7 Reasons to Use Furniture Pads When Moving
To learn about where to find them and how to use them, read on.
What are Furniture Pads?
Furniture pads are stalwart, heavy-duty quilted coverings used to protect everything from chairs, tabletops, and refrigerators, to dressers, nightstands, and armoires.
They’re generally about 6 or 7 feet per side and are made from multiple layers of cotton and filler or a synthetic material like polyester.
They usually come in standard two-tone blue, brown, or green, but they’re available in paisley and camo, too, for fashion-conscious families on the move.
If folded and secured correctly, one furniture pad will usually cover relatively small items like chairs and end tables, but for appliances and triple dressers, you’ll probably need 2 or 3.
Did You Know?
Quilted cotton pads are more pliable and easier to work with. Still, non-woven polyester furniture blankets are more durable, less absorbent, and don’t trap as much abrasive sand and grit.
Why You Should Use Furniture Pads for Moving
The reasons for using furniture blankets are numerous and varied.
But in short, it all comes down to protecting your home, your ‘stuff,’ and yourself.
1. Furniture Pads Protect Walls, Floors, and Doorways
Especially for inexperienced do-it-yourselfers, carrying large items from a home or apartment through narrow doorways and halls, up and downstairs, and into trucks often means drops, falls, and bumping into things.
Though they don’t prevent all damage, heavy-duty moving pads significantly reduce the chances of costly mishaps.
In addition, if you’re disconnecting and moving a refrigerator (or washer and dryer), you’ll need to use a pad to slide the appliance out from against the wall before padding it, strapping it to a dolly, and wheeling it out.
2. They Keep Everything Clean
Moving is a dirty business, both literally and figuratively.
Pads won’t help you avoid moving scams, but they will provide a layer of protection from grit, grime, dirt, and dust.
And if it’s raining or snowing on moving day, they’ll prevent your items from getting wet too.
Just remember, heavy-duty moving pads absorb water and other liquids, and if left in contact with wood and metal surfaces for more than an hour or two, like on a cross-country move, they can cause warping, cracking, and even rust.
3. They Help Prevent Serious Injuries
Stubbed toes, bloody fingers, and scraped knees are part and parcel of the moving process.
But since moving pads provide an extra layer of cushioning between walls and doors, your piece of furniture, and exposed body parts, they tend to make moving injuries less severe.
Of course, wearing gloves, adequate footwear, and long shirts and pants are recommended too.
For safety’s sake, also –
- Make sure your path to the truck is clutter and obstruction-free
- Keep kids and pets out of the way
- Take breaks when you’re tired
- Spread big moves over 2 or 3 days
4. They Keep Your Items Secure While in Transit
Even on local moves, while en route to your new home, your furniture will be subjected to bouncing, rubbing, and shifting when the truck is in motion.
Furniture pads keep everything snug and secure and prevent shifting, especially on long-distance interstate moves.
Before using moving pads, take them outside and give each a few hearty shakes to dislodge dirt and grit trapped in the fibers – it’ll help prevent scratches and abrasions.
5. They Keep Small Items Secure
Relatively small items can usually be wrapped inside the home and carried to the truck safely.
Here we’re talking about –
- Kitchen and dining room chairs
- Nightstands, coffee tables, and end tables
- Bed Rails
To wrap them like the pros, follow these steps –
- Clear an area on the floor large enough to spread the pad out
- Make sure the light side of the pad is facing up (yes, pads have two distinct sides)
- Place the item you’re wrapping in the center, with its top pointing toward one of the pad’s corners
- Fold the bottom corner inward, followed by the sides and top
- Now your chair or night table should be totally covered
- Use tape or rubber bands to secure the pad in place
Did You Know?
The side of the pad with the lightest color is usually the inside or “clean side,” while the darker one is the outside or “dirty side.”
6. They Prevent Damage on Large Items
You’ll need to wrap large items like upright dressers, washers, dryers, and sideboards are more difficult in the upright position.
Follow these steps –
- Make sure you have sufficient space to maneuver on each side of the item
- Grab a pad with two hands and lift your arms until they’re at shoulder height
- Line the bottom of the pad up so it’s level with the floor
- Wrap the item’s front and sides first, folding the excess padding neatly over the top (secure with band or tape if necessary)
- Drape a pad or two over the top and secure all the pads together
- If carrying the item will be difficult, use an appliance dolly with a strap
Sofas and other upholstered furniture should be covered with stretch wrap first, then moving pads.
7. They are Versatile
Like versatile Swiss Army Knives and WD-40, moving pads are good investments for value-conscious families.
In addition to protecting furniture, they’re great for –
- Dog beds
- Yoga mats
- Horse blankets
- Mudroom throw rugs
- Picnic blankets
- Farm truck seat covers
- Sliding items across hardwood floors
Where to Find Furniture Pads
One of the many benefits of hiring professional movers is that they’ll bring plenty of moving blankets to your home or apartment.
And they should be included in the cost of the move, just like dollies, packing tape, walk boards, and logistics straps for cargo control.
If a moving company tells you pads are extra – runs for the hills!
Alternately, on DIY moves, you can usually rent or buy them from truck rental companies like U-Haul, but you’ll probably only get a dozen pads – way fewer than you’ll need.
Another option is buying your own.
Moving supplies aren’t cheap, and pads are no exception.
In fact, the ones you’ll buy will probably be smaller and less sturdy than the deluxe ones professional movers use.
But size and durability aside, a wide variety of furniture pads can be purchased from online retailers like Amazon, moving supplies companies like New Haven, and from home improvement centers like Lowes and Home Depot.
Did You Know?
Furniture pads are washable, reusable, and have multiple uses that make them handy to have around the house, farm, and workshop.
When to Use Packing Blankets
When possible, wrap items in the home before you move them onto the truck.
This prevents damage to the items themselves and walls and door jams if you bump into them along the way.
But there’s a problem.
Packing blankets can make items difficult to grip, which may increase the likelihood of dropping your dear granny’s heirloom hutch.
When moving a wooden dresser, for instance, the moisture on your hands provides tack and friction, which makes getting a decent grip easy.
But when multiple plies of thick, dry cotton or polyester are added to the mix, getting a good grasp can be tricky.
When in doubt, err on the side of caution.
It’s always better to scrape a wall or ding a dresser than to drop an item while carrying it, which can lead to breakage, floor and wall damage, and personal injury.
This can be avoided by securing blankets sufficiently with tape, rubber bands, or both, especially when dealing with a large piece of furniture or appliance.
Pre-padded heavy, bulky, and hard-to-carry items can be moved on a Dollie instead of by hand.
Last-Minute Moving Tips
Furniture pads are great at protecting you, your home, and your household goods when moving, but they’re not the only game in town.
For a smooth, damage and injury free move, also consider –
- Booking your mover weeks in advance of your pick up date (especially during the summer)
- Purchasing valuation (insurance) from your moving company
- Wrapping ready-to-assemble, particleboard and IKEA furniture with stretch wrap (shrink wrap) after padding it
- Getting help when lifting and carrying heavy items
- Having a first aid kit on-hand in case of minor boo-boos
- Eating a healthy breakfast and drinking plenty of fluids on moving day
- Taking ample breaks throughout the day
- Placing moving pads, cardboard, or old towels under items before sliding them across the floor
- Disassembling furniture as much as possible before padding and moving it
- Using an appliance dolly with a strap for large, bulky, and heavy items
- Saving on boxes and packing material on websites like Uboxes
- Using our Moving Cost Calculator to get instant, free ballpark pricing
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