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The Game Room: How to Move a Pool Table and Arcade Games

July 15th, 2013 - 11:41 AM

How to Move Your Game Room: Pool Tables and Arcade Games

If you have a game room in your home, my guess is that it’s one of your favorite places to hang out. My in-laws have one, and we love it! The comfy couches, board game table, pool table and Ms. Pac-Man /Galaga arcade game makes it absolutely awesome. In fact, it’s probably the room we spend the most time in when we visit. The last time we were there for a little “friendly” game night, I started thinking about what it would be like to move all of that stuff (I know, a little crazy that I constantly think about moving). But, the reality is, these are items that not everyone has, and they definitely require special preparation and care to move – especially if you’re moving them long distance.

So, I spoke with some of our moving experts to get their best advice on how to prepare, pack and move game room items like pool tables, pinball machines and arcade games. Let’s walk through some best practices.  


How to move a pool table

[Photo from HGTV.com]

How to Disassemble and Pack a Pool Table

Allow me to state the obvious: Pool tables are big.

Slate pool tables can weigh anywhere from 300 to 900 pounds, so unless you’re super-human, moving one is not something that can be done alone.

If you’re moving a pool table, my first advice would be to get a professional to prepare, load, and unload it for you. A great place to start is with a local pool table and billiard sales company in your area – they’ll be experts at leveling it, and may be able to load and/or unload it for you as well.   

If that’s not an option (maybe there’s not a pool table sales location in your area, or you’re moving last minute), and you have to move it yourself, consider these things:

  • Because most pool tables are bigger than the doorway (and too heavy to carry in one piece) it will need to be disassembled before moving.
  • Each table is unique, so we highly recommend referring to the instructions that came with the table. If you don’t have them, check with the manufacturer.
    (Tip: Taking pictures at each step of disassembly may also make it easier to put back together)
  • If you don’t think you’ll be able to re-assemble it, don’t disassemble it (get a professional).

General pool table disassembly and move preparation

  • Remove the pockets. There may be screws or staples here. If the screws are covered in wax, scrape it off first, then remove the screws. Be sure to collect any screws in a plastic baggie to keep for later. Label the screws from each section in separate bags (i.e. “pockets”, “rails”, “legs”). If there are staples, remove them. (make sure to wear eye protection!).
  • Place the pockets in a box, wrapping them in packing paper or bubble wrap to protect them.
  • Disassemble the rail system, removing any screws or staples (place in plastic bags and label).
  • Wrap each piece of rail in a moving blanket or paper padding and tape tightly around each piece. Avoid taping to the rail, as this could damage the finish.
  • Remove the felt. Most pieces are stapled down. Be sure and wear eye protection when removing staples.
  • Fold the felt and place it in a box.
  • Unscrew the slate pieces, and place the screws in a zip-top bag to keep them all together.
  • Wrap each piece of slate in a moving blanket or paper padding.
  • Take the frame apart. Unbolt or unscrew the frame pieces (keeping all the screws or bolts together).
  • Wrap each frame piece and leg in a moving blanket or paper padding to protect it.

Now the individual pieces and the boxes can be loaded into the moving trailer or ReloCube. Make sure to secure the items with moving straps or rope as you load to avoid shifting in transit.

How to Move an Arcade Game

Arcade games can range from video games to pinball machines and everything in between. You move them basically the same way. These are much easier to move than pool tables.

  • Measure your arcade game to make sure it will fit through your doorway. Most games will fit through a standard doorway, however you may have to remove the door hinges or door jamb. Try and have at least one inch clearance on each side of the game through the door.
  • Unplug and dust your machine.
  • Move it outside, taking care getting it through your home. Get it outside in the open (it will be easier to get through the doors unwrapped, so wrap it outside).
  • Pack it up! Once you have it in the open, you need to wrap it to protect it. Use moving blankets or paper padding to cover it, wrapping the blankets tightly with tape. Don’t place tape on the actual game (it can damage the finish or artwork), but tape over the blanket to wrap it tightly.
  • Load the game into the moving trailer or ReloCube and secure it with rope or straps.
  • Keep the game upright as you move it – video games can be damaged by laying them flat, and games with small pieces travel better upright.

I hope you find that these packing guides provide information that help you move your game room safely and efficiently. If you have questions about moving a pool table, arcade game, or other game room items, please leaves us a comment. If we don’t know the answer right away, our moving experts will gladly find it! Keep checking back this week for more packing tips!