Moving is packed with challenges, but it doesn't have to be dangerous. If you're careful and take precautions, a safe move is easy to achieve.
There are many potential hazards that can complicate even the best-planned move. By making a plan and working methodically, it's possible to mitigate many of the dangers that dampen a busy moving day. Follow these safety tips for a smooth move.
Have a First Aid Kit Ready
The first step towards maintaining a safe move is preparing for a range of injuries. This means preparing a moving first-aid kit that will address the immediate needs of anyone who sustains a minor injury while moving.
These are the most important things you should include in your moving first aid kit:
- Gauze pads
- Antibacterial cream
- Alcohol wipes
- Medical tape
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Antibacterial gel
These first aid supplies should be able to temporarily address most minor problems, like sprains, splinters, and cuts and scrapes. Remember, anything beyond a minor injury warrants more serious medical attention.
Use Proper Moving Equipment and Technique
Most moving-related injuries occur from people lifting too much weight or not using the proper lifting technique. It's important to be equipped with the right moving materials and know the correct methods for carrying heavy furniture and big boxes.
- Trying to carry or lift too much weight is a good way to hurt your back. It can also lead to other injuries to yourself and others.
- Get help from others when you move, so the weight that you have to carry when you are loading and unloading the moving truck can be evenly distributed amongst a team of people. You can always hire movers to help you out with a DIY move.
- Make sure that your moving boxes are not packed too heavily. Try not to pack boxes of more than 50 pounds. Injuries can happen when you repeatedly move very heavy items.
While it may not be possible for you to weigh every single box, simply pick up the box to see if you can lift it without feeling any strain. If you can stand steadily on your feet while holding it and walk without a problem, then the box is probably not too heavy.
- For heavy items, having the proper moving equipment can really go a long way to prevent injuries. For example, having hand trucks and dollies will save you from having to carry the heavier boxes and pieces of furniture. Also, make sure that the boxes are strapped and secured tightly when transporting them via a hand truck or dolly.
- When lifting heavy boxes, lift with your legs and not your back. 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 the box into your back muscles.
- For heavy items, the proper moving equipment can help prevent injuries. For example, having hand trucks and dollies will save you from having to carry heavier boxes and pieces of furniture. Make sure that that appliances like freezers are strapped and secured tightly when transporting them via a hand truck or dolly.
Keep the Area Clean and Safe
Before moving day, take some time to survey your home and make sure that the area is safe for you, your movers, and your family.
- The moving truck should have enough space to park in front of your house. If you live in a condominium or apartment, the truck needs access to your street. Figure out the distance that the truck will be from your home to determine the distance you and the movers will have to carry your belongings.
- Survey the path the movers will be walking to and from your home to remove potential hazards that can cause injuries, like uneven pavement or sidewalks. If you are moving during the winter, check for areas that can be covered with ice or snow and pose a threat to your movers' safety when carrying heavy items.
- Inside of your home, check for potential hazards and ensure the movers have a clear path to your boxes and furniture. If you have any low-hanging tree branches outside of your door that can get in the way of the movers carrying heavy furniture, make sure that they are removed or secured.
Stay Safe on Moving Day
With all of the preparation that goes into making sure that everything in and around your house is safe for you and the movers before moving day, sometimes you still can't prepare for everything. Because of this, it's important to still remain cautious on moving day and be vigilant of any unexpected dangers that can occur:
Organization is Key
Keep all pathways clear of obstacles and debris at all times. Keep heavy and light boxes separate from each other and assign jobs and roles to everyone involved, to streamline the moving process and prevent chaos.
Wear Proper Attire
Your clothing plays an important role to maintain moving safety. Wearing the right kind of shoes is as important as having the proper moving equipment. If you're going to be carrying heavy furniture and boxes, you want to wear sturdy, comfortable shoes that will also serve as protection for your feet - never wear sandals.
Avoid loose or baggy clothing; it can easily get caught on things.
Lifting heavy boxes and large pieces of furniture can be pretty difficult without the proper amount of communication between all the people who are carrying it. Knowing when to turn to the right or left to avoid an obstacle or move through a doorway can be the key to avoiding injury. Also, let the others know if you don't have a firm grip on something, so you can avoid having a heavy item dropped on you.
Don't Lift Too Much
For your biggest pieces of furniture, make sure you have enough people to do the heavy lifting. Large sofas and kitchen appliances should have at least two people helping to carry the item and an additional person to direct so they avoid obstacles and get the items safely onto the truck.