As if moving weren’t hard enough, there’s the chance you might hurt yourself, if you’re not careful. Lifting heavy items can strain your back. You can drop things. You can fall. Here’s how to have a safer move if you’re moving yourself.
Pack properlyThe quickest way to hurt your back while moving yourself is by lifting something that’s too heavy. There are ways to pack to minimize any danger to yourself or those helping you move.
If an item is heavy, put it in a small box. Loading down big boxes with lots of heavy stuff — such as books — is a surefire way to overload the box and hurt whoever’s trying to lift it. Most people know that you’re supposed to lift with your knees and not your back, but if you make the box too heavy, it won’t matter. You can even make it so heavy that the bottom drops out, sending everything in it tumbling out and onto the floor — and your feet. So save the big boxes for the light stuff.
Wrap up your sharp items. Knives, scissors, hatchets and other cutting tools should be taped off or wrapped up during packing. That way they don’t puncture the box and won’t puncture your skin when you start unpacking and don’t notice the sharp, pointy thing that’s now sticking straight up.
Pack the moving truck with care.
Make sure you pack your moving truck properly and you will have less chance of getting injured. This means making sure the heaviest items are in the front of the truck, and anything loose is tied down. That way nothing will fall over during transport and come down on top of you as soon as you step into the back of the truck.
Keep the towers light. If you’re going to stack boxes, don’t stack heavy stuff all the way up the side of the truck. This increases your chances of something heavy falling over, either during transport or while you’re still loading everything up.
Get help. Most people can’t move all by themselves. You’ll need someone to help lift that couch, so you might as well enlist help in moving the rest of your stuff. It’s the best way to move spread the fun around, and you’ll minimize the risks of straining something by overexertion.
But there’s no reason you have to carry everything out to the moving van. Before your move, invest in a dolly. You can buy one that’s good for moving just boxes, or you can buy a convertible one that increases your loads and can even carry smaller pieces of furniture. Home improvement stores also sell furniture dollies. They are essentially four pieces of wood with wheels on the bottom, but they can carry a tremendous amount of weight. So once you load that entertainment center on it, all you have to do then is roll it out to the van. Such purchases can even be tax deductible, if you’re moving for work.
Slow and steady wins the race. The best advice is this Don’t overexert yourself. You may be in a hurry to get the move over with, but if you take your time and pay attention to what you’re doing, you’re less likely to make a painful mistake. So go slow, take your time and don’t be in a rush. Remember to stay hydrated. Dehydration will derail your moving efforts pretty quickly, so keep some bottled water around for you and your helpers. Follow these basic safety tips, and you should experience a less painful move.