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How to Avoid Injury When You Move

Lifting the Wrong WayMoving to another residence is a difficult logistical task. You have to know what supplies you are going to need to make your move a success. You have to label each box so that the movers know where it’s going to go in your new residence. You have to keep a detailed list of everything so that nothing goes amiss. And you have to pack things just right or risk damage to items that mean a lot to you and to your family. It all requires care and attention and nothing can be rushed. But one of the things you also need to look after is yourself so here are some trade secrets from the professionals on how to avoid injury when you move next.

Injuries when people move are quite common. They can be anything from back injuries to knee problems to cuts and abrasions when you slam into something while trying to manoeuvre a large furniture piece or bedroom piece down a narrow hallway or, worse yet, down a narrow flight of steps. Many of these injuries can be avoided through careful planning and by thinking ahead.

Specifically, you should never try and carry large furniture items or appliances by yourself – or even with a couple friends. If at all possible, disassemble those larger items, take the pieces out one at a time, and then reassemble on the front lawn or anywhere where you have the space to do so. If that means getting assistance from a technician, or if that means receiving advice and guidance from experienced movers, then that’s what you should do. Whenever possible, take something large and make it small. And don’t be afraid to ask someone about the right way to disassemble something. There’s never a dumb question when your foremost concern is safety.

Another thing you need to do is to understand that dollies and jacks exist for a reason. Don’t let your ego or misplaced machismo get in the way of doing the job properly. If something can be transported via dolly, then that’s the route to take. If something large or awkward can be loaded onto a jack or pump truck, then consult with your moving team and go that route. You might decide to put a bin or an open lid container on a small pump truck (depending on where you are in your house) and fill it up with furniture or appliance components you want to move (just make sure you number and catalogue everything so that you know Lifting the Right Waywhere everything goes afterwards!). But, whatever you decide to do, the key is always to bear in mind one simple axiom: the less strain you place on muscles, limbs and joints, then less you’re going to be hurting in the morning. And the less lifting you do, the less likely you’re going to trip and fall or have that one potentially lethal misstep.

It may sound grim, but never forget that breaking your fall when you have nothing in your hands is a lot different than breaking your fall when you’re trying to balance something heavy around that tight corner or turn. When you fall, and something heavy falls on top of you, you don’t always get a second chance.

Additionally, clear space for yourself before you start moving items from upstairs to downstairs – or even from the basement to the ground floor. Do you have dressers or drawers that reduce sightlines? Do you have large, heavy instruments – such as cabinets or bookshelves, or possibly even family heirlooms – lurking around a corner? If you do, then it’s a good idea to move those things first so that you don’t bump into them when you start moving heavy items from upstairs or items from the family rec room. The more space you give yourself, the less you have to worry about something hiding around a corner, the more likely it is that you’ll end up safe and sound.

Finally, and in a similar vein, if you’re going to move something around a corner, try to lighten your load as much as possible. Take out all those drawers from the dresser in your bedroom. If you can take something apart before you have to haul it downstairs, then do that. Injuries always happen when sightlines are compromised and when you’re bearing heavy loads down stairways where a wrong step can lead you to falling backwards with nothing to break your fall. Moving is an arduous job at the best of times. But any move where no one gets hurt is a successful one, even if it means taking a bit more time.

Be safe and never sorry.

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