Moving Furniture in Europe – Complete Guide

Planning a move in Europe? Thanks to modern transportation it’s much easier to move across this great expanse than a few centuries or even decades ago.

But you still need careful planning for such a massive undertaking, especially if you take household goods like furniture.

This guide will help you navigate the process.


What Will You Take?

First, consider whether it’s necessary to take everything. Large items like furniture cost a lot to transport.

If you’re moving to an area where similar items can be purchased at decent prices it may be worth selling yours or putting them in storage if you don’t plan on moving permanently.

Of course, you’ll have items with sentimental value, which you’ll want as part of your new life. For them, you’ll use these guidelines.


Organising a Move

When you know how much you’ll take, you can start requesting quotes from moving companies. Your options are:

  • You can ask them to review your content at your premises to quote and the moving company you pick can do the packing for you.
  • A company can provide a moving container after you determine the size you want and you’ll pack it yourself. They will pick up the container and organise its shipping.


What Will it Cost to Move Furniture in Europe?

What you pay for moving furniture in Europe will depend on multiple factors, including:

  • The size of the house you’re packing up which determines how much furniture you need to move.
  • The type of transport you pick. Sea freight is preferrable and often cheaper for furniture, but the countries you move between determines if it’s practical. Sea freight does take longer and your assets may be at customs for a while before you get them. Air freight is fast but more expensive and has strict limitations on load size. For short distances you may simply need transport via truck.
  • Moving companies may charge you for services like packing or reassembling your furniture. You can opt to do this yourself.
  • You’ll usually be charged by volume, not weight.
  • Determine if you’ll need storage for furniture before you move into your new home, so you can budget for it.


Packing Furniture for a Move

If you do pack your furniture yourself, these tips may help:

  • Make sure you use sturdy packing materials, such as moving boxes, not ordinary cardboard boxes. This is to provide sufficient protection for your goods.
  • Packing materials include bubble wrap, sealable bags, blankets to cover furniture and shrink wrap to keep items secure on a pallet or inside a container.
  • It’s best to disassemble furniture, such as removing tables’ legs if you can. It reduces the volume of the load and there’s less chance of damage.
  • Take great care to pack furniture items like lamps or mirrors.
  • Fill drawers with smaller items to reduce the load’s volume.
  • Take photographs of items to use as reference for what needs to be unpacked on the other side. If your moving company packs and unpacks for you, use it as proof of what you expect once they’re done.
  • Properly clean furniture before packing so customs won’t suspect the load to contain bugs. In some countries this could lead to your belongings being put in quarantine.


What About Paperwork?

For your own use it’s wise to have a detailed list of all the items you’ve packed. This isn’t a prerequisite in all European countries although some—non EU countries for example—may request a packing list at the border.


Final Words

Ready to move now? Give yourself enough time to consider each aspect mentioned above, budget for it and pick the best plan for your unique move.


If you have tips for other movers, please share.