How to Move a Couch through a Narrow Door When Moving House

Two removal men carrying sofa covered in plastic through doorway
Philip Lee Harvey/Stone/Getty Images

Moving a couch or sofa out of your home or moving it into a new space often requires a lot of wiggling and pushing and removing of doors. It's not easy to determine if a couch will fit through a door or up a flight of stairs or into an elevator. Find out how to maneuver your couch to make it fit.

1. Measure the Couch

Measure the dimensions of the couch's: height, width and length. If its legs can be removed, it's best to remove them first.

If they can't be removed, then you need to measure the height with the legs attached, from the floor to the top of the couch's back.

2. Measure the Opening the Couch Needs to Go Through

Whether you need to move your couch through a narrow space -a doorway, a hallway, stairwell or elevator door - you'll need to know how big the space actually is. If you have to move it through a few different spaces, make sure you measure the narrowest opening and all three if needed. Narrow means both width and height-wise. You'll also need to make sure that it will fit in your new home

3. If Your Couch's Back is Higher

If the couch's back height is higher than the door's width, than its width will need to be narrower than the door's width .For example, a door's width is 40" and the couch's width is 43" and the back height is 38". This means you can turn the couch so that its back is facing the ceiling.

The couch should slide through as long as the inside space will accommodate it (hallway or foyer).

4. If Your Couch is Both Wide and High

If both the width and the back height is too long for the width of the door, then you need to consider the couch's length. Measure the length and the height of the door opening. The couch's length will need to be shorter than the door's height. Also check the entrance way to see how much room you have to maneuver - there should be at least a foot or more of space on either side of the doorway in order to shimmy the sofa through.

If the inside space is a narrow hallway, the couch may not fit. You may also need to remove the door in order to gain some additional room.

5. Move It

Stand the couch on one end with the bottom, where the feet are, positioned to enter the doorway first. Now angle the sofa so the back and the bottom form a V. If you're behind the couch, about to push it through the door, you should be looking at the sofa back and part of the bottom. The couch's seat should be facing inside.

With someone on the inside and someone on the outside, angle the couch by sliding the seat through the door, letting the sofa curl around the doorway.

6. If it Really Won't Fit

If neither of these techniques work, then you can hire a professional to actually dismantle your sofa, move it, then reassemble it inside your home, including reupholstering it. It can be a little pricey, but I think it's completely worth it, especially if the sofa is a piece that you love.

Other Couch Moving Tips

  • Remove the legs if you can.
  • Measure the sofa and the space before you move.
  • If you're moving the sofa on a carpeted surface, place cardboard on the floor to make sliding easier.
  • Remove all the cushions first.
  • Hire professionals if you're unsure the sofa will fit.
  • Make sure you have enough hands to help.