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Moving Furniture/Large recliner sofa through small door


QUESTION: Harry - we are trying to get a 86"L x 38"D x 35"H recliner couch into a door that is 29 1/2"W x 80"H AND once you get through the door, it has a wall to the immediate left and another door to the immediate right.  My husband, father and brother tried every way they knew how to maneuver the couch, but couldn't get it through, saying it lacked about 3-4 inches (I don't know from which angle).  Can the couch get through the door, and if so, how?

Thanks so much for all you do and for sharing your experience and expertise!

ANSWER: Hello Penny,

The first thing you have to check is the sofa itself. Most recliner sofas today are made so that the backs are removable. There is usually a "flap" of fabric on the bottom of the backs(on the back of the sofa). The flaps are held on with Velcro. Lift it up and you should be able to see where the back slides into a track which is part of the sofa frame. There are many different types of locks, bolts or clips that hold it on but it can be figured out. If there is no flap on the back, tip the sofa onto its front and look underneath. Also, some recliner sofas are built on a "rail" system. Tip the sofa over and see if there is a metal rail of sorts going the length of the sofa. If its a 3- seater sofa, each section is bolted to this rail. There are about 8- bolts or screws that hold all 3 sections to the frame. If you undo all these bolts, you end up with 3 individual seat sections. It it a lot of work and takes a little time but if your sofa has this feature, it can be moved in.

In your description I am not sure if the sofa is going through the door then continued straight ahead or does it have to go into the door on the right. If it is the door on the right, I don't see it happening. The sofa would need to get through the doorway and be stood on end which means you would need a 92" ceiling height (at least). If there is a wall opposite the first doorway, that wall would need to be at least 50"-52" away. After all this you would have a sofa standing in this space and it would need to be turned to face the door on the right then be tilted back so that the bottom could be pulled through that door on the right. I just don't see any of this taking place.

So, I guess I need to know if it is the door on the right or is it going straight. Is there a lot of fabric on top of the sofa that could be compressed going through a doorway.

Let me know your thoughts and if you have further info on all this. Any pictures of the entry area would be of help also.

Keep me posted,


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Couch underside
Couch underside  

Door and hallway
Door and hallway  
QUESTION: Harry - thanks so much for the quick reply.  The couch is on a rail system, but only the center piece is bolted - the two end sections are riveted on, so I can't take them off (I don't think).  The couch is going through straight - but I wanted to let you know that is down a narrow hallway (and that we have some maneuverability with the door to the right).  I've attached three pics for your review.  

I can't wait for your response!


Hi Penny,

Thank you for sending the pictures but I only received 2. If the rail is riveted on, I wouldn't want you to mess with that. Did you happen to see if the backs were removable. It looks like there is a flap of material on the bottom edge but I can't be sure. If it has to be moved in "one piece" it will be possible but on the snug side. As one piece, the sofa needs to be lifted and carried towards the doorway. The sofa needs to be tilted over at a 45 degree angle so that the backside is slightly facing up and the front is facing the floor. In this position the "top" of the back should be facing the "RIGHT" side of the hallway as it is moved. As the sofa enters the door frame in its 45 degree angle position, it needs to be raised as high as possible in the door frame and the other end needs to be almost touching the floor. You could put a blanket on the floor and rest that end on it if you didn't want to hold it up as it's being maneuvered and you could slide the sofa end and the blanket through the doorway but don't let the blanket get bunched up. AS the first end of the sofa gets through the door frame, that end must be kept as high as possible until the other end is through. So the sofa would be going through the doorway in the shape of an elevated "see-saw". It will be snug so make sure that there are no nails or staples in the door frame or even on the wall as it travels down the right side of the hallway. If the sofa backs were removable it would be easy to get it through. If it was a 2-seater reclining sofa, the backs could be placed in a semi-reclined position and carried through this way. On a 3-seater-sofa you can't recline the center but it is still possible to tip it over an get the first end through, angle the center and follow through with the last end.

So that is pretty much it.  All in all it is possible but on the snug side and keeping the first end high is important. Let me know if I can help you further.



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Harry Lipsky


Moving your furniture. I would like to answer all questions dealing with the proper techniques of how to move ANY type of furniture, including difficult doorways and stairways. Also, all questions dealing with the proper packing of breakables including antiques. All general questions concerning the moving and storage industry will be answered. I cannot recommend a particular mover in a person`s neighborhood but i can explain how to obtain a company in good standing with the community. I have been in the moving and storage industry for almost four decades! I am located in Massachusetts.


I have almost four decades of experience in the moving & storage industry. When I was a small boy my father introduced me into the moving business and I have been hooked ever since. At first I started out as a young laborer untill I was old enough to drive a furniture van. As time went on I drove 18-wheelers around the country moving small shipments as well as large corporate relocations. I was taught the old school methods by men that were craftsman in their field. I learned how to pack the most delicate of breakables as well as museum pieces. It was common practice to do estimates and even the actual ratings on interstate jobs. Doing commercial moves were a big part of my moving career over the years. Some of the big names that I delt with were "GE","MICROSOFT","FIDELITY INVESTMENTS" AND "AMERICAN EXPRESS". As the years went by my family retired and sold the business (not my choice). I went on to establish my own moving company which ran for 12 years before I phased out the physical moving itself. Today I have developed a consulting service where I advise future furniture buyers as well as people moving for the first time on what to expect from their upcoming adventure. Furniture buyers are advised on what size furniture will fit through their narrow doorways and tight hallways. By choosing furniture with the right dimensions will narrow down the probability of the furniture being returned back to the store. That is not a scenario people want after waiting 8-12 weeks for their new furniture. I can also help people to understand the proper procedures of a first time move in their lives. I tell them what is to be expected,how they can save money,how to choose a good mover and what is involved with getting the packing done.

I have a FACEBOOK page for PRE-MOVE STRATEGIES. Please become a fan! I would like to have all people that I have helped to leave their comments on the FACEBOOK page.

I have a high school diploma from Swampscott High School............Swampscott, MA. Immediately after high school I entered the family business where I stayed for 20 years before moving on to my own business endeavors.

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