From that first sip of morning coffee to Sunday dinner or your annual holiday feast, our dining room tables are often the place where we come together as a family.
Whether your dining room set is a recent investment or an heirloom that’s been passed down through the generations, these pieces are often highly sentimental, and that can make moving your dining room furniture especially stressful—particularly if you’re moving long-distance.
While packing and moving the contents of your dining room furniture, such as dishes, china, and silverware, can be a bit complicated, in most cases, packing and moving the furniture itself is actually relatively simple. There are several ways to move or ship your dining room set across the country. Read our comprehensive dining room set shipping guide to learn about five ways to ship and move your dining room furniture, or jump directly to special considerations and other important tips for shipping dining room sets, including step-by-step packing instructions, by clicking the menu below.
Read about five common ways to ship dining room furniture, including pros and cons and when to use each method.
The cost of shipping your dining room set depends on what shipping method you choose.
Moving locally or long distance? Find out which shipping method is best for your move.
Dining room furniture is often bulky, and each piece will come with its own unique set of considerations for packing and moving.
Keep your dining room furniture safe throughout the moving process by avoiding these mistakes.
Pack your dining room set the right way with our step-by-step instructions.
1. How To Ship a Dining Room Set
If you are moving long distance and are considering shipping your dining room set across the country, you have five options:
- Leave it behind and buy a new one
- Rent a truck and move it yourself
- Hire professional movers
- Rideshare or peer-to-peer shipping
- Consolidated freight
Let’s take a closer look at each of these methods:
I. Don’t—just buy a new set
If your dining room set is old (heirloom sets excepted), inexpensive, or damaged, you may be better off tossing it and getting a new one in your new home. It will likely cost more to ship your dining room furniture than it will to purchase a new set, and many stores will deliver new furniture for free.
If you’re downsizing or you simply don’t use your dining room table anymore, furniture that is in good condition can be sold online or at a yard sale.
How much does it cost to buy a new dining room set?
A new dining room set will typically cost between $500 and $1,500, depending on the materials used, the size and quality of the set, and your design preferences.
When to buy a new dining room set:
- Old or damaged dining room sets
- Inexpensive hand-me-downs (not including heirlooms)
- If you’re downsizing and don’t have space in your new home
- If you don’t use it anymore
II. Renting a truck and moving your dining room set yourself
If you’re moving locally and don’t have much stuff to move, renting a moving truck and packing, loading, and unloading your belongings with the help of friends and family is a popular choice.
Properly packing your dining room furniture—especially if it’s antique or particularly valuable—requires more effort than simply loading your dining room set into the back of your moving truck and hitting the road. You’ll also need to acquire the proper packing materials and take the appropriate precautions when packing and loading your furniture, particularly for glass, antique, or delicate pieces.
Loading your dining room set onto the moving vehicle
Here’s how to safely load your dining room furniture onto the moving vehicle:
- Move chairs by grabbing them by the seat, not by the back or legs—carrying them by the back or legs is much more likely to result in damage to the chair or your floor.
- Stack chairs in groups of two, laying the seat of one chair upside down across the seat of the chair below.
- Secure chairs in place with bungee cords or rope.
- After dismantling your table as much as possible, carry the tabletop vertically—this makes it easier to maneuver around corners and through doorways. Holding it by the apron (the lip under the tabletop) will make it easier to carry.
- Load the tabletop onto the truck on its longest side so it’s less likely to tip over and get damaged, or cause damage to your other belongings. Glass tabletops should never be laid flat on the truck bed.
- Lean the tabletop against the side of the truck and secure it in place using ropes or bungee cords.
|Can be cheaper than hiring movers for short or local moves, or arranging a consolidated freight shipment for long distance relocations||Truck rental can be expensive for long distance moves, and usually there are fees for leaving the truck in a different city|
|Your dining room furniture is under your control throughout the moving process||You’ll need to pack and load your dining room furniture yourself|
|Does not include insurance if damaged in transit|
How much does it cost to rent a truck and move your own dining room set?
The cost of renting a truck and moving yourself will depend on the size of your rented moving vehicle and how far you are moving. Dining room furniture is large and bulky, so you may need to rent a larger vehicle to accommodate these pieces, which will increase the cost of your rental.
No matter what size of vehicle you rent, you’ll pay a base rate for the day, as well as mileage, fuel, moving supplies, and insurance.
- Day rates typically range between $19.99-$29.99 per day for a 10’-17’ truck, or $29.99-$39.99 for a 20’-26’ truck.
- Mileage often ranges between $0.69-$0.79 per mile during the week and up to $0.99 per mile on weekends, and can be higher during peak moving season.
You may also be required to pay additional fees to leave a rented vehicle in a different state than where you picked it up.
When should I rent a truck and move my own dining room set?
- Inexpensive or especially durable dining room sets
- Small dining room sets consisting of a table and 2-4 chairs, with no additional pieces
- Local or short distance moves
III. Hire professional movers
Professional movers may be a good choice if you have lots of stuff to move, don’t have the ability to move yourself, or are only moving a short distance. Qualified professional movers will also be equipped to handle fragile or valuable items, and will have the experience to manage large, bulky furniture like your dining room set.
If you are considering hiring professional movers, call at least three potential moving companies for a quote before you sign a contract. Be clear about how much stuff you have to move, as well as any special considerations that may apply, such as glass tabletops or antique pieces, so they can give you an accurate quote and bring the necessary supplies—and so you can avoid any extra charges or damaged items.
|No heavy lifting—professional movers will load and unload all of your stuff, including your dining room set||Can be costly for long distance moves|
|Some moving companies provide basic packing materials, such as moving blankets and hand trucks, at no cost||Need to pack most things yourself, unless your moving company offers basic packing services (such as wrapping your tabletop), or you pay for packing services|
|Basic moving insurance is often included|
How much does it cost to hire professional movers?
The exact cost of your move will depend on how much stuff you have and how far you’re moving. To give you a rough idea, the American Moving and Storage Association estimates that the average local move costs around $2,300, while the average long distance move costs about $4,300.
Every moving company prices differently—some place more emphasis on how much stuff you have to move, while others emphasize the distance of your move.
Not sure whether to hire movers or rent a truck and move yourself? Read our guide for our expert advice:
When should I hire professional movers?
- Larger local moves
- Expensive or designer dining room sets
- Dining room sets with supplementary pieces, such as a buffet or sideboard
IV. Rideshare or peer-to-peer shipping
Think of rideshare or peer-to-peer shipping like carpool for cargo. Using special online marketplaces, you can connect with people travelling in the direction you need who have enough extra space in their vehicle to haul your dining room furniture. They could be a professional shipping company, a single truck owner/operator, or someone road tripping across the country.
After you post your dining room furniture shipment online, potential partners will bid on your shipment. You can then accept, reject, or continue to negotiate the quote, giving you a chance to discuss additional considerations like loading and unloading, the transportation environment, and the qualifications of the shipper.
|Can be cost-effective for long distance moves, especially if you are shipping just a table and chairs, or a single hutch||You may not be working with a professional—there’s no guarantee of expertise or experience, and there’s less accountability if something goes wrong|
|Can be used to ship just about any type of large item||Need to pack your dining room furniture yourself|
|Ideal if you are only shipping a few large items and can take the bulk of your belongings in your personal vehicle||May need to provide loading and unloading assistance|
|May not be able to track your shipment|
|No insurance if your dining room furniture gets damaged|
How much does peer-to-peer shipping cost?
Peer-to-peer shipping costs can vary and are often negotiable.
The cost of shipping your dining room set will depend on how many pieces you have to move. Simple shipments of just a table or a set of chairs typically cost between $200 and $500, or more for glass tables—up to $1,000. Larger pieces like hutches range between $250-$600.
When should I use peer-to-peer shipping services to move my dining room furniture?
- Older or inexpensive dining room sets you can’t bear to part with
- Single items or smaller shipments, such as a table, hutch, or a set of chairs
V. Consolidated freight
When you ship your dining room furniture using consolidated freight such as less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping, your furniture will share space on the truck with other shipments heading in the same direction. Unlike peer-to-peer shipping, consolidated freight services are always supplied by licensed and insured shipping companies who have the experience and expertise to handle your dining room furniture.
The best consolidated freight shipping companies, including TSI, offer different service levels and will create a customized shipping plan that fits your needs. Additional services include:
- Packing assistance
- Custom crating for fragile items
- Indoor pickup and delivery
- Controlled shipping environments.
The LTL environment can be tough on furniture, so premium white glove shipping services are typically recommended for any furniture shipment. White glove shipping includes professional packing services, as well as indoor pickup and delivery.
|Safe—you can trust experienced professionals to handle your furniture properly in a controlled environment||Can be costly—not ideal for damaged or inexpensive dining room furniture|
|Convenient—no need to find space in your rented moving vehicle for a bulky dining room set||Longer timeframes—can take 1-3 weeks for pickup, and an additional 1-4 weeks for delivery|
|Can be cheaper than renting a moving truck, especially for long distance moves or if you only need help shipping your dining room furniture||Does not always include packing and loading services|
|Some services include packing and indoor delivery, as well as crating for heirlooms or fragile or particularly valuable items||LTL environment can be demanding and has a greater risk of damage compared to costlier white glove shipping|
|Easy to purchase additional insurance|
How much does it cost to ship a dining room set using consolidated freight?
The cost of shipping a dining room set using consolidated freight will depend on what level of service you choose. If you are able to pack and help load your dining room furniture yourself, consolidated freight can cost as low as $500, and up to $1,500.
If your dining room set is antique, an heirloom, or is especially valuable, or if you simply need help packing or loading your dining room set, you’ll need white glove service. This typically costs between $1,000-$2,000.
When should I use consolidated freight to move my dining room furniture?
- Valuable, antique, or heirloom dining room furniture—expert antique shippers know how to handle these pieces
- Long distance moves
2. How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Dining Room Set?
|Don’t—buy a new dining room set||Typically between $500-$1,500|
|Renting a truck and moving yourself||Depends on size of vehicle and distance of move|
|Hiring professional movers||Depends on size and distance of move; approximately $4,300|
|Peer-to-peer shipping||Depends on how many pieces you have to move; approximately $200-$600 per piece. Fragile items like glass tables may cost as much as $1,000.|
|Consolidated freight||$500-$1,500 for LTL service
$1,000-$2,000 for premium white glove service
3. Recommended Shipping Method
For local or short distance moves, we recommend hiring professional movers or renting a truck and moving your dining room furniture yourself. If your dining room set consists of multiple items, or is antique, valuable, or fragile, professional movers will be better equipped to handle these items. If your dining room set is small, newer, or particularly durable, you can likely get away with moving yourself.
For long distance moves, consolidated freight is the safest option for antique or heirloom dining room furniture. When you ship your dining room set using consolidated freight services, your furniture will be treated with the utmost care and attention throughout the entire moving process. Dining room furniture is always shipped using premium White Glove service, which includes professional packing and crating, indoor pickup and delivery, and additional insurance
Rideshare or peer-to-peer shipping is a good choice for newer, smaller, and more durable furniture.
4. Special Considerations for Shipping a Dining Room Set
Dining room sets often consist of multiple pieces, including:
- China cabinet
Whether you’re dealing with a small bistro table and a couple of chairs or a large dining room table with eight chairs and a matching hutch, your dining room set is likely comprised of some of the largest pieces of furniture in your home. These items may break down into smaller pieces, and may even feature movable components like removable leaves or drop-sides.
On top of that, dining room furniture can be old or new, and it can be made from just about anything, from old, antique wooden tables to sleek modern metal or glass pieces. When it comes to packing, moving, or shipping your dining room furniture, every piece and every type of material used will require its own set of special considerations. Here’s what makes dining room sets so tough to ship, and what you can do to keep your furniture safe throughout the moving process.
Older dining room sets or heirloom pieces may be especially fragile or have existing damage that could be exacerbated by the rigors of the moving process. The best way to keep especially old or antique dining room furniture safe is to pack it properly and work with professional movers or shipping companies who have experience handling antique items.
Tables and other large pieces like hutches or sideboards can be very heavy, especially if they are antique pieces or can’t be easily disassembled. If you’re moving your dining room furniture on your own, always get help from a friend or family member, and be sure to secure your heavy pieces firmly in place in the back of your moving vehicle.
While it can sometimes be dismantled into smaller pieces, dining room furniture typically consists of some of the largest pieces in our homes, which can make it tough to carry and hard to fit in the back of a vehicle. If you’re moving yourself, make sure you rent a large enough moving vehicle. If you’re hiring professional movers, be prepared with the size and a rough idea of how much your dining room furniture weighs when you call for a quote so they can arrive with the right packing materials and equipment.
Some dining room furniture can’t be dismantled, which makes it even tougher to move. If legs and other components cannot be removed, protect them by wrapping them in several layers of bubble wrap. You can also load other things underneath your table on the truck, such as boxes, but be careful not to load too much on top.
Wood can sweat or release moisture when temperatures change during the moving process. To prevent moisture damage, wrap wood furniture in packing paper or moving blankets before sealing with plastic wrap to prevent condensation and moisture build-up, which can lead to mildew and warping.
Many dining room sets contain glass components, such as glass tabletops or glass inserts in door panels. Glass requires special consideration when packing. Follow these steps to keep your glass components safe:
- Remove any glass panels, if possible, by dismantling your table or removing glass-paneled doors.
- Run several lengths of painter’s tape in different directions across both sides of a glass tabletop or panel. This will add strength and will help keep the glass shards in place if it does break in transit. Painter’s tape will not leave a sticky residue on glass panels.
- Wrap glass in packing paper and secure in place with packing tape. Do not let the packing tape touch the glass—it will leave a sticky residue.
- Wrap the paper-wrapped glass in bubble wrap, ideally with large air pockets. Secure the bubble wrap in place with packing tape.
- Slide the glass into a telescoping box, such as an artwork box. These boxes are designed specially for glass items.
- Clearly label the box as “FRAGILE” and “HANDLE WITH CARE”.
Curved glass can be especially troublesome—in this case, crating your tabletop is typically the safest packing method.
Leather, like wood, can release moisture when temperatures change. While most other upholstery won’t release moisture, the rapid temperature changes your furniture may undergo during the moving process can still lead to moisture build-up, which can dampen upholstered seat cushions and cause mold and mildew.
To prevent this, wrap leather and other fabric upholstery in packing paper or moving blankets before sealing with plastic wrap. Poke holes in the outer layer of shrink wrap to promote air flow.
5. Mistakes to Avoid When Shipping Dining Room Furniture
- Not taking pictures from all angles before moving or shipping, especially for antique or heirloom dining room furniture. Taking photos of your furniture before you move gives you a chance to identify existing damage or potential areas that may need extra care so you can pack and move your furniture accordingly. You’ll also need photos to provide proof of condition if your dining room set sustains damage in transit and you need to make an insurance claim.
- Not removing the legs. Tables and chairs are much easier to pack and move when the legs have been removed. They’ll be easier to carry, easier to fit into the moving truck, and less likely to cause or sustain damage.
- Taping the furniture directly. Packing tape can seriously damage the finish of any wood or glass furniture. When packing, take care not to let the adhesive come into direct contact with any part of your dining room furniture—it could leave behind a sticky, difficult-to-clean residue, or even peel the paint or wood surfacing.
- Moving your dining room set alone. Dining room sets—tables, especially—can be quite large, which makes them very difficult to move on your own. Always enlist the help of a friend, family member, or handyman to help you move these items, especially if you’re renting a truck and moving yourself.
- Loading glass tabletops flat on the truck bed. All tabletops, especially glass tabletops, should be loaded vertically on their side. Laying glass tabletops flat on the bottom of the truck bed is just asking for it to break.
6. How To Pack a Dining Room Set
Because the dining room is often less frequently used than other rooms, this space is a great place to start packing if you’re in the process of relocating. In addition to the all-important sense of accomplishment clearing out a room can bring, tackling these large pieces first will leave you with more space to pack the rest of your belongings.
Packing materials needed
- Cardboard boxes
- High-quality packing tape
- Painter’s tape
- Packing paper
- Bubble wrap
- Moving blankets
- Shrink wrap
- Crate for curved glass
Once you’ve acquired the necessary packing materials, you can begin packing your dining room furniture. Every set is different, but these steps are a good place to start:
- Clean your furniture. Lingering dust and dirt can cause scratches in transit, and it can be a pain to clean up when you’re unpacking in your new home. Before you pack your dining room set, wipe it down to remove dust and dirt, and apply wax to wood pieces to help protect the surface from dirt and damage while you move.
- Take photos from all angles, especially if there is existing damage.
- Disassemble what you can, and wrap each piece individually. Dismantling your dining room furniture makes these bulky, often awkwardly-shaped items easier to carry and fit in the back of a moving truck.
- Unbolt or unscrew legs
- Remove door panels, especially if they have glass panels
- Remove knobs and drawer pulls
- Remove the table leaf and wrap it in a moving blanket
Tape any hardware in a resealable bag to the underside of the table.
- Lower drop-sides and secure them in place with bungee cords, rope, or painter’s tape.
- Secure drawers and doors using zip ties, elastic bands, or string. You can also use painter’s tape, but exercise caution when taping antique or valuable pieces.
- Protect glass. If your hutch or sideboard has glass that can’t be removed, tape cardboard over any glass panels. If you can remove the glass, do so, and pad with a layer of cardboard before wrapping in bubble wrap and boxing.
- Pack legs separately. Wrap legs in wrapping paper first to prevent bubble wrap from coming into direct contact with the wood, especially for antique pieces, then wrap in bubble wrap for extra padding.
- Protect corners using corrugated cardboard or special corner protectors.
- Protect any bars, such as chair legs or backs, with bubble wrap.
- Wrap the tabletop and base in moving blankets. Use enough blankets to cover the entire surface. Tape them in place using packing tape, taking care not to adhere tape directly to the furniture. Secure the moving blankets in place with plastic wrap to ensure everything stays in place while you move.
Dining room furniture is bulky and heavy, and these pieces are also often heirlooms passed down through the generations, which makes them even tougher to move.
If you’re planning a long distance move, you have five options for moving or shipping your dining room set across the country:
- Leave it behind and buy a new one
- Rent a truck and move it yourself
- Hire professional movers
- Rideshare or peer-to-peer shipping
- Consolidated freight
For long distance moves, consolidated freight is the safest way to ship heirloom, antique, or valuable dining room sets. TSI can help—our experienced logistics coordinators will connect you with an expert furniture shipping company and help you create a shipping plan that works for your schedule and budget.
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