Moving day is full of hard work--lifting heavy furniture and bulky boxes, trudging up and down stairs, and loading the moving truck with your belongings will exhaust your body. If you don't take the proper precautions and follow safe methods for moving, you can put yourself at risk for serious injuries--such as falls, pulled muscles or broken bones. These tips will help you stay safe and prevent painful moving day injuries.
Preparing your body for heavy lifting is important to prevent injury. Do some light stretching exercises before you begin hauling your furniture and boxes out to the moving truck. This will relax your muscles and get them ready for the heavy lifting.
Know your limits
Never take on more than you can handle--straining yourself will increase your risk of pulling a muscle or sustaining injury. When lifting heavy items, test the weight by carefully lifting one corner off the ground. Do not try to move something too heavy by yourself--get help from a friend or two.
When lifting a box or piece of furniture, always spread your legs apart and bend at the knees, never at the waist. Always keep your back straight and upright and lift with your legs, not with your back. Stand up slowly and hold the item close to your body while carrying it. Don't twist your body and make any sudden, jerking movements while carrying anything heavy---turn with your entire body and not just your back.
Pack your boxes correctly
When packing boxes, it's important to avoid negative space to prevent damage. However, overpacking your boxes will make them too heavy and difficult to move. Combine heavy and light items in boxes to reduce weight, or use extra packing material to pad boxes and fill up empty space.
Use the right tools
Dollies, hand trucks and moving straps can all make lifting and carrying heavy items and furniture much easier. You can rent these tools from any moving supply retailer. If you hire a moving company, they should be provided to you you the service.
Essential moving tools include:
- Furniture dolly: a four-wheeled, horizontal platform that supports up to a thousand pounds safely--remember to securely attach the cargo with ropes or straps before moving.
- Appliance dolly/handtruck:a vertical, two-wheeled apparatus which is simple to maneuver and can easily transport tall-standing appliances such as refrigerators or high stacks of boxes.
- Moving straps: straps used to lower the center of gravity for the item, redistributing the weight and making it easier to lift.
- Sliders: tilt the piece of furniture and place a pad under each corner to easily slide the items through a room.
- Stair rollers: attached to your stairs, a stair roller allows heavy objects and furniture to be carefully and safely rolled down a flight of stairs.
Clear your path
Before you begin carrying your belongings out of your home, inspect your path to make sure it is clear, free from obstacles, and safe. Check for loose items on the floor, clutter, raised floorboards or rumpled rugs, and loose bannisters. Clear your walkways and staircases of any tripping hazards and make sure you always have an unobstructed view of your surroundings while carrying your items.
Make sure no surfaces are wet or slippery on moving day to prevent falls. Be sure you and and moving help thoroughly wipe your shoes before re-entering your home--especially if it is wet weather. Be sure to rake all leaves and debris around your home to keep all walkways clean and lay down cardboard inside to soak up water if it's raining.
Don't over-exert yourself--take breaks when necessary to give your muscles a rest and re-fuel. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Make sure you eat a healthy breakfast before moving day morning and take snack breaks if you begin to feel hungry or light-headed during the day.
Enlisting the help of a few strong friends to lighten the load is a great way to avoid injuries on moving day. You will avoid excess strain and exhaustion if the hard labor is divided among a group. You could also hire professional moving services to take care of the heavy lifting while you relax!