While not the most commonly used room in a home, the dining room is usually the most presentable one – it is where friends and family gather on special occasions, where guests are entertained and parties are hosted. Such a distinguished room would, of course, be furnished in an elegant style with quality furniture and beautiful décor.
It is only natural then that the dining room contains some of your most stylish and highly treasured furniture and possessions – from crystal chandeliers and vintage china cabinets to exquisite wall art and fine lace curtains. The centerpiece of the room, however, is the dining table.
A quality dining room table is a valuable piece of furniture that is both practical and luxurious- and there is no doubt that when moving house, you’ll want to take it with you.
Moving a dining room set is not overly difficult, but you need to be very careful when packing and transporting the delicate furniture pieces, so they don’t get scratched or damaged during the relocation.
Here are some expert tips on moving a dining room table and chairs that will help you ensure that your cherished furniture arrives intact and unscathed at your new home.
How to Pack a Dining Room Table for Moving
Your first step to ensuring a smooth and successful move is to ensure the safety of your possessions. To achieve this, you need to provide your items with the best possible protection – or said otherwise, to pack them properly.
Packing a dining room table is quite a straightforward process, but you need to pay attention to the details in order to reduce the risk of damage to your fine furniture.
1) How to prepare a dining room table for packing
- Take several pictures of your table from different angles to document the condition of the furniture before the move. The photos will serve as a proof if you need to make a claim against your movers (in case the table gets damaged while in their custody) and will help you reassemble your table after the move;
- Clean the furniture well and let it dry completely before packing it for moving (any remaining dust, dirt, or spills may damage the delicate surface of the table or result in permanent stains, while moisture trapped under the packing materials can lead to mold growth or cause the wood to warp or swell);
- Apply a coat of furniture polish or paste wax to the wood to help protect the surface during the move.
2) How to take apart a dining room table (Disassembling your dining table will make it much easier to pack and transport and will reduce the risk of damage to both your furniture piece and your property, so if possible, you’re advised to dismantle the table before packing it for moving.)
- If the table has a glass top or a marble top, remove it first (see below for details);
- Lay a large, soft blanket on the floor and place the table upside down on it (with the legs pointing upwards);
- Remove the table legs – Depending on the type of your table, you may need to unbolt or unscrew the legs, or to break the glue joints between the legs and the table (to do this, slide the blade of a putty knife between the leg and the table and carefully break the bond). If you can’t safely remove the table legs, be sure to wrap them in several layers of bubble wrap to provide them with at least some protection during the move;
- Wrap the detached legs in bubble wrap, then run packing tape down the length of the legs to secure the wrapping in place;
- Place the removed hardware parts (bolts, nuts, screws, etc.) in a sealable plastic bag and tape it to the underside of the table or to one of the wrapped table legs;
- If your table has an extension leaf, remove it and wrap it in a moving blanket (use packing tape or stretch wrap to keep the blanket in place);
- If you have a drop-side table, put the sides down and secure them with masking tape so that they stay completely immobile during the move.
3) How to wrap a dining room table for moving
- Fold pieces of corrugated cardboard around the edges and corners of the table (the parts of the table that are most likely to get chipped or broken during a move);
- Wrap the tabletop in moving blankets, overlapping them by at least one foot. Run packing tape around the tabletop to secure the blankets in place;
- If the blankets don’t wrap all the way around the furniture, you can tape them to the underside of the table. Be careful not to use tape directly on the table’s surface though, as the adhesive can leave a sticky residue or ruin the delicate wood finish.
How to Pack a Glass Table Top for Moving
Packing a glass table top requires great caution and diligence – the glass item is not only extremely fragile, but also quite heavy and difficult to handle. To ensure that it doesn’t shatter or sustain any damage, cracks, or scratches during the move, you need to pack it with utmost care and attention:
- Remove the glass top from the table frame – If the top rests on the base of the table without being attached to it, you’ll be able to simply lift the glass item away. If it is screwed into the table base, you’ll need to use a screwdriver to separate the glass top from the frame;
- Make several strips with masking tape in different directions across the tabletop (masking tape won’t leave a sticky residue on the glass). This will give some extra strength and stability to the glass item and will keep the glass shards together in case the tabletop breaks during the move (which will help prevent injury upon unpacking);
- Wrap the glass top in packing paper and secure with tape (make sure the adhesive doesn’t come in direct contact with the glass surface). Alternatively, you can place the glass top between two large pieces of cardboard (a few inches bigger than the table top), fold the excess cardboard around the edges of the glass item, and tape tightly around the tabletop;
- Cover the paper-wrapped table top in several layers of large-size bubble wrap. (If you’ve used cardboard, it’s better to wrap the table top in moving blankets instead.) Tape the wrapping to keep it in place;
- Place the wrapped tabletop in a telescopic box of appropriate size – it should fit the glass top perfectly, so that there is no room for movement inside the box (any shifting during transit can result in breakage). The specialty box, designed specifically for transporting mirrors, pictures, and other glass items, will provide the best possible protection to your glass tabletop during the move. If you can’t find a suitable telescopic box, however, (or don’t want to spend the extra money), you can use corrugated cardboard to create a sturdy protective covering for your glass item – cut one side of a flattened cardboard box (slightly bigger than your wrapped glass table top) so that you have a large piece of cardboard, place the tabletop in the center, and fold the cardboard around the glass. Make sure the cardboard covers the glass top completely and is well secured in place with packing tape;
- Label both sides of the box “FRAGILE” and “HANDLE WITH CARE” – use a permanent marker and make the letters large and bold, so they can be easily seen.
Good to know: If you’re moving a marble top dining room table, custom crating is your best bet. The weight of the marble makes conventional packing methods inadequate, so you need a more specialized approach. How to pack a marble table top, then?
- Wrap the marble top in packing paper, cover it in bubble wrap, and secure the wrapping with packing tape;
- Place the wrapped marble piece in a wooden crate lined with foam sheets (the crate must be custom built to fit the dimensions of your table top);
- Fill up any remaining empty space in the crate with packing peanuts for better cushioning. Make sure the marble piece fits snugly inside the container and is completely immobile, as any movement during transport can jar the marble and cause breakage or chipping;
- Seal the crate tightly and label it “FRAGILE” and “HANDLE WITH CARE” on at least three of its sides. (Metal banding around the wooden crate’s exterior may be sometimes needed to further reinforce the container’s strength and ensure the safety of especially large and heavy marble tabletops.)
Now, that you know how to pack a dining table for moving, it’s time to learn what to do with your dining chairs.
How to Wrap Dining Chairs for Moving
There are several different approaches you can use to ensure the safety of your chairs during a house move:
1) Dismantle your dining room chairs to make them more space efficient and easier to transport – Because of their unusual shape, chairs can be very difficult to pack and load onto a moving van. Besides, a dining set usually consists of 6 to 12 chairs that will take a lot of room in the truck if transported as they are. You are, therefore, advised to remove the legs from the chairs as you did with the table legs (if possible) and wrap them individually in bubble wrap. Then, wrap a moving blanket around the back and seat of each chair and secure with tape.
2) If you can’t/don’t want to take your dining room chairs apart, you can wrap the legs and back of each chair in bubble wrap and use stretch wrap over the fabric upholstery. Don’t forget to wrap any extensions, rails, or bars on the chairs with bubble wrap as well.
3) Another option is to wrap the entire chair in a moving blanket:
- Lay a large moving blanket on the floor;
- Position the chair kitty-corner onto the blanket with the top of the furniture facing you;
- Fold the corner of the blanket over the back of the chair;
- Cover both sides of the chair as you push the blanket between the legs of the furniture piece;
- Grab both remaining sides of the blanket and pull the end of the blanket as you fold it inward between the legs of the chair;
- Make sure the blanket is pulled snug against the chair;
- Put the furniture up onto its legs, keeping the blanket tight to the chair;
- Run packing tape tight around the chair to secure the blanket in place.
The best way to wrap chairs for moving depends on the specific type of chairs you have, the available space in the moving truck, and your personal preferences – choose the option that will work best in your particular situation, but make sure you provide your dining room chairs with adequate protection.
How to Move a Dining Room Table
Once your dining table and chairs are safely wrapped and packed for moving, it’s time to turn your attention to the actual relocation procedures – getting the furniture out of your home, loading it on the moving truck, transporting it to your new address, unloading the pieces, and bringing them into your new dining room. But how can you do that in a safe and efficient manner?
The best way to move a dining room set is to hire professional movers to complete the job – the experts have the specialized equipment, deft skills, and rich experience to take proper care of your delicate items and deliver them to your new home intact and unscathed. The pros will take all the necessary measures to ensure the excellent condition of your furniture and will do all the work, so you’ll have nothing to worry about.
If you’ve decided on a self-move though, you will need to take care of all the details yourself and ensure that your dining room table and chairs are safely carried out of your property and well secured into the moving truck:
1) How to move a dining table:
- Clear the space around your dining room furniture to allow for easy maneuvering. Remove any obstacles from the path between the current location of your table and chairs and the moving truck. Remove doors from their hinges, if necessary, to allow larger items to pass through the doorways without scraping against the door jambs
- Have one person hold the table from one end and another – from the opposite end. Lift it by the apron and turn it so that the tabletop is vertical to the floor. Be careful to avoid hitting the delicate furniture against walls, door frames, and other items while maneuvering it out of your home;
- In case you couldn’t remove the table legs, grab the furniture by the apron, lift it off the floor, and carry it horizontally. Be sure never to pull a table along the floor, as this can cause damage to both the furniture and the floor
- Position the tabletop on its longest side against the wall of the moving truck. Secure it well with ropes or straps and put some sturdy items against it to keep the tabletop stable during the transportation. Place the separated legs on the floor and secure them in place, so they don’t roll and damage other items;
- If the legs are still attached to the table, the furniture can be transported in a standing position – just make sure you place heavy boxes underneath it to hold the table still during transit (be careful not to put any heavy or sharp-edged items on top of the table though as this can easily lead to damage, no matter how well wrapped the furniture may be). Also, keep in mind that even with “anchoring boxes” your dining table won’t be very stable during the move and may get damaged from swaying on its legs. It may be better to place the furniture on its side and wrap the legs in moving blankets. (Make sure the items you place near the table legs are well secured, as they can damage the legs if they shift during the transportation.)
2) How to move a glass table top
- Handle your glass tabletop with extreme caution and be very careful when taking it out of your home and loading it onto the moving truck – hold the glass piece securely, keep it in a vertical position, and avoid scraping it against anything;
- Place the glass table top on its side in the moving truck – due to its molecular structure, glass can withstand the strain of moving much better when kept on its side. Do not lay the glass top flat or place anything on top of it;
- If possible, position the glass top between two mattresses. If not, lean it against the wall of the truck, secure it with bungee cords, and place some heavy boxes in front of it to prevent it from sliding or tilting (make sure there isn’t anything with sharp edges packed close to the table top). Be sure to add some padding between the wall of the van and the table top for better protection.
3) How to move dining room chairs
- Pick your dining chairs up from the bottom of the seat (not from their backs) and carry them carefully to the moving truck. Never drag chairs across the floor!
- If you were able to remove the legs, you can safely and easily stack the chairs on top of one another. Secure the stacks with ropes or bungee cords to keep them still during the move;
- If you couldn’t remove the legs, stack the chairs in groups of two – place one chair upright on the floor of the truck, then lay another one upside down across the seat of the first chair. Secure the chairs together with a rope and then secure the “bundle” to the side of the moving truck or to a larger piece of furniture that won’t shift during the transportation.
Be very careful when unloading the furniture at your new home and take all the necessary precautions to avoid damage to your dining room set and your new property when carrying the pieces to their designated location. Then, you’ll be able to celebrate your successful relocation with a festive dinner at your dining room table. Bon appétit et bonne nouvelle vie!