Moving Safety

Author: Greg DiFrank | January 25, 2021

Moving injuries tend to happen in split seconds and usually, there is no warning of any kind that something will go terribly wrong until it is too late. And while getting a paper cut when packing up your books is not something to write home about, pull a muscle or hurt your back and you’ll see how things suddenly take a sharp turn for the worse. The following moving safety tips are ways to avoid injuries during a move.

Safety Tip 1: Plan Ahead

Remember to plan your actions before you implement them: Do not lift something until you know where you will put it. If your couch just will not fit through your living room door, don’t use force. Instead, think of a solution, such as to strip down furniture of protruding parts or temporarily remove the door from its hinges to provide a few extra inches.

Safety Tip 2: Ask for Adequate Moving Assistance

The process of moving a house was never meant to be a one man affair. If at all possible, hire professional movers to assist with the move. Their experience and professionalism will make the task much easier and safer. If you must move pieces yourself, then be sure to have adequate friends on hand.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.

Safety Tip 3: Make Sure All Boxes are Strong Enough 

Only use sturdy cardboard boxes when packing up your belongings. When using second-hand cardboard boxes, be extra vigilant. Only accept moving boxes that are sturdy, dry, and have no visible signs of any damage. Before you start packing a used box, double tape its bottom with strong packingtape to minimize the risk of breakage.

Safety Tip 4: Abide by the Laws of Physics

One of the fundamental safety rules of moving to a new house is that a single packed box should not exceed 50 pounds. If a box feels uncomfortable for you to lift and carry around, then it has already become too heavy. And counterintuitively, use the smallest boxes for the heaviest loads. Books and china should go in lots of small boxes, while lighter things like clothing, bedding, lampshades go in the largest.For larger items, be sure to use the proper equipment to get the job done. Rent a dolly if needed to mover large furniture and appliances. Rent or buy moving straps to help handle large furniture and appliances that are too big to grasp by hand.And the use of furniture sliders and felt pads can make it easy to reposition furniture once you get it to your new home.

Safety Tip 5: Use Proper Lifting Techniques

The number one lifting technique when moving is to lift with the help of your legs, not with your back. Simply bend at the knees, keep your back straight as an arrow and use the sheer strength of your lower limbs to lift. It is always better to push heavy objects forward than to pull them backward. If you need to turn while holding a heavy object, turn with your feet, not with your hips. Keep heavy items close to your body and centered in relation to your body height. Take only small steps, always keep your footing secure and make sure your movements are slow and smooth as opposed to sudden and jerky. Avoid lifting heavy things over your head unless you absolutely must.Be sure to communicate. Lifting heavy boxes and large pieces of furniture can be 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 do not have a firm grip on something, so you can avoid having a heavy item dropped on you.

Safety Tip 6: Keep Hallways and Pathways Clear of Obstacles

Create unconstrained space and breathing room, both inside and outside your home, by removing any obstacles along the moving paths. Keep boxes organized-packed boxes should be labeled and organized in neat piles away from any in-house hallways that lead to the outside so that the movement along the heavy-traffic zones is not impeded. The outside areas and pathways that lead to the moving truck should be free of dust, mud, water, snow, or ice, as well as clear of any debris on the ground. Consider trimming overgrown shrubs or protruding tree branches that might get in people’s way when the moving action gets underway.

Safety Tip 7: Keep Your Kids and Pets Away From Trouble

It is very possible that members of your family who are either too young or too cute to grasp the concept of moving safety, or even the concept of safety in general. To avoid having your kids or pets running around the movers’ feet (dogs, cats) or flying around their heads (birds) while the pros are hauling huge, oversized, and overweight stuff out of the house, arrange for a trusted friend or relative to watch over and look after your loved ones in a safe environment away from boxes, furniture, appliances, unknown faces, and palpable moving stress.

Safety Tip 8: Dress Appropriately for the Moving Occasion

Clothing plays an important role to maintain moving safety. Avoid loose or baggy clothing; it can easily get caught on things. Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes that will also serve as protection for your feet -never wear sandals. Moving often proves to be dirty work, so choose the type of clothes you will not really mind getting ruined after the long day. Do not forget your personal protective gear either! High-quality working gloves are monumental for your safety and well-being as they will provide exactly the improved grip and hand/finger protection you need.

Safety Tip 9: Use Your Common Sense

Moving day can be harried and even emotional. Do not let the size of the task overwhelm you. Get a good night’s sleep before, eat healthy meals to give you the energy you need, and stay hydrated. Stretch before you start. Do not try to be a hero and carry more boxes than you can handle. Do not rush. And take a break if needed. Even if it feels like your house is magically spawning furniture as fast as you can move it, there isa finite amount and you will ultimately get to the end of it all.