Leave coasters in place to make future rearrangement easier.

How to Move Furniture on Coasters

by Lorna Hordos

Heavy or bulky furnishings, especially those with legs or feet, can seem permanently planted as is, where is, without an army of movers or superhuman strength to put them where you'd prefer. But easy-to-slide furniture coasters, sometimes called glides or sliders, can make rearranging a room a one-woman job. Clean, smooth coasters also help to save the flooring from scrapes in the moving process. The methods for sliding furniture into place mainly depend on scale.

1. Shifting Shelving

A loaded shelving unit or bookcase requires special attention. Although you don’t have to unload all of its contents, such as evenly distributed books, you should take off anything breakable. Tall, narrow, top-heavy bookshelves can tip, wobble or even fall over in the moving process, sending loose items, such as a crystal vase or porcelain figurine, crashing to the floor. Tilt the unit from each side only as much as needed to place a coaster under the legs. If the bookcase is too heavy to tilt, empty it, or use a crowbar for leverage, but protect a hard-surface floor from the bar with a flat, durable object such as a wood cutting board or another coaster. Be patient: Slide the unit where you want it by working it slowly into place, pulling or pushing each side just a few inches at a time from the midpoint or lower; applying force from a higher point will cause it to topple.

2. Sliding Sofas

A sofa’s low point of gravity or bottom-heaviness makes it relatively safe and easy to move. Slightly tip the sofa back to place coasters under its front legs, and forward to place coasters under its back legs. Clear a path by getting everything, from a coffee table and rug to a floor lamp and toys, out of the way -- turning a couch requires space and can be a bit puzzlelike. Direct the couch into place by pushing or pulling from behind one arm and then the other; slide each end a foot or more at a time until you have it where you want it.

3. Directing Dressers

Moving dressers is similar to moving bookshelves; they’re often tall, narrow and can tip. Clear off the dresser top. Lighten the dresser by taking out all drawers. Tilt the unit slightly backward to place coasters under the front legs, and slightly forward to place coasters under the back legs, reaching through the open cavity if needed. Again, pull from the side, midway down, so that you don't topple the piece.

4. Conscientious Considerations

By leaving clear, discreet coasters under furniture legs, the heavy or bulky pieces are ready to move whenever you desire. The coasters’ smooth, flat bottoms more evenly distribute furniture weight on flooring, lessening unattractive indentations that form over time. If you plan to use them to move appliances, or any plugged-in furnishing, shut off the power at the breaker box and unplug the object as soon as you can reach the plug. Making sure that a tile, hardwood or laminate floor and the coasters are clean lessens the chance that dirt particles will scratch the floor as you slide the heavy object into place. Although coasters make moving large, heavy things easier, you can still sustain an injury. Limber up by stretching, and engage your leg muscles, not your back, in the moving process.

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