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Moving Furniture/Possibly the narrowest staircase ever!



Appreciate I might not have enough facts for you yet but I am moving to a house with a 23 inch wide staircase. This doesn't include handrails. I have two bucket chairs that I hope will fit as they come in just shy of 23 inches at their widest point. Hoping the movers (are strong and thin and!) can lift the chairs high enough so that the seat and legs are either side of the rails. Will I ever be able to get a sofa up the stairs? There's a 180 degree turn half way up but from this point there is no ceiling height restriction, just a banister. Or is it bean bags for me until I move again?!

Many thanks in advance.


ANSWER: Hello Vivienne,

Thank you for converting the measurements to inches. I think you have the narrowest stairway that I have ever come across on this site. A sofa would have to have an arm height LOWER than 23" or no arms at all. A sofa will need to be stood completely vertical on the staircase turn. If it was a standard style sofa where the back is higher than the arms, that back height will need to be lower than 26". I know that some manufactures in the UK make their sofas so that the arms a removable for deliveries. Do you have a porch or balcony that could be used?

Here in the USA there are some sofa companies that make "ready to assemble" sofas for tight spaces. I will include a couple a link to a couple of them so that you can see what I am talking about. They may ship to the UK.....not sure. Maybe there are companies in your area that sell this product. They are just as strong and eye pleasing as a regular purchased sofa.

There are also "sofa dis-assembly" companies that will take apart any sofa, move it in and put it all back together. The only thing is you will need to have this done again when you move out.

Let me know if I can help you further or if you have any photos of the area you want to send.

Thank you,


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

QUESTION: Hi again Harry!

Is there a limit to the depth or length of the sofa please? Sorry if that's a silly question.

Many thanks.



Hello Vivienne,

I would keep the "depth" at 38" or LESS. As far as the length goes, It can be just about anything because there is no height limit on the staircase ceiling. Everything depends on what the sofa needs to do when it gets to the very top of the staircase. Can it be tipped over and carried to the final location? Will it need to be kept vertical until it can be maneuvered into the final location? Is it a combination of both? I will say that if the sofa has to be stood on end once it reaches upstairs, the sofa's length needs to be 6" shorter than the ceiling is high to allow for sofa tipping room.

Let me know if this helps you out.



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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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