Heavy Items That Are Impossible to Move Without Movers

C.E. Larusso
Written by C.E. Larusso
Updated May 5, 2022
A man in van with boxes
Photo: Tara Moore / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Sit this one out, Beethoven, and leave the baby grand to the professionals

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On average, hiring movers costs $1,400, so we understand the urge to enlist all the teenagers in the neighborhood to help load everything in the truck before you head off to your new home. Before you do, however, make sure you aren’t moving any of the items on this list—these heavy, awkward objects should only be left in the care of a professional mover.

1. Pianos

You need a small army to move a piano, as these heavy items weigh hundreds of pounds. In addition, their legs often need to be carefully removed before transport, and of course, they are highly valuable items that need to be handled with the utmost care, typically using dollies and cranes. If you have a piano, look for movers that specialize in piano moving.

2. Hot Tubs

Another heavy, bulky item that requires the lifting effort of at least two people, hot tubs weigh between 900 and 1,000 pounds without water and need to be completely drained before being packed up for a move. Like pianos, it’s imperative to find movers that have lots of experience moving this type of heavy item as they will need to understand the full breakdown and setup.

3. Pool Tables

Light brown game room with billiard table
Photo: Javani LLC / Adobe Stock

Typically weighing 1,000 pounds or more, several people and the use of special equipment are necessary to move a pool table. This billiard item will need to be disassembled, with each part (there are many) wrapped in moving blankets and bubble wrapped, and then reassembled in your new home. The average cost to move a pool table is roughly $500.

4. Exercise Machines

Whether it’s your Peloton or your rowing machine, all workout equipment is heavy, bulky, awkward, and can’t fit easily into a space packed with other stuff. In addition, if you need to take any of it apart (likely) it’s very difficult to put it back together unless you’ve done it dozens of times like professional movers have.

5. Fish Tanks

Aquariums pose two big problems: they are made entirely of glass, and they house small, living creatures that need to be cared for. For short distances, fish can be kept in separate containers temporarily (though note that they will experience stress when they are removed from their usual environment). For longer distances, it might be advisable to give them away to friends or family. The aquarium is a heavy item that will need to be drained and packed carefully (usually in a crate, depending on the size) to prevent any damage, with all of the equipment—filters, heaters, etc.—transported separately.  

6. Artwork and Antiques

We’re not talking about the caricature you got at Muscle Beach. Any paintings, sculptures, or antiques that have a lot of value will likely need to be packed by a professional art handler (sometimes in a crate) so they do not incur any damage in the move. 

7. Appliances

Not only are they very heavy items that require at least two people to move, but some appliances—like refrigerators—can’t be placed on their back or side; doing so would cause a leak in the cooling system. Leave the washers, dryers, fridges, and other hefty home appliances to a professional moving team.

8. Vehicles

Obviously, if you’re just moving one or two vehicles across town, you can drive them to your new home, but what about if you’re schlepping from Chicago to San Francisco? You’ll need to call a professional car transporter that specializes in shipping vehicles. Make sure to use one that is licensed and insured for interstate car moves.

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