Tips & Tricks

5 Tips for Staying Healthy, Safe, and Sane While Moving

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There’s no doubt many of you will try to save a little cash this year by moving something on your own. Whether it’s a full apartment move, that enormous Restoration Hardware couch you bought off Craigslist, or the flat-pack HEMNES dresser you’re sure will fit in your hatchback, it’s likely to happen.

We have a million and one reasons why should leave the moving to the experts, and why your health is probably worth more than the 45 or so bucks it would cost to book a Dolly. But we also know you’re likely going to find yourself in a position where you’ve undertaken some move-related activity where your potential for serious injury vastly increases. And we just can’t leave you hanging without offering up some moving safety tips to consider this year.

Staying safe while moving is a healthy mix of preparation, proper equipment, and attending to physical needs before, during and after the move.

Prepare for Safe Moving

1. Gear Up.

No matter what you’re moving, sourcing the proper moving gear and safe moving equipment (ya know, the kind professionals use) can help you avoid hurting yourself.

  • Work gloves for moving – When you’re moving heavy items, your grip on items is key. So, ditch the dusty old yard work gloves. Most work gloves these days are well-constructed, with stretchable, sweat-resistant fabric and padding around key areas of the hand. The designs are also cool enough to make you look like you’re going to play cornerback for your favorite NFL team when you’re finished moving that entertainment center
  • Quality moving straps – Moving straps and supports are designed to reduce the stress on high-injury areas such as your back, shoulders, and knees. Again, we do not recommend you move anything heavy enough to require these. But if you absolutely insist, seriously consider investing in a quality set to help you lift safely – and be sure to read instructions for use at least twice.
  • Moving Dollies and hand trucks – A key to moving safely without incurring physical trauma is figuring out as many ways as possible not to carry things. Wherever possible, use equipment that shoulders most of the weight and helps you lift safely, while you worry about the simple mechanics of pushing and pulling.
  • Furniture glides – While these won’t necessarily help you move larger items beyond your threshold, furniture glides are hugely helpful in sliding items into place, or closer to where they ultimately need to be moved. And for heavy items, they are a lot safer than using tools with wheels.

2. Clear the Path.

As far back as kindergarten, we learned that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Things get immeasurably more complicated when you are carrying something heavy between those two points, and it happens to be littered with debris. If you’re moving apartments, this means establishing pathways between interior doors and rooms, and from outside doors and your moving truck. If you’re moving something from a store or from the random fourth-floor walkup where you bought that used bookshelf, it means taking the top to scope out the path of your move before lifting anything heavy.

3. Stretch Goals.

No seriously. Any time you undertake strenuous physical activity your body isn’t used to, it’s a good idea to do it a favor and limber up. Your muscles are like rubber bands, and when you dive into activity without stretching them out, it’s akin to removing them from a freezer and trying to shoot ‘em across the room. They don’t go very far, and neither will you if you don’t take the time to go through a simple stretch progression before you lift a thing.

4. If it feels too heavy, it’s too heavy.

Simple advice, right? You’d be amazed at how many people ignore age-old rules of lifting safely. If what you’re attempting to lift, and then carry, feels like it maybe a stretch, then immediately stop and get help. Whether that’s calling a friend, getting someone from the store to give you a hand, or calling pros. This may sound obvious for larger items like appliances and heavy furniture, but it’s also worth considering for boxes. There are no style points for moving the fewest, heavy boxes. A box should be light enough to lift and carry to your car or truck without straining. And remember, you likely have to do it twice. Aim for packing boxes no heavier than 25 pounds – that means spreading out the books, heavy pots and pans, and appliances. For larger boxes, consider using ample packing paper to fill the space.

5. Hydrate and Eat.

Moving anything at all is physically demanding, and physical exertion demands water and energy. While coffee can help, nothing replaces a big bottle of water, a good meal, and frequent breaks for snacks. Being tired sucks, but it can also cause you to lose focus, seek shortcuts, and make mistakes. And when you’re carrying large, heavy items, those small lapses can lead to big injury. Even if you’re performing a simple move, make sure it’s not scheduled during a time of day where you haven’t eaten, or can’t get a break for water. Rushing to move items between work and dinner, for instance, when many people seem to engage in the Wild West of Craigslist commerce.

6. Call a Pro.

By now, we hope you’ve seen ample evidence that you should hire help when moving nearly anything. The physical, technical, and mental preparation required to move large or numerous items safely and efficiently just isn’t worth risk of injury.

Worried about the cost?

Listen, the fact is your hospital bill is likely to be many, many times greater than the cost of hiring pros. And, hey, we know cost isn’t always the main reason you don’t hire help. Sometimes you need help exactly when you need it, and don’t want to call for quotes, read endless reviews, and have to wait around for help to arrive. We built Dolly to focus on eliminating those annoyances, and to make it easy for you to move what you want, whenever and wherever you want it.

Sure, it’s nice not to have to move, but it’s also really nice not to seriously injure yourself just so you can get that perfect 500-pound sideboard into the dining room before your mother visits.

So, download the Dolly App, get an estimate and save yourself from a visit to the ER.

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