Should You Empty Dresser Drawers When Moving? [How to move a dresser safely]

Moving is stressful; there is no doubt about it. There are many decisions to make along the way, like whether to empty your dresser drawers before moving?  We have looked into this dilemma for you and have some suggestions.

Whether you need to empty your dresser drawers before moving depends on the age and strength of the furniture, as well as the items stored inside. When moving, you can usually leave lightweight items like clothing in a dresser drawer, but avoid leaving the following  – 

  • Valuables
  • Heavy items

If your dresser is antique or of a delicate build, you should treat it gently an remove all contents before moving.

There is much to consider when deciding whether to empty your dresser before moving. Keep reading for all the details so you can make the best decision for you and your furniture.

Dresser drawer in a white interior room, Should You Empty Dresser Drawers When Moving? [How to move a dresser safely]

Should You Empty Dresser Drawers Before Moving?

Dresser Type

If the dresser is sturdy, lightweight, and not oversized, you can consider leaving clothes in the drawers for the move. It will have to be wrapped and sealed first. If you will be moving it yourself, consider the added weight of the full drawers and whether there will be stairs involved on either end of the move.

You could also consider taking the drawers out and moving them full but separate from the dresser. In this case, you should wrap the drawers individually, so the items do not fall out during the move.

Oversized, heavy, or antique furniture should never be moved with items in the drawers. Not only does it make moving more difficult, but the shifting of the contents could also damage an older dresser.

Content That Can Remain in Drawers 

Let’s suppose you have decided to keep the drawers packed for the move. Now what? Well, first, make sure that only soft, unbreakable materials are in the drawers. Keep it restricted to clothes, towels, and bedding. Never leave money, important papers, or fragile items. Remember that the movers will be tipping the dresser to get it through hallways.

How Do You Keep Dresser Closed When Moving?

To keep drawers closed and protect the dresser, use blankets (moving or regular) to wrap the dresser from top to bottom. Then use tape or plastic wrap to hold the blankets in place, including on the bottom. Be careful not to put tape directly on the dresser as it could leave residue damaging the surface. You can purchase stretch wrap at any Home Depot or Lowes or, possibly, through your mover. Wrap starting at the bottom to the top, then wrap vertically. This process is much easier and faster with two people.

This video from College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving shows this process:

 

Do Movers Wrap Furniture?

Most professional movers will wrap your furniture to protect it during the move. However, it may incur an additional cost. Check with your moving company. Even if it is included, you may want to wrap it yourself to save time on moving day. If they charge by the hour, it could save you a lot of money depending on how much furniture you have to move.

Should You Remove the Mirror From the Dresser?

If possible, you should remove the mirror from the dresser as it will be safer for the mirror (no one wants seven years of bad luck!) and will make the dresser much easier to move. Most likely, the mirror is screwed into the back of the dresser. Remove the screws, put them in a Ziplock bag, and tape that to the back of the mirror for easy access when reassembling.

How to Wrap the Dresser Mirror?

Wrap mirrors should in moving pads after you put cardboard over the glass for extra protection. Then carefully wrap it and tape it, being careful not to put tape directly on the surface. The mirror should be placed carefully in the moving truck. If possible, placed between two mattresses or big pieces of furniture or to prevent breakage. Avoid laying it flat on the floor, but if you do, take care not to place heavy objects on top of it.

Do Movers Typically Disassemble Furniture, or Should You Do That?

It will save time and money on moving day if you disassemble the furniture yourself. However, most professional movers offer this service. These would be two things you don’t have to do on moving day (disassemble and reassemble.)

First, confirm that the furniture needs to be disassembled. Measure outgoing and incoming doorways and hallways to see if the furniture will fit. A piece of furniture might appear too big to move but actually can. If disassembly is necessary, our advice is to find out how much it will cost and to assess how much time it will take on moving day. If you have multiple pieces of furniture to disassemble, you might want to take care of the easy furniture yourself and leave the more complex or more cumbersome items for the professionals. When you disassemble or reassemble, it is best to have a buddy there with you.

When to Start Packing Your Dresser?

We recommend that you pack about three days of clothing in a suitcase or overnight bag that you keep with you. Once you have that set-aside, you can go ahead and start packing your dresser. If you are taking the items out, put all the off-season clothing together in boxes marked clearly.

For any move, have clear, open communication with the professionals you have hired. Moving day stress is real but can be alleviated some by knowledge, planning, and preparation.  

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