If you’ve ever spent hours moving heavy objects around, you probably already know how tired you can get — and how easy it is to get injured.
After all, in the average residential move, you’re bending, lifting, carrying over and over for hours on end. Then you have to do it all again in reverse when you reach your new home. Besides, moving is complicated, so you’ve probably got a million things on your mind, making it hard to pay attention to what you’re doing.
Add it together, and it’s a recipe for a safety disaster — especially if you’ve opted to do all the hard work yourself with a DIY move.
These five tips will help you put safety first during your next move.
1. Pack Properly
Though it can be tempting (and save time) to throw as many items as you can into each box, it’s not always the best idea for your back. As a general rule, packed boxes shouldn’t weigh more than 50 pounds. Anything heavier is asking for trouble, even if you do lift properly.
Instead, use smaller boxes to reduce the load. You can still use large and over-sized boxes. Just fill them with light objects, such as pillows or comforters, rather than books.
Bonus: Your items will be more secure when packed in smaller, properly packed boxes, too. When large, heavy boxes are over-packed, they’re more likely to be unbalanced and unstable. That increases the risk of breakage and damage.
2. Lift the Right Way
You’ve likely heard “lift with your legs, not your back” many times. But considering that back injuries can be painful and debilitating for a long time — proper lifting technique is key to a safe move.
If you must lift a box or object unassisted, follow these lifting best practices:
- Start with your feet close to the base of the item
- Bend your knees and squat
- Keeping your back straight, slowly stand up, using your leg muscles
The safest way to lift a heavy object is to get help. Don’t attempt to lift heavy items on your own.
3. Choose Quality Packing Supplies
Reducing waste by reusing boxes is great for the earth — but it may not be the safest option for a move. Sometimes second-hand boxes are flimsy or broken down. They are more likely to tear, break or fall apart, to lead to a greater chance of injury or damage.
Choose your moving supplies wisely. Make sure you check the integrity of your boxes. If they are not quality, invest in new, sturdy boxes and quality tape to keep them shut. Using packing paper and bubble wrap will help keep objects secure, so you can lift boxes and carry them in and out of a moving truck without incident.
4. Grab the Right Gear
Moving is tricky: You’re going to get hot, sweaty, and dirty. Protect yourself by gearing up with the right clothes and equipment.
- Heavy-duty work gloves made from sweat-resistant, stretchable fabric
- Long-sleeve shirts and pants
- Closed-toe shoes
- Dollies or hand-trucks with solid straps to move heavy and oversized items securely
- Furniture glides, so you can slide furniture rather than lift it
5. Ask for Help
Without question, the best way to move safely is by working with professional movers. They’ll have the experience, training, and expertise necessary to safely move even your bulky, heavy items.
Don’t take the risk of getting injured! If you need help, ask for it. Moving is a tremendous job, and there’s no need to go it alone.
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Are you planning your upcoming move? Connect with us for a free quote; we can safely get you and your family to your next home.