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Do I Need to Empty Drawers for Movers?

A question that often arises when moving home is whether you can leave your dresser or chest of drawers full of clothes and your usual stuff, or if it's best to empty the drawers out before the Movers arrive.

As usual the answer depends on a few things so we need to analyse each option in detail to find out whether it's best to leave your drawers full, empty them or remove them completely!

Neatly ordered clothes in drawers

The emptying of drawers conundrum

So all of your moving home preparations are coming along nicely, you're on top of the game and getting your boxes and bags nicely packed. And then you get to your dresser or chest of drawers, which actually presents a confusing range of possibilities.

Shall I take the drawers out while full.. leave them in but empty the clothes and stuff out.. or just go for the leave them as they are, stick a bit of sellotape on and hope for the best approach?

Empty the drawers

This is what most people tend to do instinctively, especially if you have lots of personal stuff in your drawers that you don't particularly want accidentally falling out or being seen (it is a consideration).

The advantage of emptying the contents of your dresser or chest of drawers is that you then give the Movers the option of either leaving the drawers in or out when they come to actually moving the chest. Which one they choose will depend on the size and weight of the item and how easy it's going to be to get it to the removals van.

Additionally the empty drawers can then be put back into the chest once loaded in the vehicle, thereby saving space and keeping them secure for transport.

Putting the drawers back in after emptying them

If it's a lightweight chest of drawers that you think two Movers (or yourself and one Mover if you're helping with the move) can easily pick up and carry then there's no reason not to leave the drawers in after emptying them it it's going to be relatively straight forward.

However if space is tight and there's a risk of the drawers flying out while carrying the chest, then you need to either secure the dresser drawers to stop them from opening by taping them shut with duct tape (not sellotape as it's not strong enough) or remove them for carrying as above and then re-insert once loaded in the van - the better option if it's a rather expensive item that you don't want duct tape stuck all over.

Leaving the drawers out after emptying them

If it's a big heavy oak dresser type chest of drawers for example, then yes the drawers will definitely need to be taken out to reduce the weight and make carrying the chest more manageable, or even possible in some extreme cases.

Movers tip - if you want to be as ready as you can you could have the drawers safely stacked near the exit door, as the chest is likely to be loaded into the van before any of the boxes or loose stuff, and then the drawers can be quickly put back in place before the rest of the van is loaded up.

Taking the drawers out but leaving them full

This is an interesting one favoured by some and it kind of makes sense in a way. As the drawers are in affect containers themselves, why not take them out but just leave all your clothes and other stuff in them?

There are however a couple of drawbacks to this strategy, people often keep personal and private belongings in their drawers and you may not want these in an open container during the move.

Also, unlike uniform boxes, drawers with their narrow edges aren't particular stackable and if they move around a bit in the van could get damaged along with any fragile items contained inside them.

Leaving the drawers in and full

Finally, none of the above considerations are on some people's radar in the first place anyway, and they expect Movers to be super human and capable of humping any large object regardless of how heavy it is.

What you can do though, and after years of experience at the removals coalface this is actually our favourite, is take the full drawers out, load the empty frame into the van, then put the full drawers back into the chest and secure with straps or in some other way to ensure they won't fly open at the first roundabout. Simples!

OMG! Can't the Movers just deal with this..?

The good news is yes they can. They're used to dealing with all kinds of situations day in day out, so don't stress too much about it. Just be aware of what method is probably going to suit your situation the best and be prepared in advance to avoid any last minute difficulties.

Happy Moving!


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