Moving Furniture With Clothes in Them

by | Jan 7, 2024

Moving furniture with clothes in them

We can move certain furniture with clothes in them. This simplifies the process considerably and can lower the overall moving price as you save on packing materials and time to pack and load the extra boxes. Moving furniture with clothes is done mainly when the items are small, like bedside cabinets or office pedestals. Furniture like wardrobes or filing cabinets has to be emptied before the loading.

Pros of Moving Furniture With Clothes In Them

When considering whether to move furniture with clothes in them, it’s important to know what are the main benefits first.


One of the most immediate benefits is the time saved by not having to unpack and repack drawers or storage compartments in furniture pieces. This is particularly beneficial if you’re working with a tight moving schedule or want to minimize the time spent on the moving process itself. You can literally close the drawers or doors of the furniture piece and move it as-is, saving valuable time before, during, and after the move.

Easier Packing/Unpacking

Leaving clothes in furniture can make the packing and unpacking process much simpler. You don’t have to find additional boxes for the clothes, nor do you have to spend time organizing and labeling these boxes. When you arrive at your new location, your clothes are already where they need to be, reducing the number of boxes you have to unpack and the time it takes to get settled into your new space.

Lower Packing Material Cost

Moving furniture with clothes in it can also reduce the amount of packing material needed, like boxes, bubble wrap, and packing paper. By leaving clothes in drawers, you can cut down on waste and save money on packing supplies. This is not only cost-effective but can also be an eco-friendly option, as fewer materials are discarded post-move.


Standard-size chest of drawers : 3-4 boxes and tape needed. You could save £18 from the packing materials and £8 from the packing service. Total £26 saved!

Bedside cabinet: 1-2 boxes and tape needed. You could save £10 from the packing materials and £3 from the packing service. Total £13 saved!

Cons of Moving Furniture With Clothes In Them

While there are several benefits to moving furniture with clothes still inside, there are also important drawbacks to consider. Understanding these disadvantages can help you make a more informed decision about whether this option is right for you. Here are some key points to think about:

Risk of Damage

One of the major concerns is the risk of damaging the furniture or the clothes inside during the move. Having additional weight in the drawers or compartments can put extra strain on the furniture, potentially leading to broken handles, warped structures, or malfunctioning drawers. Additionally, clothes and other items inside can become wrinkled, soiled, or damaged if not adequately secured.

Extra Weight

Furniture is already heavy to begin with, and adding clothes to the equation increases the overall weight that needs to be moved. This could pose challenges in terms of physical labor and could require more effort to lift, load, and unload the furniture. Extra weight could also mean increased costs if your moving company charges by weight, or it might necessitate more robust transportation means, like a larger moving truck.

Difficulty in Moving

The extra weight and bulk can also make it more challenging to maneuver furniture through narrow corridors, stairways, or tight turns. This could slow down the moving process, increase the risk of scuffs or damage to walls and floors, and potentially require more manpower. The difficulty is particularly relevant for larger pieces of furniture, such as wardrobes or dresser drawers, where the added weight from clothes can make an already challenging item to move even more cumbersome.

While leaving clothes in furniture can offer convenience, it’s crucial to weigh these cons against the pros. If you opt for this route, consider discussing the specifics with your chosen moving company to ensure they are equipped to handle such tasks safely and effectively.

Our movers are strong and we bring trolleys. Let us help you move your furniture to your new home.

Movivan Guidelines for Moving Furniture When Full

When it comes to moving furniture with contents inside, Movivan has specific policies and guidelines to ensure a safe and efficient moving process. Understanding these guidelines can help customers make an informed decision and prepare their belongings accordingly.

Furniture Must Generally Be Empty

As a general rule, Movivan moves furniture only when it is empty. This is to minimize the risks associated with transporting heavier or bulkier items, such as potential damage to the furniture, the items inside, or the property being moved from or to.

Exceptions for Small Furniture

Movivan makes an exception for small pieces of furniture, permitting them to be moved with items inside. However, the items within must not be fragile, as the company aims to mitigate the risk of damage during transit. “Small” is usually defined by the moving team, so it may be beneficial to consult with them beforehand to clarify which pieces of furniture fall under this category.

Customer Advisory on Risks

While the company does offer the service of moving small furniture with non-fragile items inside, Movivan also advises customers that doing so carries inherent risks. These could include potential damage to the furniture or the items within, especially if not properly secured. Customers choosing this option are usually required to acknowledge these risks, either verbally or in writing, before the move commences.

By adhering to these guidelines, Movivan aims to provide a moving experience that is both efficient and safe for all involved. If you’re considering moving furniture with items inside, it’s crucial to consult with Movivan’s moving team to understand which options are available and suitable for your specific needs.

Which Furniture Can Be Moved With Clothes In Them?

When using our house removal service, it’s essential to know which types of furniture can be moved with clothes or other items inside. This will largely depend on the company’s specific policies and guidelines, but generally speaking, only small pieces of furniture with non-fragile items are eligible for this service. Here are some furniture types that are commonly considered:


Smaller dressers that are not overly heavy or large may be moved with clothes in them, as long as the items inside are not fragile. Before moving, it’s advisable to secure the drawers to prevent them from sliding open during transport.

Ottomans with Storage

Ottomans that have built-in storage compartments can often be moved with clothes or linens inside. Again, the items should be non-fragile and the compartment securely closed for the duration of the move.


If your nightstand has drawers or a cabinet, it may qualify as a small piece of furniture that can be moved with non-fragile items inside. Ensure that the drawers or doors are securely closed before moving.

Small Cabinets

Some small cabinets that are not too heavy or bulky may also be moved with contents inside. However, any fragile items like glassware or porcelain should be removed and packed separately.

Small Armoires

Armoires can sometimes be large and bulky, but smaller, lighter models might be eligible for moving with clothes inside, depending on the moving company’s guidelines.

Benches with Storage

Storage benches often found at the foot of beds or in entryways could potentially be moved with clothes or linens inside if they meet the size and weight criteria of the moving company.

Children’s Furniture

Furniture from children’s rooms like small toy chests or mini dressers may also be considered for moving with contents inside if they are lightweight and contain non-fragile items.

It’s crucial to consult with Movivan or your chosen moving service to confirm which types of furniture are eligible to be moved with contents inside. Always adhere to the company’s guidelines to ensure a smooth and safe moving process.

Should You Move Your Furniture With Items Inside When Doing the Move By Yourself?

If you’re considering a DIY move, the question of whether to move furniture with clothes or items inside becomes even more critical. Unlike professional movers, who have specialized equipment and training, you’ll be relying on your resources and skills. Here are some points to consider:


Time-saving: Just like with professional movers, leaving items in your furniture can save you a lot of time during both the packing and unpacking phases.

Less Packing Material: You’ll need fewer boxes and less packing material, which could save you some money and is also more environmentally friendly.


Risk of Damage: Furniture not designed to be moved with added weight can get damaged. Drawer slides can break, and extra weight can make handling more difficult, increasing the risk of dropping the item or damaging walls and floors.

Increased Physical Strain: Furniture with items inside will be heavier and more cumbersome to move, which could be physically demanding or even dangerous if you’re not prepared or if you don’t have the proper equipment.

Potential for Lost or Damaged Items: If drawers or compartments open during the move, you could lose items or find them damaged upon arrival at your new home.


Secure Drawers and Doors: If you do decide to move furniture with items inside, make sure to secure drawers and doors with strong tape or locks.

Avoid Fragile Items: Remove any fragile or valuable items from the furniture to reduce the risk of breakage.

Get Help: Even if it’s a DIY move, having friends or family to help you will make it safer and easier to move heavier items.

Use Proper Equipment: Make sure you have the right equipment, such as a dolly or lifting straps, to aid in the safe moving of heavier furniture.

Understand Your Limits: Know your own strength and limitations. If a piece of furniture feels too heavy or awkward to move safely, it probably is.

Given the risks and challenges, moving furniture with items inside should be approached with caution during a DIY move. If you opt for this route, it’s essential to take all necessary precautions to minimize potential issues. Always prioritize your safety and the protection of your belongings.

Move Furniture Internationally With Clothes in Them

Moving furniture internationally introduces a new layer of complexity, including dealing with customs regulations, shipping methods, and weight considerations. While leaving clothes in furniture may seem convenient, it poses unique challenges and potential benefits when crossing international borders. Here’s what you need to know:


Reduced Number of Boxes: One benefit is that you’ll have fewer boxes to ship, which can simplify the customs process by reducing the number of items that need to be declared and inspected.

Easier Unpacking: Just like in domestic moves, having clothes already in your furniture can make the unpacking process quicker and less stressful once you arrive at your international destination.


Customs Concerns: Leaving clothes in furniture might complicate the customs process. All items must typically be declared, and customs officials may need to inspect them. This could lead to delays if your furniture needs to be unpacked and repacked.

Shipping Weight Considerations: Many international moves are priced based on weight. Leaving clothes in your furniture could significantly increase the cost of your move. Also, each country may have different restrictions on how much weight you can bring in duty-free.

Risk of Confiscation or Fines: If you forget to declare items left in your furniture, you risk fines or confiscation of your belongings by customs authorities.


Thorough Documentation: Ensure you list all items, including those inside furniture, in the documentation provided to customs to avoid any potential issues.

Check with Shipping Company: Consult your international moving company about their policy on moving furniture with clothes in them. They can provide guidelines on what is allowed and what is not.

Cost Estimates: Get a comprehensive cost estimate that considers the weight of the furniture with clothes in them. Compare this with the cost of shipping clothes separately to determine the most cost-effective option.

Legal Restrictions: Check if there are any legal restrictions on the import/export of used clothing or other specific items within your furniture to avoid any complications.

Cost Implications of Moving Furniture With Clothes Inside

The financial aspect of moving is always a consideration, and the decision to move furniture with clothes inside adds another layer of complexity. Here are some of the cost implications you should be aware of when considering this option:

Additional Charges for Handling Heavier Furniture

If your furniture is significantly heavier with clothes inside, you might face additional handling charges. Many moving companies charge based on the weight of the items being moved, so keeping your furniture filled could increase your total bill. This is especially relevant if you’re planning an international move, where shipping costs are often calculated by weight.

Discounts or Packages

Some moving companies may offer special packages or discounts for services that include moving furniture with clothes inside. These are often bundled with other premium services, such as extra insurance coverage or white-glove service. It’s worth asking your moving company if such options are available, as they may make it more cost-effective to move furniture without emptying it first.

Comparative Costs

Before making a decision, it’s advisable to compare the total costs of both options: moving furniture with clothes inside versus emptying them. The cost of additional packing materials, extra labor for packing and unpacking, and potential additional charges for heavier furniture should all be considered. You might find that the convenience of not emptying your furniture is worth the extra costs, or you might conclude that it’s more economical to move your furniture empty.

Insurance Coverage

When weighing the costs, also consider the insurance implications. Items packed by professional movers are usually covered by some form of insurance. However, if you choose to leave clothes in your furniture, you should confirm whether this will impact your insurance coverage or require additional premiums.

By considering these cost factors carefully, you can make an informed decision that balances convenience and economy. Always consult with your chosen moving company to get accurate estimates and understand any special charges or discounts that may apply when moving furniture with clothes inside.

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