Moving day can be hectic, emotional and frustrating. But it also can be potentially dangerous. Lifting heavy boxes and moving furniture, appliances and other weighty objects can easily lead to strains, sprains and pulls. Even if you have hired a moving company, there are still plenty of potential dangers to avoid.
Here, then, are some tips on preventing injuries while moving.
Be Aware of Box Weights
When packing boxes, take care not to load more than 50 pounds into any one box. If you are not certain of a box’s weight, gently try to lift it. As long as you can lift it without too much strain, it probably will be all right. But if yourself struggling to lift a box, especially if you are feeling unsteady on your feet, it might be a good idea to repack its contents into two or more boxes.
Remember, you probably will need to carry that box up and down a set of stairs — or even multiple flights of stairs. You also will be hauling it to and from the moving truck. More trips with lighter boxes is better than fewer trips heavy boxes. You can always take a break between multiple trips.
When lifting any box, always use proper lifting techniques: Lift with your knees, not your back. Squat down and lift the box with your entire body, keeping your back as straight as possible. If a box is too heavy and it’s not convenient to reload it, get help.
Use Proper Moving Equipment
A couple of dollies or a two-wheeled hand truck can take a lot of the strain out of moving day. Heavier boxes can be stacked so they can be easily moved. Straps are also helpful for lashing boxes to a dolly or for assisting you in lifting heavier items, such as furniture or appliances.
Scout Out the Territory
Before moving day arrives, conduct a little surveillance of the areas around your home and your new home to identify trouble spots. Make note of the best place to park your moving van and determine if you need to reserve parking before moving out of your hold home or into you new one.
Check for uneven sidewalk or walkways you will be using during your move. If there are steps on your front walkway, make sure they can be clearly seen by everybody who will be helping you during your move by highlighting with brightly colored chalk.
Check the Weather Report
If it’s going to be rainy or snowy during your move, it’s a good idea to spend a little money on a traction mat. Or you can rent one from a moving company, in some instances. This is especially important if you will be crossing a grassy area or places with uneven surfaces. Traction mats are also ideal for ensuring movers don’t accidentally trample across more fragile ecosystems.
Pay attention to potential hazards, such as power lines, tree branches and posts. Increase awareness of low-hanging obstacles by tying brightly colored ties to tree branches or posts. Or remove obstacles entirely prior to your move.
A little pre-planning can increase the safety and efficiency of moving day.