You are here:

Moving Furniture/Moving sofa into 1st floor flat



Hi Harry,

Was hoping you could help.

My partner and I have a sofa that has been kindly given to us by family for our new (first) flat and are thus really keen to get it in.  But obviously if it won't fit need to give up hope!

We have made one unsuccessful attempt trying to tip it on it's side and push it lengthways through that front door of the flat.  The sofa appeared to get stuck on the front door handle and we didn't want to force more in case the handle went into/through the wall.

We were wondering if removing the door handle would help (I see it giving us an extra 2-3 inches. And then if we would have any problems further up.

The sofa is:
L- 78"
W- 37"
H- 34.5"
H tom top of arm- 24"

The front door gives us about 29" width with the handles on, obviously more if removed.

The narrowest part of the top/turn of the stairs is about 31"

The door to the living room is about 29 1/2".

We go through the front door straight up the stairs, turn left at the top in a u-turn to go through the front door of the living room, which we turn right into.

We have space to turn it right into the living room (there is wall on your immediate left) but the way I see it we will have to be turning it left up the stairs so perhaps not coming at it from the correct angle. (hope this makes sense)

I have attached some images if this helps and can send more e.g. the door to living room or turn of stairs, if necessary

Thank you very much for your time,

Hello Ben,

Thank you for converting everything to inches for me. This style of sofa is very difficult to maneuver through narrow doorways when the sofa arm and the back frame are the same height. This causes minimal angling to take place. It looks like a security door so I guess the option of removing it isn't a possibility. You said that the sofa height was 34.5". I am assuming that is to the top of the cushions? It sounded like you got it pass the door opening and made it to the handle. If this is correct, there is a bit of angling you could try. Tilt the sofa over so that the front of the sofa is facing towards the floor and the backside of the back is facing the ceiling. The top edge of the back is facing the door. As the sofa enters the doorway, the first end through needs to be raised as high as you can and the other end should be kept low near the floor. You should put a blanket over the back and one on the floor to protect the material. This steep angle is the best way to get it in and hopefully pass the door handle. Remove any sofa feet if there are any. It is going to be tight. If you make it through, the other door is a half inch larger so you should make that one also. When taking it up the stairs, the sofa will need to go vertical in order to make that turn. You are going to need ceiling height for this to happen. You should have 84" of ceiling height if it has to be stood vertically.

All in all, the back height of the frame from floor to top frame back edge SHOULD BE LESS than 29" based on going through a 29" doorway.

Let me know your thoughts and if you have any further information. Do you happen to have a balcony where the sofa could be pulled up by ropes?

Keep me posted,


Moving Furniture

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]