Moving isn’t easy. In fact, it’s one of the most stressful and taxing life experiences there is, according to many Americans. And that’s without any injuries involved. But as you likely know, any time you must bend, lift, and haul heavy or bulky items, you’re putting yourself at risk for minor to moderate injuries. Even when you hire a professional moving company, that risk still exists.
With the right safety precautions, however, you can dramatically reduce your likelihood of move-related accidents and injuries before, during, and after your relocation. What kind of safety precautions are we talking about? Our movers and packers at Ace Moving & Warehousing share their best safety tips below.
Before Your Move: Get Prepared
Before we get into safety tips, we’d be remiss not to mention that the number one way to avoid move-related accidents and injuries is to hire a professional moving company and opt for full packing services. That way, you won’t have to handle the heavy lifting yourself and can leave the job to trained and experienced professionals. If you’re DIYing it, here’s what you can do to stay safe:
● Do your best not to overpack. Even if you can stuff dozens of pounds of stuff in a single box, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Think about whether you can actually lift a bulky, heavy box safely and then pack accordingly. It’s a good idea to try to keep the weight of each box to 50 pounds or less, especially if it’s a large box. Smaller boxes are easier to lift and handle, so if you must pack a heavy-ish box or two, make sure you use smaller boxes so you can handle them safely.
● Wrap sharp objects carefully and adequately. Anything sharp (or anything that could potentially break into sharp pieces) should have plenty of insulative wrapping around it. When you wrap these items, do so carefully and slowly. Make sure you secure the wrapping with tape so it doesn’t unravel and expose any sharp edges or leave items unprotected.
● Find a place for kids and pets to stay on move day. Whether you’re doing a DIY relocation or you’re hiring professional movers and packers, the last thing you need on move day is little feet running around. Not only do kids and pets get in the way on move day, but they also create a hazard for both you and the movers. And, since they’re likely unaware of the seriousness of the situation, they can easily incur injuries too. For safety’s sake, pre-arrange caretaking for young children and pets for the day of your move.
● Get plenty of rest the day before you move. Go to bed early the night before move day! If you’re exhausted as soon as you wake up, you’re far more likely to misstep or make other mistakes that can result in injuries. Even if you’re working with professional movers and packers who will handle the heavy lifting, you need adequate rest before move day to ensure you’re on top of your game.
● Wear comfortable, safe attire. Always dress the part on move day. Don’t wear loose clothes that can easily catch on objects and make sure you wear sensible shoes that have plenty of traction. Choose breathable apparel that doesn’t restrict your movement.
● Do a quick warm-up. If you’re going to be lifting heavy items on move day, make sure you warm up first! Even though it’s not a dedicated workout, lifting boxes and other large items can be very taxing on your body. If you don’t warm up, you’re much more susceptible to sprains and strains. All you need is a 10-minute brisk walk and 10-15 minutes of light stretching to get your muscles ready to work.
● Don’t forget your first-aid kit. Accidents happen. Even if you and your movers take great care to stay safe, you simply never know when or if someone might get hurt. That’s why you need to be prepared with a well-stocked first aid kit. Even if it’s just a minor injury, like a papercut or small abrasion, you’ll be glad you have the appropriate tools on hand to handle the situation.
On the Day of the Move: Move and Lift With Caution
Move day is long and exhausting. To ensure you can accomplish every task on your list without getting sidelined by an injury, heed the following safety tips:
● Use proper lifting technique. You’ve likely heard it many times: Lift with your legs, not your back! Try to keep boxes and other items as close to your body as possible while you move them, and don’t overstretch yourself.
● Pace yourself. If you’re not working with a professional moving company, you’ve got a mountain of work to handle on move day. Pace yourself. It can be tempting to try to move as fast as possible, especially at the beginning of the day. Avoid the temptation. You don’t want to burn out after a hours’ work and still have a ton of work to tackle.
● Avoid overhead lifting. When you’re trying to maximize space in the moving truck, keep heavy boxes at the bottom and lighter items toward the top. There should be no reason to lift a heavy box or item overhead. Doing so puts your lower back and neck at risk for strain.
● Use moving equipment to your advantage. If you’re not planning to use professional moving services, at the very least, you should rent dollies, hand trucks, and other moving equipment. These tools are incredibly helpful when it comes to avoiding strain and can also make the loading process much faster and easier.
● Keep walkways clear. Clutter is unavoidable on move day, but that doesn’t mean it needs to get in the way and threaten to trip you up. Keep all walkways clear, so you have a direct path through your house, out the door, and to the moving truck.
● Pay attention to what your body tells you. Whether you’re hiring a moving company or DIYing your relocation, pay attention to the way your body feels on move day, especially if it’s hot outside. If you’re feeling weak, lightheaded, or dizzy, take a break. Stay hydrated and keep calorie-dense snacks on hand to replenish your energy. If your movers look exhausted, let them take a little break to refuel, too.
After You Arrive at Your New Home: Unpack and Assemble Carefully
You’re almost done! Once all of your stuff has made it to your new home, keep these tips in mind to keep yourself safe:
● Avoid assembling or moving large items alone. If you need to re-assemble furniture or re-arrange heavy, bulky items, make sure you have a helper. Four hands are better than two, and if one of you does happen to sustain a minor injury, you’ll have someone around to help.
● Avoid overreaching or straining yourself. Always use a step stool or ladder to place items overhead. And again, avoid lifting heavy things overhead. If you must situate heavy-ish items up high, ask someone to help you or at least spot you while you climb.
● Take time to relax. If you’re opting for full packing services, your movers will unpack for you. But if you’re doing the job alone, pace yourself. The hardest part of the move is over, so give your body some time to rest and recharge — performing physical labor while fatigued is a recipe for injury.
Ace Moving & Warehousing: Your Source for Professional Moving Services in Minneapolis
Are you planning a relocation? Let our team at Ace Moving & Warehousing help! Since 1958, we’ve offered a comprehensive collection of moving services for Minneapolis and St. Paul residents, including full packing services, custom move plans, storage solutions, and more. To learn more about how we can help with your upcoming move, give us a call today at 763-755-2045 or request a quick quote online. You can also message us with any questions, and we’ll be in touch!