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How to Safely Carry Furniture

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When you're emptying your house or apartment and carrying large furniture items down multiple flights of stairs and in and out of doors, there are plenty of potential chances for injury. That's why you should take the necessary steps to ensure everyone involved in the move is safe. The best way to injure yourself during a move is to rush through things, sacrificing safety just to finish the job as quickly as possible.

It's important you remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times during the move, being careful not to put yourself or others in danger by being careless or hasty. When big pieces of furniture are involved, there are certain tips and tricks to make the move easier on you and your fellow movers. Although carrying heavy pieces of furniture should be left to the professionals who are trained and experienced, sometimes you'll have to get the job done with the help of a few friends or family members. In those cases, follow these tips to make sure you don't hurt yourself in the process.

  • When you can't carry the furniture, slide it. When we move large objects, or any object for that matter, our first instinct is usually to pick it up and carry it. Our species has evolved opposable thumbs for the simple reason that it's usually much easier to pick things up with our hands and carry them. Sometimes though, when you're dealing with especially large and heavy items like furniture, it's a lot easier (and safer) to push or pull the item and slide it across the floor. Of course, this method has its limitations and you won't be able to slide your couch or dining room table across all surfaces, but when it's possible, it's the best option for avoiding injury by trying to lift something too heavy.
  • Invest in sliders to place underneath your furniture to slide them easily on any surface. There are several different things you can place under the legs of your couch or table to allow them to slide easily across any surface. If you are moving furniture over carpet, placing cardboard underneath the furniture will allow you to push it across the carpet instead of having to lift it. For hardwood floors, towels, dishrags or old t-shirts will work just as well.
  • Empty all of your drawers before moving large armoires or dressers. The biggest mistake most people who move large dressers and armoires often make is forgetting to empty them out before moving them. Having items sliding around inside the drawers each time you move can make it a lot more difficult to move the furniture, and you can even risk having the drawers fly open and cause injury or damage your belongings while you're trying to carry the piece down a flight of stairs. Before moving any furniture piece with drawers, make sure they are all completely empty before attempting it.
  • Always remember to lift with your legs. What this means is that when you pick up a box, you should squat and use the power from your legs to lift it and never bend over at the waist. Doing so can injure your back because you are putting all of the weight of lifting the box into your back muscles.
  • Use proper moving equipment whenever possible. For heavy items, having the proper moving equipment can really go a long way in preventing injuries. For example, having hand trucks and dollies will save you from having to carry the heavier boxes and pieces of furniture and prevent a lot of injury and strain from occurring. Also make sure that the boxes are strapped and secured tightly when transporting them via a hand truck or dolly.
  • Don't carry more than you can handle. For your biggest pieces of furniture, make sure you have enough people to carry it. Large sofas and appliances should have at least two people helping to carry the item and an additional person that helps the two carriers with directions and other instructions to ensure that they avoid obstacles and get the items safely out of the house and onto the truck.

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Robert Moreschi  Posted by Robert Moreschi on August 6, 2013

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