How to Move a Heavy Dresser Up the Stairs

Kate Bruscke

Moving heavy furniture, such as a dresser, is difficult enough, but moving your furniture up stairs adds special challenges. You must wrap, pack and lift your dresser carefully to avoid damage to the piece – and to yourself.

Moving is never fun, but a little caution keeps you and your furniture damage-free.

For safety’s sake, always empty the dresser drawers before packing and use correct lifting techniques during the move. Take your time and ensure that you have a partner to help, and you will be able to successfully get your furniture up and into its new home.

  1. Ensure the empty dresser drawers are closed tightly and then bind them closed with lengths of masking or painter’s tape. Masking and painter’s tape are less likely to leave marks or adhesive on your dresser’s surface.

  2. Remove the mirror, if present, and wrap mirror separately between pieces of flattened cardboard. Secure cardboard edges using lengths of mover’s packing tape, which is stickier and stringer than masking or painter’s tape. Move the mirror separately from the dresser to prevent cracking the glass.

  3. Place a large blanket pad beneath the dresser. Bring the ends up and secure to the front and back of the dresser like a diaper, using lengths of masking or painter’s tape.

  4. Drape one or two blanket pads over the top of the dresser, bring edges down over all four sides and secure to the sides and the diaper using long lengths of mover’s packing tape on the blanket’s surface and masking or painter’s tape where it must attach to the dresser surface.

  5. Wind mover’s packing tape four or five times around the entire dresser, around the sides. Wind tape at least twice from top to bottom. This ensures that the blanket padding will stay in place as you move.

  6. Place on the strap-dolly harness as directed by the manufacturer. Some strap-dolly harnesses attach around your waist or require you to step into them. Adjust the harness so it is firm around your torso or waist. Assist your partner in adjusting his harness if necessary.

  7. Slip the carrying straps beneath the sides of the dresser. Attach the straps to you and your partner’s harnesses as directed by the manufacturer. Bend your knees, keeping your back straight, and lift the dresser using the leverage from the straps and the strength in your legs and shoulders.

  8. Ease the dresser down and up the stairs. Guide the dresser with your hands as you move. Move slowly and ensure that whoever is facing forward coordinates steps with the person facing backward.