How to Move and Store a Sofa

Jon Fesmire | December 18, 2019 @ 7:46 AM

Storing a sofa is a straightforward process, but it’s one you want to get right. Maybe you’re putting away a sofa bed that you bring home once or twice a year for guests, or maybe you’re moving and need to store your sofa few months. Whatever the case, if you do it incorrectly your sofa can take serious damage. This can include broken wooden parts, out-of-shape cushions, and even mold growth.

Follow these steps to clean and store your sofa properly.


The first step is to clean your sofa. Using your vacuum cleaner and its cushion-cleaning attachments. Vacuum all over and inside the sofa. If you can, steam vacuum it next. This will clean up ground-in dirt. If you don’t have access to a steam vacuum, you can clean it with a cloth and some mild detergent mixed in plenty of water. Test the detergent water on a hidden spot to see how well it does, and if it works well, spot-clean the sofa where needed.

Preparing to Move

Let the sofa dry for a day. Then, remove the pillows and cushions. They add weight and bulk, so removing them will make the couch easier to carry and maneuver.

Gathering Your Friends

We strongly recommend against moving a couch by yourself, no matter how big or strong you are. There’s too much potential for damage to the couch, the floor, the walls, and most important of all, to yourself. So, contact a couple of friends who can help you. Alternately, you can hire a moving service.

Plan Your Route

Plan out how you’ll get the couch from where it is in your home to the truck or van you’re using to get it to storage. Do you have narrow hallways or doorways? How do you plan to fit it through them? You may have to tilt the couch one way or another. As such, measure the couch as well as the doors and passageways, which will give you a sense of how you can get it through.

Lift and Carry Properly

It’s important to lift a sofa properly. Whether you’re moving it downstairs, upstairs, or straight out the door, you need to lift primarily with your legs and watch where you’re moving as you carry the sofa.

Cover It Well

In the truck as well as in storage, it’s important to keep the sofa covered with blankets, or better, a sofa storage bag. Don’t use its plastic cover. It’s important to let the sofa breathe. If moisture gets caught between the cushions and plastic, it can cause mold or mildew. In addition, we highly recommend getting a unit with climate control.

In Storage

Place wooden pallets on the ground of your storage unit and set your sofa on top. This helps with air circulation and safeguards against the rare possibility of water damage.

Carry it into storage the same way you carried it to the van or truck. Put the cushions back on the couch and make sure the cover is over it. Also, store it the right way up, the way you’d sit on it. Don’t put it on its side to save space. This is only likely to cause damage.

Also, keep the sofa about six inches from the walls to encourage air circulation all around. While it may be tempting to put boxes on the sofa to save space, don’t do this. That’s just likely to warp the cushions, permanently.

There you have it! With these steps done, your sofa should remain in good shape whether in storage long or short term.

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