How to Protect Your Floors During a Move

Protect Your Floors when MovingBy Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Whether you are selling your home to new buyers or locking in your security deposit, it's important to protect your floors during the moving process. You can have treated your floors perfectly for years, but move-out day is one of the most likely times for new damage to occur. Furniture scrapes and grit ground in by heavy footsteps can be a real problem. And the last thing you want to deal with while relocating is last-minute carpet cleaning or floor repair.

Fortunately, there are a few reliable ways to keep your floors safe during the move-out and following move-in process. With a few simple steps, you can keep your floors clear of scrapes, grit, and stains on moving day.

Before Moving Day:

In the lead-up to moving day, you can make your task easier by preparing a few things ahead of time.

Set Aside Floor Covering Materials

While you're packing, set aside materials that can be used as furniture pads or floor protectors along the way. Any area rugs, welcome mats, or plastic floor mats you have are very useful right now. You can also use tarps, towels, or old blankets. And in some places, flattened sturdy cardboard is a decent floor protecting solution.

What you don't use on the floors, you can wrap around furniture to prevent wall scuffs and pad carrying grips.

  • Rugs & Mats
  • Plastic Tarps
  • Towels
  • Old Throw-Away Blankets
  • Sturdy Flattened Cardboard

Felt Pads on All Furniture Feet

With or without a professional moving company, some furniture is going to scoot. Moving day is rife with shifting, carrying, sliding, and bumping into furniture. Even professional movers can't prevent 100% of furniture sliding on the floor. So, your best bet is to invest in a pack of felt furniture pads. Spend a few days before the move sticking round pads to the feet of all your furniture, and anything else hard and heavy (like computers, appliances, or weights) that might have to slide on the floor.

Get Floor 100% Clean

This is very important. On the night or morning before moving, clean the floor completely. Grime on the carpet can be ground in on moving day, even underneath rugs and mats. Hard grit, rocks, or lost items on wood or tile floors can cause scratches under heavy steps or moved furniture. In fact, grit is half the reason floors tend to get damaged on moving day. So clean with whatever supplies you can in this order. Then lay down floor coverings.

Hard Wood / Tile Floor:

  • Sweep
  • Vacuum
  • Mop
  • Swiffer/Microfiber

Carpet:

  • Clear
  • Vacuum
  • Steam Clean

On Moving Day:

Before the first box is carried across the house, you'll want to prepare a few things to protect your floor.

Floor Mats at All Entrances/Exits

Place heavy-duty floor mats on both sides of every entrance/exit that will be used to carry boxes or furniture. This is especially important if there is mud, snow, or salted sidewalks outdoors. Ask everyone to wipe their feet habitually when they cross a threshold.

Cover Major Floor Pathways

Consider where the most traffic will go to and from in your house. Place your sturdiest floor mats along these pathways to reduce the impact of heavy footsteps and set-down furniture on your floors. If you're moving without professional movers, consider ways to move furniture without scooting it along the floor, if possible.

Use Hand Trucks and Dollies

When you get tired while moving furniture, you put it down more often and it becomes tempting to scoot it across the floor. Which, of course, is bad for the floor. Invest in hand trucks and/or dollies to allow you to roll heavy boxes and furniture to and from the moving truck.

Organize Indoor/Outdoor Teams

If you have enough people, try organizing a hand-off at the door. This way, outside-shoes don't come inside and people moving around inside don't get outdoor grit on their shoes. In other words, pass boxes and furniture like a bucket-brigade chain.

Throughout the Day:

Then during moving day, you'll want to keep up with your floor care to make sure that floors are always protected. Include logistics for clearing smaller off-path rooms and last-minute changes.

Sweep Walkways

Your protected walkways will work to keep grit, mud, and salt off your floor, but only for so long. Quick sweeps of your walkways out through doors or into dustpans can significantly improve their performance throughout the day.

Use Backup Floor Coverings

Keep an eye on furniture movements and walking paths. Be prepared to wrap a piece of furniture or lay down some backup floor coverings at any time. Being flexible is one of the keys to keeping your floors completely safe on moving day.

When It's Over:

Finally, you can confirm your success or take care of the one or two little scuffs by doing a floor wrap-up after everything is packed into the truck.

Clean Floors Again

Do another full cleaning of the floors. Get them shining and completely clear of debris. This way, you can be confident about the condition they were left in. Take pictures and save them for your records.

Inspect

Do a final inspection of the floor. Now is your chance to do touch-ups before the final hand-off.

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Keeping your floors safe during a move only takes a little preparation and forethought. Don't let furniture slide without felt pads. Try to minimize dirt from outdoors making its way in. It's as simple as that. Remember if you are hiring professional movers, they will likely take care of the floor protection so it's one less thing for you to worry about. For more smart moving day tips, contact us today or check out more of our blog!