Taking Care Of The Hard Stuff When Moving: How To Take Apart a Desk Chair

Sorry I have been absent this week! The move and work have taken over my life! We are also getting ready to go see my in-laws for Christmas followed by a trip to Florida! It’s a bit crazy here!!

While we were moving, I found that there were a few things I had no idea how to pack or deal with. I tried everything I could think of and most of the time had to either cave and Google how to do it or be creative and come up with something on my own.

One of the things I had to Google was how to take apart a desk chair. We are trying to be as practical as possible about this move and we got rid of a lot of stuff. Our housing situation is temporary for the next 5 to 6 months and most of our stuff is in storage. We tried to get rid of any furniture that was too bulky. I didn’t want to get rid of the desk chair because they can be expensive and it’s a comfy chair!

I took the back and arms off the chair and then it just sit around the apartment for a few days. It was in the way but taking the rest of it apart was really intimidating! After a lot of pulling, jumping, yelling and frustration, I finally Googled how to take a desk chair apart. Oddly enough, this is not something that is all over the Internet! You would think with how much people move and how unintuitive taking this kind of chair apart is, there would be videos everywhere! There are a few blogs out there that will walk you through it but they were mostly just confusing. I finally found a video that was helpful and after about 10 minutes, I was able to get the rest of the chair apart! So I thought I was give some step by step directions so that there was another option out there!

How To Take A Desk Chair Apart (picture here)


  • rubber mallet or hammer
  • paper towel
  • screw driver or other tool to remove screws
  • water or oil based lubricant
  • Plastic bag

1) Take the back off of the chair. This is different based on the chair but there are usually some kind of screws on the bottom part of the chair, so just remove those. Place all of the screws in the plastic bag.

2) Take the arms off the chair. Again, this is different based on the chair so look for the screws on the bottom of the chair and remove the arms. Place all of the screws in the plastic bag.

3) Flip the base of the chair over and if possible remove the bottom part of the chair from the mechanism. This was possible with my chair, which made packing the entire thing a lot easier. Remove the wheels and place them in the plastic bag with the screws.

4) Here comes the difficult part. Make sure the chair is flipped upside down so the base is pointed at the ceiling. Now you can see where the cylinder meets the base. Using your hammer or rubber mallet, hit around the edge of the cylinder while holding the base in the air. You can do this by yourself, I did, but I am sure it will be easier if someone else is holding the base up while you use the hammer or mallet. Keep hitting until the cylinder falls out of the base. How long this takes differs based on the chair. Some of blogs I read said 10-15 hits. The video I watched was much more realistic about this and said it could take as many as 10 minutes. It took me a little over 5 minutes to get the cylinder and base separated. After about 20 hits, I kept thinking it wasn’t working. Trust me, keeping hitting the cylinder, it will come apart eventually.

5) At this point, I was done. However, if the base of your chair and the mechanism don’t come apart in step #3, then put some lubricant where the mechanism and the cylinder meet and let it sit for about 10 minutes. While you are waiting, you can start packing your chair in a nice big box. Put the largest part of the chair in first then put the smaller parts around it. Don’t forget to put the plastic bag that has the screws and wheels in the box!

6) After 10 minutes, come back to your chair. Wrap some paper towels around where you put the lubricant and wipe up some of the grease. Trust me, you want to do this. Otherwise, you will get gross black grease marks all over your hands. Now while pushing on the mechanism with your knee and pulling on the cylinder with both hands, wiggle the cylinder lose. It will take some serious pulling but you can do it!

7) Now you have taken your chair completely apart and you can finishing placing everything in the box and close it up!

Hopefully this was helpful! 

Breezing Through

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