite quickly.

But you’ll be glad to hear that as experts on loose sofa covers, we’ve had quite a bit of experience in this sort of tricky job ourselves here at Cover My Furniture. Here are our top tips to save yourself some stress!

Make good use of your measuring tape

Ideally, this is something that’s easiest to do before you start moving your sofa, but there’s nothing stopping you from doing it midway through the job either. Start by sizing up your sofa, taking down the height, width, depth, and diagonal depth, and keep a note of those measurements.

Then do the same for the doorway that you’re planning to use, and any other areas that you suspect could cause issues. (Certain hallways or foyers, for example.)

Once you’ve got all those measurements to hand, compare the widest or deepest point of your sofa with the narrowest point on your doorway. That should give you a pretty solid idea of how easily the thing will get through there, and how much space you’ll have to spare when trying to manoeuvre it around corners. It can also tell you right off the bat whether it’ll be a ludicrously impossible mission, too, at which point you can start to consider other avenues. (More on those in just a moment.)

If you can, try and move as much furniture and similar pieces out of the destination room, and the journey on the way there (hallways etc). It might make the journey a lot easier, and you can always replace it all again once your sofa has been safely installed.

Don’t forget that generally a sofa’s height is shorter than its total depth, so getting it through the door may simply be a case of rotating your furniture 90 degrees. If not though, you might want to consider…

Disassembling your sofa

If you’re still having a hard time moving the sofa through the door, then you might find that removing a few pieces from it could help you do the job. Now, this isn’t always an option with older sofas, which often have their legs and armrests built directly into the frame. However, newer models frequently have detachable parts that are held in place with fasteners, so if you can identify and remove these, you may suddenly be able to slot that sofa through the gap with no issues.

How to disassemble your sofa

Let’s start with the feet. Turn your sofa over (carefully!) and inspect the legs to see exactly how they’re attached. If you can see screws, or if the legs move when you twist them leftwards, there’s a good chance that they can be removed. Again, it’s best to do this before moving day if you can, but if not then you can always do it ‘at the scene’, as it were. Don’t forget that they might not come off easily, so you may have to put a bit of welly into it.

Now you’re ready to move onto the armrests. If you find that there’s a gap between the armrests and the seat back, then they’re probably separate sections, and can be parted accordingly. It’s normally just a matter of using a screwdriver or a wrench to loosen the bolts or screws holding the arms in place. Before you start doing this though, make sure that you’ve already got a safe place picked out for your fastening elements and spare parts, as they can be a nightmare to lose.

While you’re disassembling things, it’s a good idea to consider whether you want to remove some of the doors standing between the sofa and its new destination, too. It’s a bit of a hassle, but could save you a lot of frustration in the long run.

Protecting your sofa

Even if your sofa is protected by removable loose sofa covers, there’s still a good chance that it’ll be knocked around in a moving vehicle, or scuffed when you’re moving it through the doorway of your new abode. So if you can, it’s a good idea to protect it with some bubble wrap – especially for supporting the more fragile wooden pieces like the base and legs of the sofa (assuming that you didn’t remove the latter, of course).

You can also use cardboard to cushion any protruding elements like the armrests. Now, you could secure all these with plastic wrap, but a more sustainable option would be to use old sheets and dust cloths instead. Once the sofa is firmly in place in its new home, you can then remove your fitted sofa covers and give them a quick wash, leaving the entire piece of furniture with that lovely showroom quality.

The safest and easiest way to actually move your sofa

The first thing we should start by saying is that moving a sofa isn’t a one-man job, and you open yourself up to a lot of hassle (and injury!) if you try. Pick your moving partners carefully, too – don’t forget that if there’s a significant height difference between any of you, physics dictates that the shorter person will generally end up shouldering more of the weight.

Don’t forget to:

• Get furniture gloves or lifting straps to protect your hands and improve your grip
• Remove all cushions before you lift the sofa
• Lift from your knees and not your back, to save yourself from injury. And lift the sofa by the frame, rather than a protruding element like an armrest

If you’re moving a sofa across a carpeted surface, a piece of cardboard or furniture moving blanket (or both) can be really helpful in ‘surfing’ your sofa to its intended destination. If it’s a vinyl floor or lino on the other hand, furniture sliders will serve exactly the same purpose, protecting your flooring from scuffs or scratches. Remember though that you can only push furniture sliders, not pull them. If you pull them, your sofa is less likely to move, and more likely to mark your floor – which is obviously exactly the opposite of what you want to happen.

If you can’t get your sofa in flat, then another way to do it is move it in at an angle. One potentially useful method is to place the sofa on one end in a vertical position, with the seat side facing the door. (Or the space where the door would have been, if you’ve already removed it.) Then twist your sofa as if it were walking through the doorway under its own steam. If the door frame is too low, tilt your sofa back a tiny bit and push. Your sofa should be able to limbo its way through.

Alternatively – and this is perhaps the most common resort – move your sofa through prostrate, but tilt it so that if forms the letter V. That makes it horizontally smaller, and easier to move.

If all that fails, you’ve still got one option available to you – just call a professional. It might not be as cheap as doing it yourself, but sometimes it’s well worth paying the money just to save yourself the hassle!

And of course, once your sofa is safely installed in its new home, you might decide you want a different look for it, or to switch out those tired or damaged old sofa covers. In that case, you’re in exactly the right place! Here at Cover My Furniture, we take care to provide a comprehensive range of sofa covers, chair covers and more in a wide variety of colours to choose from, encompassing everything from red and orange to blue and yellow – and plenty more!

And if you’re having trouble making a decision, or you’re looking for something in particular, don’t hesitate to let one of us know. You can get in touch using the contact form on our website, or through our Facebook or Instagram. We’re always happy to hear from you!

Order your free fabric swatches

Discover the quality and texture of our fabrics first-hand.
Order your free fabric swatch today, choose up to 5 from our collection.