Moving a Large, Custom Bookcase
Whether they are for displaying a rare book collection, artwork, or ceramics, custom bookshelves give your home panache and extra storage.
But what do you do with those bookcases when you move to a new home?
Depending on several variables, moving a custom, heavy bookcase to a new home can be a great decision or a disaster. If you decide to take the bookcases with you, you will then need to decide whether to hire professionals or do-it-yourself.
Of course, we believe you should hire professionals from Alliance Relocation Services. Give us a call for a free quote, then consider the following steps you will need to take to move your custom bookcases by yourself.
Steps to Packing and Moving a Custom Bookcase
Empty the case of all books, art, vases, and photos, and clean the case thoroughly. If the bookcase has drawers, empty these as well and clean them inside.
Disassemble the Bookcase
This step is critical when moving a heavy, custom bookcase to a new home. Very few bookcases are small enough to move easily, so you will need to disassemble them safely down to their main sections.
- Before you start, have your smartphone or digital camera handy to take photos during the process. This will give you a record of how to put it all back together.
- Remove any glass shelves or glass doors from the bookcase. Wear protective gloves, and consider having another person help you with the disassembly task.
- Use a screwdriver to loosen or remove the fasteners (typically screws) that keep the hinges of the glass doors into place. Remove those glass doors carefully and place them on the carpeting.
- Remove any wooden doors from the bookcase using a screwdriver to unscrew their hinges from the main structure.
- Detach the sideboards to make the main structure much smaller and lighter to move out of the home. Start by removing the top sideboard with the help of a screwdriver – just unscrew the bolts on either side of the top sideboard. Then, release the sideboards of the bookcase by unscrewing them at the bottom.
- Remove the legs of the bookcase if the furniture piece happens to have any.
- Keep all small fastening elements (bolts, screws, nuts, washers, dowels, etc.) in a sealable plastic bag.
Wrap Each Bookcase Element in Moving Blankets
- Place cardboard cut-outs over the glass doors and glass shelves and then wrap the glass components first in bubble wrap and then in furniture blankets.
- Wrap all the wooden boards, doors, and legs you have taken apart into thick furniture blankets. Those furniture pads will create a soft, protective layer around the delicate components and will keep them from getting damaged while in transit.
- Use pieces of packing tape to secure the furniture blankets around the disassembled parts but be careful not to let the tape touch their delicate surfaces directly.
- Finally, wrap furniture blankets around the bookcase structure that has remained after you’ve removed the major components from it.
Stay Safe When Moving the Heavy Bookcase
Moving a heavy bookcase without the assistance of professional movers can be hazardous. To prevent property damage and personal injuries, follow these basic safety guidelines when moving the bookcase out of your home:
- Get as many helpers as you can to assist you in packing and moving your bookcase.
- Clear the exit path of any obstacles such as randomly scattered cardboard boxes. Walk the intended pathway to make sure nothing will be in your way while you’re carrying the big furniture unit.
- Use a furniture dolly if your bookcase is only partially disassembled or if you decided not to disassemble it. Keep in mind that furniture dollies are not meant to be used on stairs.
- Use furniture sliders to slide the heavy bookcase across the room without any fear of floor damage. They are fairly inexpensive, or you can rent some from a moving company.
Load the Bookcase onto the Truck
The last step to moving a bookcase cabinet to another home is to load it safely onto the moving truck. The best way to do this is to use the loading ramp to get the large furniture item inside the vehicle. Check whether the loading ramp is well secured against the back of the truck. Also, make sure there are no wet spots, dust, or mud along the ramp to prevent accidents.
Stay at the front of the furniture dolly and keep pulling it up as you go up the ramp. At the same time, have your most reliable helper at the back, pushing the loaded 4-wheel dolly up at the same time. Secure the big bookcase cabinet once you’re inside the vehicle. Use rope or straps to tie it down to the side of the truck so that it does not shift during transport. Position cardboard boxes around the furniture piece to secure it even more on the road.
Sounds simple right? Or not! You have a considerable investment in your custom bookcase. Protect it and your own safety by hiring Alliance Relocation Services to help.