With older buildings in NYC having narrow doorways, getting a sofa through that opening can be quite the challenge. The arms, legs, and seatbacks always seem to protrude a little more than the area allows.

If you try to force the furniture through a narrow opening, it can cause damage that might make the sofa unsightly or unusable.

Before you start moving the sofa, it is essential to know all of the measurements of your space. Jot down the dimensions of the couch, the size of every opening, and then compare your sizes. Narrow hallways, stairwells, or elevators will need the same treatment.

You’ll want to measure the height and width of each opening. Then you can follow these strategies to get that sofa through a door when it doesn’t seem to fit.

Best Ways to Get a Sofa Through a Narrow Opening

You will want to haul any removable cushions separately when trying to fit a sofa through a narrow space. Then it helps to use stretch wrap around the furniture to compress it into the smallest size possible. The plastic will also help it to squeak through a tight opening with a reduced risk of damage.

Then make sure you have at least one partner available to help you move the sofa. Even the lightest ones still weigh more than 100 lbs today.

When you’re ready to lift, then these are the available options to get it through the door.

1. Remove the doors.

You will get more space to work when you take the time to remove the door from its frame. It’s easier to remove the hinges from the jamb because the plates will sit better for you than trying to reconnect the door.

You might also have the option to remove the pins from your hinges to slide the door right out. Then many sofas will slight right through with that extra space you created.

Some doors have stops that might require removal to maximize your space.

2. Move the sofa vertically.

If your sofa has a width of fewer than 80 inches, then it is an excellent candidate for moving vertically through a narrow door. Most interior and exterior openings are at least that height, even when you leave the stops in place.

Slide the sofa toward the door. Then stand the furniture on its end carefully. Then push it through in a level position.

3. Move the sofa horizontally.

If your sofa is less than 29 inches deep or high, then it should move horizontally through your doorway. Although there are some exceptions, coding requirements typically require an interior opening to be 29.25 inches wide and exterior passages to be at least 35 inches in width – including the door stops. You can lift the sofa and walk right through in this circumstance.

4. You can use a window or a back door.

When the doorway is too narrow for your sofa, then alternative exit points can help you to move the furniture safely. You can use a window or a backdoor if either is large enough to accommodate the item. Then you need to consider the logistics of the route you must go.

If you must go out of a window because a hallway or elevator is too narrow, then a crane might be necessary to move the sofa safely. Professional movers can help you affordably if you find yourself in this situation.

5. You might benefit from the diagonal moving method.

Some sofas can get moved through a narrow opening by taking a diagonal approach. Pick up the furniture at each end, and then tilt it 45 degrees so that the leading arm of the item hooks around the door. Then you corkscrew it through the opening, moving back-and-forth until the piece gets through the door.

This method doesn’t work well for heavy sofas because of the amount of lifting that is necessary.

6. Dismantling the sofa is another option to consider.

You can hire professional movers, furniture technicians, or a couch specialist to dismantle the sofa in question so that it will fit through a narrow door.

Once the sofa moves to its new location, you can then reassemble it.

Do You Need Help Moving a Sofa in NYC?


Preparing your sofa for a move through a narrow opening can save you from experiencing a significant headache. Remove any detachable feet and cushions, wrap it tightly, and then have a friend or two available to assist with the lifting process.

If you’re still having issues with a stubborn sofa, then contact Expo Movers about your situation. Our professional team can provide you with an affordable and effective solution that will take care of your frustration!

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Trust Expo Movers for a hassle-free moving experience.

By Published On: January 27, 2020Categories: Furniture Movers, Moving Tips