Large Items: Disassemble or Keep Them Intact?

Large Items Disassemble or Keep Them Intact_

Big furniture is no joke. For those of you with high end, solid hardwood furniture, you could be looking at pieces that weigh up to four hundred pounds. That’s the weight of a full-grown male gorilla.

Apart from weight, some items may just be a pain to get out and into a house due to their cumbersome nature or awkward design.

Not to worry though as you do have options. Most modern furniture can be easily disassembled for moving and awkward items can be reduced to simple forms to make them easier to move.

Here are some of the pros and cons of disassembling large items to move them.



  • Disassembled pieces can be safely carried by one person
  • Takes up less space in the moving truck or storage unit
  • Allows you to take time to decide on the layout in your new home since the disassembled pieces can be moved at will and won’t require multiple people and specialized moving equipment.
  • Decreases the risk of large objects being dropped, damaged, or destroyed.



  • Taking pieces apart takes time and could require special tools.
  • Risk of losing critical pieces during the move
  • Possibility of damaging components or breaking screws and joints which will require a professional to repair


Antique vs Modern

They just don’t make them like they used to. This adage applies to cars, craftsman homes and furniture alike. When deciding whether to take furniture apart for moving, take into consideration the age and style.

Antique furniture was built one way-by hand. That means solid hardwood, typically put together with hand cut joints such as dovetails, mortise and tenon and stile and rail. Most of these items have no mechanical fasteners and are held together by friction and glue (which will hold longer than any screw or nail by the way). Simply put, taking these pieces apart will destroy them.

Modern Furniture on the other hand comes in a variety of materials and building techniques. IKEA for instance is geared towards the everyday DIY person. Made of polycarbonates and particle board (sawdust pressed between thin sheets of wood veneer), these pieces are held together with half turn screws and unglued dowel rods. These items can be easy disassembled for transport.

Custom Modern furniture is a sub category. This type is usually custom ordered from a furniture maker. These styles usually fit the modern eye, but match the quality found in antique furniture. Inspect these pieces for how they’re built. Many custom makers utilize pocket screws these days, which can be easily removed for transport, but take a closer look and figure out if glue was used as well, if so, these pieces need to stay in one piece.



Ultimately, you must decide if the time you’ll be taking to disassemble a given piece will be worth it on moving day. Small end tables for instance can be easily carried by one person and stacked on top of each other. The time to take these apart will most likely be more work and time than is worth it. Just step back and give it ponder before you dive in with the screw guns.  


There you have it. The quick tips to decide whether you should disassemble your large items or keep them intact.

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