Do You Need to Empty Dressers Before Movers Arrive?

Yes, it’s generally a good idea to empty dressers before movers arrive. While some moving companies might handle full dressers, emptying them reduces weight, safeguards items during transit, and lessens the risk of damage to the furniture. Heavy dressers can be more difficult and potentially dangerous to move. However, policies vary and some movers may accommodate full dressers under specific circumstances. Make sure to discuss this with your moving company before their arrival. For a thorough understanding of how to best prepare your dressers and other furniture for moving day, don’t hesitate to explore further.

Understanding the Moving Process

Before you start the task of emptying your dressers, it’s important to fully grasp the moving process and how it works. It isn’t just about boxing up your belongings and transporting them to a new location. There’s a strategy behind it all, a method to the madness, if you will.

First off, it’s vital to understand that movers are professionals. They’ve been thoroughly trained in the art of moving and have honed their skills over countless relocations. They know the best ways to pack, load, transport, and unpack your belongings to minimize the risk of damage.

When it comes to dressers, the contents can significantly impact the moving process. Heavy, bulky items can slow down the movers and even cause potential safety issues. That’s why it’s often suggested to empty your dressers. However, it’s not always necessary. Depending on the moving company’s policy and the nature of the items stored, you might be able to leave some things in your dresser.

The Role of Professional Movers

When you hire professional movers, they’re not just there to transport your belongings; they’re experts who can assist in guaranteeing your items are packed and moved safely and efficiently. 

They’re knowledgeable about the best ways to handle your possessions to prevent potential damage during transit. They’re trained to pack and move items, including dressers, in such a way that maximizes space in the moving truck and minimizes the chance of items shifting or falling.

Professional movers also understand the intricacies of moving large, heavy items like dressers. They know how to navigate tight spaces and steep staircases without causing damage to your furniture or property. They’re equipped with the right tools and equipment to dismantle furniture if necessary, making it easier and safer to move.

But remember, while the movers are there to help, it’s still your responsibility to make sure your items are prepared for the move. Always communicate with your movers about what’s inside the dressers. This can help them determine the best course of action and ensure the safety of your belongings. Trust them but also help them help you.

The Impact of Dresser Weight

Keeping in mind the need to make your mover’s job easier, let’s consider the role your dresser’s weight plays in the process. A full dresser is undeniably heavier than an empty one. This extra weight can make the task of moving the furniture more strenuous. It’s not just the physical effort that’s the issue. Heavier items can slow down the moving process, as movers need to take more breaks and proceed with caution to avoid damaging the furniture or the floor.

The weight also influences the transportation aspect. If you’re moving a long distance, a heavier dresser can add significant weight to the moving truck. This could lead to higher fuel costs and potentially restrict the number of items you can load onto the truck. You might end up needing more trips or even a larger truck, both of which increase the overall cost of moving.

Safety Concerns With Full Dressers

Moving a full dresser isn’t just a burden on your movers, it’s also a safety hazard that you need to take into account. When a dresser is filled to the brim, it’s notably heavier and harder to handle. If it’s too heavy, your movers might lose their grip on it, causing it to fall and possibly injure someone. The added weight can also make it difficult to navigate tight spaces or stairs, increasing the risk of accidents.

Moreover, the contents of your dresser can shift during transit, causing an imbalance that might lead to tipping or falling. This doesn’t just pose a danger to the movers, but also to you and your family, especially if you’re involved in the moving process.

To avoid these safety risks, it’s advisable to empty your dressers before the movers arrive. This lightens the load, makes it easier to handle, and reduces the chance of accidents happening. Remember, it’s not just about making the job easier for your movers, but also about ensuring everyone’s safety during the move. So, take the time to pack your belongings separately. It’s a small task that can make a big difference.

Potential Damage to Furniture

Aside from safety issues, leaving your dressers full can also lead to potential damage to the furniture itself. When you’re moving, dressers full of clothes or other items can become excessively heavy. The strain of this weight can damage the structural integrity of your dresser, causing drawers to fall out or the entire piece to collapse.

What’s more, full dressers are harder to maneuver. Bumping into walls or other furniture is more likely, which can lead to scratches, dents, and other forms of damage. Even if your furniture seems sturdy, it’s not designed to withstand the pressure and movement that comes with being transported.

Remember, it’s not just about the dresser itself. Items inside the dresser can also be damaged during the move. Especially fragile items, like glassware or sentimental keepsakes. Imagine opening your dresser at your new place only to find your cherished items broken.

To avoid these potential damages, it’s best to empty your dressers before the movers arrive. You’ll save yourself the heartbreak of damaged furniture and broken items. Plus, you’ll make the whole moving process a bit easier on yourself.

Reasons to Empty Your Dressers

  • Safety Concerns: Moving heavy furniture poses risks to movers and the structure of the furniture itself. An overloaded dresser can cause back injuries or accidents during handling. It can also stress the dresser’s frame, increasing the likelihood of damage.
  • Damage Prevention: During transit, items inside the drawers can move around, potentially causing internal damage or breaking the contents. Removing items also prevents drawers from flying open or the structure from buckling under weight.
  • Efficiency and Speed: Movers can work more quickly and efficiently if they don’t have to deal with excessively heavy or awkwardly balanced items. Lighter furniture is easier and faster to move, which can also save you money if your movers charge by the hour.

How to Prepare Your Dresser for Moving

  • Empty the Contents: Start by removing all items from your dresser. Use this opportunity to declutter and sort items into what to keep, donate, or throw away.
  • Secure the Drawers: If you’re leaving the drawers in the dresser, remove them first, then load them back empty and secure them with stretch wrap or moving pads. If removing the drawers isn’t feasible, ensure they are empty and secure them with tape so they don’t slide open.
  • Wrap for Protection: Wrap the dresser in moving blankets to protect its surface from scratches and dings. Secure the blankets with packing tape or shrink wrap, making sure not to damage the finish of the dresser.
  • Communicate with Movers: Let your movers know about any particularly heavy or fragile items. If you have antique or valuable dressers, discuss these pieces ahead of time to ensure they can handle them appropriately.

Tips for Packing Dresser Items

Before your movers arrive, it’s important that you’ve properly packed your dresser items to guarantee their safe transport. Here are some tips to help you through the process.

First, it’s essential to sort through your items. Discard or donate what you don’t need. It’ll save you time and effort in packing and unpacking. Next, group like items together. It’s easier to locate and unpack items when they’re organized.

Second, use high-quality packing materials. Opt for sturdy boxes, packing paper, and bubble wrap. These will protect your items from damage during the move. Remember, it’s better to over-protect than to under-pack.

Third, always pack heavier items at the bottom of the box and lighter ones on top. This prevents damage to your lighter items.

Fourth, label your boxes properly. Not only does it help you organize, but it also informs your movers about the contents of the box.

Lastly, take pictures of your dresser and its contents. This will serve as a reference when you’re unpacking and reorganizing in your new home.

These tips will ensure your dresser items are well-packed, ready for your movers to transport them safely.

Securing Dresser Drawers

Once you’ve packed all your items, it’s essential to secure your dresser drawers to prevent them from opening during the move. An unexpected opening can’t only throw off the balance of the furniture but also cause damage to your precious items.

You can use a plastic wrap or moving blankets to secure the drawers. Wrap it around the dresser, ensuring all the drawers are covered. This method keeps the drawers from sliding out and also protects the dresser’s finish from scratches. You might think it’s an extra step, but it’s worth your time.

Another option is to use packing tape. However, you need to be careful as the tape can damage the finish of the dresser. It’s best to use it on the inner edges of the drawer, where it won’t harm the exterior finish. Always remember, securing your drawers isn’t about making it look neat; it’s about ensuring your items stay safe and the dresser remains undamaged during the move.

Making the Right Decision for Your Move

After ensuring your dresser drawers are secure, it’s time to make some key decisions for your move. You’re likely questioning whether to empty your dressers or not. While there’s no definitive answer, the choice largely depends on your circumstances.

Consider the weight of your dressers. If they’re heavy, unloading them can make the move easier for both you and the movers. Plus, it reduces the risk of damage during transit. Next, think about the contents. Fragile or valuable items are safer when packed separately. Don’t forget that movers mightn’t accept liability for items left in the drawers.

Also, consider time constraints. If you’re pressed for time and your items are non-breakable, leaving them in might be the more efficient choice. However, remember that some movers may refuse to move dressers with items still in them.

Lastly, think about your comfort level. If you feel uneasy about strangers handling your personal belongings, empty the drawers.


In the end, your move can be as smooth as a ballet, or as chaotic as a stampede. Emptying your dressers before the movers arrive is usually the best policy. It ensures the safety of both the furniture and the people moving it, protects your belongings from damage, and can help the moving process go more smoothly. Always check with your moving company for their specific recommendations and requirements to tailor your moving preparations accordingly. Trust in professional movers, pack smart and secure your drawers. Make the right call for your move, ensuring it’s more of a graceful waltz than a clumsy shuffle.

Remember, the key to a successful move lies in the details.