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CHECKLIST: What to Measure Before You Move

Measure twice, move once: This is the rule to remember so you don’t get stuck prying out a door frame to get your couch inside, or hiring a crane to swing your foosball table in through a bedroom window. Here’s a list of every measurement you should take to ensure your stuff can actually move in on moving day.

 

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Your Stuff

 

Bookcases & Armoires

Measure the width, depth, height and diagonal height (see “How to Measure Diagonal Height,” below).

 

Couch

Measure the length, depth, back height and diagonal height (measure each piece of a sectional sofa separately). Determine whether legs can be removed.

 

Dresser

Measure the width, depth and height. Determine whether removing drawers shortens the depth.

 

Headboard

Measure the width and height.

 

Tables & Desks

Measure length, width and height. Determine whether legs are removable.

 

Appliances

Measure width, depth and height. Determine whether doors are removable.

 

Mattress

Measure length, width and height. Assess its bendability.

 

Piano

Measure length, depth and height. Consider hiring a professional piano mover.

 

Billiards & Gaming Tables

Measure length, width and height. Determine whether legs are removable.

 

In the New House

 

Main Door

Measure the height and width of the door opening, as well as the clearance of the entryway: Is there a radiator or step immediately inside? How far can you walk before you hit a wall? Finally, measure the ceiling height inside the entry.

 

Secondary Doors

Measure the height, width and clearance of the openings of side, patio or deck doors. Sliding glass doors often have bigger openings than traditional doors.

 

The Biggest Window

Measure the height, width and clearance of the largest window that opens, as well as its height from the ground outside. A window may be the best entry for some items.

 

Stairways

Measure the width and ceiling height from the first step (not the ground floor), and take the same measurements of the last step; use the smallest width and height measurements. Measure the length, width, ceiling height and clearance of any landings or turns.

 

Hallways

Measure the width and ceiling height of hallways, as well as the clearance of connecting doorways.

 

Low-Hanging Ceiling Fixtures

Measure the space from the ground up to low ceiling fans and chandeliers that may pose a hazard for moving tall items.

 

PLUS: How to Measure Diagonal Height

Diagonal height tells you whether an item can tilt around doorway and stairway turns when it can’t slide straight through. For a rectangular item like a bookcase, find the diagonal height by measuring from the lower left corner to the upper right corner. For sofas, draw an imaginary line between the highest point of the couch’s back and the highest point on the couch’s arm; find the midpoint of that line, and measure the distance from the midpoint to the couch’s back leg.



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  • Sadye Smoots

    Apr 4, 2016 @ 8:40 PM

    Hi! I’ve been following your blog for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the great job!