Moving or changing an apartment is without a doubt, an overwhelming task – especially when you're doing it yourself. This is because there are usually many things or items to move and worry about, from boxes to furniture pieces to home appliances and even area rugs.

Area rugs, especially, are very delicate and must be handled with utmost care to prevent temporary or permanent damages while changing your apartment. Improperly rolling and packing your rug will damage its integrity, causing permanent creases, folded edges, brittle fibers, texture, and color changes. To successfully move your rug without damaging it, you’ll need to do more than just rolling it up and tossing it somewhere in the moving truck.

How Do You Roll an Area Rug for Moving?

If you’re trying to move or change your apartment but don’t know how to roll your rug(s) without damaging it in the process, read on to find out the best way to roll up an area rug.

We'll explain, in detail, how to treat and handle your rug in the best way possible and keep it in pristine condition during and after the moving process.

However, all rugs are not the same and often differ in color, size, texture, material, style, origin, purpose, etc. These are the factors that influence the way you prepare your rug for transport or storage. Let’s get to that quickly.

men moving an area rug

How to Roll Your Rugs When Moving

Should you fold or roll a rug? As mentioned earlier, area rugs differ in size and should be handled differently. Firstly, we'll explain how to pack the small, fairly inexpensive area rugs without damaging them during the moving process.

For the most part, smaller area rugs are much easier to fold and move than the large expensive ones… and the good news is, you can do the packing and move by yourself.

How to Move an Area Rug in 10 Easy Steps

  1. Decide

This may look somewhat off context, but you need to consider the time, money, and effort required to pack and move your small area rug to your new apartment and decide if it is worth it. Some questions to help you decide what to do with the rugs include: what is the quality of the rug: high, moderate, low, or very low? Are they relatively new? What is the current worth of the rug(s)? Does it fit into the design or theme of your new apartment? Do you like the rug(s), or do you have a sentimental attachment to them?

  1. Get Materials Needed For Moving
packing paper and ropes for moving an area rug

To successfully move your area rug, you'll need three (3) basic materials to get the job done: a large piece of packing paper (Kraft or brown), packing tape, and a few strings, rope, or twines per rug.

You’ll need the ropes or strings to tie the rug once it is rolled up. You’ll also need the packing papers to cover the tied rug and protect it from stains and damages. The packing tape helps to secure the packing paper in place.

  1. Prepare and Clean the Rug
Vacuuming an area rug before moving it

Next on the list is to get your rug in pristine condition. Clean the rug thoroughly to get rid of accumulated dirt, dust, pet & human hairs, bad odor, and all sort of unwanted debris. If the rug is in relatively good condition, you can clean it using regular care and maintenance methods. That means vacuuming the carpet with a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) vacuum cleaner to eliminate all unwanted substances. You can also use a mild carpet soap to eliminate stains and mild odor or place it in the sun for some hours to remove moisture.

However, you may need to get your carpet cleaned by a professional rug cleaning company if it is seriously stained or soiled up or contains an offensive odor. Deep cleaning your rug will not only ensure the removal of stains, dirt, dust, allergies, odor, and hair but will also ensure you have it in the best condition for use in your new apartment.

  1. Identify The Nap Direction
identifying the nap of an area rug

Area rugs are created in a way that gives specific direction to the fibers or pile. This is also referred to as the direction of the nap. To identify the nap direction, simply run your palm over the surface of your rug’s fibers. As you do this, you'll notice that running your hand in one direction gives a smooth feeling while the other direction gives some resistance to your hand movement.

  1. Flip The Rug Over

Flip the carpet over such that the area rug pile faces the floor and backing is facing up before rolling it up. Flipping the rug over is essential, especially for area rugs with stiff, strong backing to avoid putting extra pressure on the backing, leading to stretching or possible cracking in the process.

  1. Fold Into Thirds

This step is more suitable for larger area rugs. Fold your area rug into thirds by grabbing one corner of the carpet and folding it towards the center to about a third of the way across the length. Then, take the other end and draw it over the already folded part such that the rug is folded into three layers. Finally, fold the top and bottom of the carpet towards the center so that the tasseled ends are facing each other but not in direct contact. You don’t have to be accurate with the initial fold, so you don’t need a measuring tape for this step.

  1. Roll It Up

Roll up your area rug by holding it on one end and rolling it against the direction of the grain (rug nap or pile). Roll the rug slowly and carefully into a tight cylinder-like bundle. To get the straightest roll possible, lay a wooden dowel or rod along the length of the carpet and roll your rug around it.  Ultimately, a well and a tightly rolled rug will make it easier for you to handle and transport it to your new apartment.

  1. Tie It Up

Once you have your area rug neatly rolled into a tight cylinder-like bundle, the next thing is to use a string to tie it in the middle (for smaller area rugs). For large area rugs, use two pieces of strings or twines to tie them at the top and bottom to secure them firmly during transportation. Never use packing tape on your rug as it will damage it.

  1. Wrap Up The Rug

If you're worried about your area rug pile getting stained or damaged during the moving process, you can protect it by wrapping it in a large blanket, thick brown, or Kraft paper. Ensure the rug is wrapped up from top to bottom and secure it with packing tape to protect it properly.

Never wrap your area rug in plastic wrap as this can cost you dearly. The truth is; plastic wraps will keep your carpet safe from dirt, dust, stain, and even rain. But in turn, it will prevent the rug’s fibers from breathing and trap moisture in, leading to the growth of mold and mildew.

  1. Place Your Rug In The Truck And Avoid Placing Items On It

The final step is to place the rug in the moving truck carefully. We recommend laying the rug flat on top of all other stuff or keeping it standing upright in a corner. This will help to reduce or remove unwanted pressure on the rug.

Ensure the area rug is standing or laying all by itself without other stuff like furniture or boxes piling extra pressure on it during the trip to your new apartment. Else, your valuable carpet may get temporarily or permanently damaged.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you wrap an area rug?

Wrapping your rug is pretty easy. Simply get a Kraft paper or a thick brown paper and use it to wrap up your already rolled area rug from top to bottom, then secure it in place with packing tape. Never use plastic wrap for your rug, especially when you're rolling it for storage.

How to roll an oriental rug for storage

Rolling is the best way to prepare your Oriental rug for storage as it works well for different sizes, materials, and quality. Roll the rug against the nap from end to end to prevent any sort of wrinkling and crushing.

Should you fold or roll a rug?

Rolling or folding a rug often boils down to the size and quality of the said rug. However, it is best to keep your rug rolled up if you plan to store it for a long time. Folding it up for extended periods may leave permanent creases on the carpet which may eventually lead to breakage.

How to move a large area rug

To move a large area rug, adopt the steps we shared above. You will have your carpet at your new apartment in sound condition. However, if you feel you can’t handle it all by yourself, you may hire a professional to take your stress away or get help from friends or families who may want to render some assistance.

There you go! Moving an area rug is never a hassle once you adopt these steps. Happy moving!

September 19, 2021 — Ademola Ademiluyi