If you are hoping to save money on your move, you may be planning on doing much of the hands-on work yourself, including packing and hauling boxes and furniture. Everybody thinks about wrapping glassware carefully in paper and plastic, but it's more common for you to damage your body than to damage your belongings on moving day. This guide will help you to remain injury free as you pack and move items on the big day.
1. Lift Properly and Carefully
Lifting properly and carefully is the most essential tip for remaining injury free. Too many people strain their backs and necks by lifting boxes or furniture in a way that is not safe. To lift properly, be careful to:
- Bend deeply at the knees instead of bending at the waist when picking a box up from the ground.
- Keep your neck and back aligned by looking straight ahead instead of throwing your head back or bending it down.
- Engage your abs and keep your back nice and straight as your lift the item.
If something is too heavy, do not lift it without help. You can avoid packing very heavy boxes by choosing small or medium sized boxes instead of large ones. It's easy to pack large boxes too full of items and make them cumbersome and bulky to grip well.
2. Keep a First Aid Kit at the Ready
Even with your best efforts, there's still a chance that someone will get injured. You can make sure the supplies are on hand to deal with minor and even some major injuries. A well stocked first aid kit should have:
- small, medium, and large bandages
- medical tape
- antibacterial ointment
- cleaning wipes
- pain medication
- rolled bandages
- ace bandages to apply pressure for strains and sprains
- safety pins
- eye wash
- cotton swabs and cotton balls
Having these supplies on hand instead of lost in a box somewhere can make a big difference when someone is bleeding and in need of a bandage.
3. Dress for Safety
You can prevent crushed fingers, scrapes, and injuries to the feet if you are wearing the right kinds of clothes for the move. Make sure you're using well-fitting gloves when carrying furniture and appliances. Use closed-toed shoes with good arch support and nice grip for moving, especially when you'll be carrying items over different types of flooring. The best shoes would be those reinforced with steel toes, because these would protect your toes from injury should you accidentally drop an item.
4. Avoid Unsafe Maneuvers
Make sure when you're packing up your moving truck or carrying items down the stairs that you're not doing anything unsafe. For example, lifting boxes over your head is very dangerous because you can overbalance or the box seal can fail and heavy items can fall directly on your head. Use a low step stool if you need to move a box to a location that is higher than you can reach. While there are safe ways to lift overhead, most people are not coordinated enough can do serious harm to their backs, necks, and shoulders.
When carrying something heavy down the stairs, many people lean back too fair, straining their knees and making it easier to fall down the stairs. If you are unable to keep a normal posture, get some help.
5. Provide for Weather-Related Needs
Finally, injuries from weather incidents can be common during moves. For example, if it is very hot, you might develop heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Stay hydrates and provide plenty of fluids and snacks for anyone who is helping with your move. If it is cold, warm hats and gloves can protect the skin from chapping. Lay mats on the floor if it is raining or snowing to prevent slips.