A Difficulty Rating System For Moving Couches

Last weekend, my wife and I were carrying our couch into our new house, and things got pretty intense.

At the end of a long day of moving everything we own, we had carried the couch around to the backyard, because the back stairway was the only one wide enough to accommodate a couch. But, when we tried to open the French doors installed by a previous owner (not actually French doors but double doors from an old hotel), we discovered only one of them opened. The other one was somehow bolted into the threshold. We stood the couch up on its end on a hand truck, one arm standing in the dirt, while I removed the couch legs with a socket wrench. We lifted the couch, tried to rotate it this way and that, and it just wouldn’t fit.

I was ready to give up. I stood there for a second, thinking, “I don’t even like this couch anyway,” and I imagined grabbing a reciprocating saw and dismantling it in about 10 minutes, cutting it into pieces small enough to put in our trash can, once a week, until it was gone. Second thought, more rational, less destructive: Sell the couch on Craigslist, or just put it in the alley with a “FREE” sign on it.

Then I decided we should probably try to kick the door in first, so I yanked and shoved the door until it wrenched open, ripping a piece of the threshold off in the process. We were in business—maybe. Hilary ran to the bottom of the basement stairs and began taking the door off its hinges.

Then, we flipped the couch onto its back and I walked backwards down the stairs, sliding it down the carpet, until we got to the doorway, now sans door. We rotated the couch 45 degrees and barely squeaked it through. I looked at it, sure I could see dirt stuck to it, some marks from where the hand truck had rubbed it in the moving truck, and who knows what other damage we’d inflicted in the past 20 minutes.

As we drove the moving truck back to the rental place, I considered the moving of the couch, hands-down the crux of the day, and how difficult it was, but how it still wasn’t nearly the most difficult couch move I’d ever done. But I had no criteria to say why.

So, I figured it might be useful to come up with a rating system for moving couches, and I made one, because, you know, the world needs that:

hand-drawn semi-rad chart titled Moving A Couch Difficulty Rating System

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