When moving, you spend a lot of time protecting your possessions. You may wrap them in bubble wrap or tissue paper, pack them carefully into boxes, and stack your boxes as securely as possible into the moving truck. But how much time and effort do you put into protecting yourself and your helpers? Your move won't be enjoyable if it lands you in the emergency room! Follow these tips to keep yourself and your assistants safe while packing, loading, driving, and unpacking,
Ask for help when needed.
If you're not 100% sure you can make it down the stairs with a big box or lift the bookshelf yourself, don't do it. You'd be far from the first person to tumble down stairs with a box or strain their back lifting a sofa. Make sure that at least one of your helpers is a super-strong human being, and ask them for help when needed rather than trying to show off and lift something yourself. A crew of 3 - 4 normal-strength people works well, too. Make sure everyone knows how to properly lift heavy items before you start.
Move tripping hazards out of the way.
Before anyone starts carrying things to the moving truck, take your time to survey the area and make sure the path from the home to the truck is free of tripping hazards. Unplug and round up any cords stretching across the floor. Put away the dog toys, and pick up any stray packing materials that are still scattered about. You would not want anyone to trip and take a face-plant with an armload of boxes.
Borrow a dolly from a moving company.
Moving boxes and heavy furniture with a dolly is not cheating -- it's smart. Using a dolly will prevent you from pulling muscles and dropping things on your feet. If you do not want to purchase a dolly (and who does -- you'll rarely use one), consider renting one from a moving company. If you're renting a moving truck, they may throw in a dolly for a few extra dollars. Some all-purpose rental stores, such as those that rent out tools and party equipment, also rent dollies. Inversely, you could hire a moving service to complete the entire process for you.
Provide plenty of water.
Save the alcoholic beverages until after the moving process is complete. You don't want a tipsy helper stumbling down the stairs or climbing behind the wheel of the moving truck. Do, however, provide plenty of water for your helpers, and make sure you drink plenty throughout the day yourself. Even if it is not overly hot outside, moving is a strenuous task and can leave you dehydrated if you don't stay on top of your hydration. Keeping bottled water in a cooler is a good strategy if your refrigerator is already unplugged.
Don't wear baggy clothes.
Baggy pants are easy to trip over. Baggy sleeves can get caught on doorways. Stick to form-fitting clothing throughout the packing and moving process. Also, make sure you wear shoes with plenty of support and hard toes to protect yourself should you drop something on your foot.
Be extra cautious when driving the moving truck.
If you'll be driving the moving truck yourself and are not used to driving larger vehicles, you need to take some extra precautions on the road to avoid accidents.
- Make sure you know where the light and windshield wiper levers are before you pull out of the rental parking lot.
- Plan your route ahead of time so you're not distracted looking at your GPS.
- Slow down prematurely before turns and stops.
- Bring a friend with you to help navigate.
- Avoid highways when possible, and stay in the right hand lane if you do need to drive on a highway.
With the tips above, you'll minimize your risk of accidents and injuries while moving to a new home.