In this MasterKit, you will find everything you need to stay organized and stress-free on the countdown to moving day (and the days beyond). From a weekend-by-weekend timeline to pro packing tips and advice on securing your new space, you'll learn everything you need to know to become a master mover.
Moving should be the beginning of a great adventure, not the onset of a chronic injury. Start life in your new home injury-free by following some simple moving safety advice.
Once you've signed on the dotted line of that new lease or closing agreement, it's time to move everything you own to your new place. But all the repetitive bending and lifting of moving takes an unnecessary toll on your body. Protect yourself from injury by following this simple relocation advice.
Resist the urge to over-pack boxes. Instead, aim for a reasonable weight of 20 to 25 pounds per box, which most able-bodied people should be able to transport.
Establish clear walking paths throughout your home to avoid slipping or tripping on errant items.
Right before you begin to load the truck, take a few minutes to stretch. Loosening up cold muscles can help prevent potentially painful injuries or spasms.
Pro Tip: Pack safer, medium-weight boxes by combining heavy and light items, or by using packing material to fill the rest of the space once the boxes reach maximum weight.
Back injuries are the most common moving-related mishap, so take care to avoid causing unnecessary harm to yourself by following these steps:
Make sure you have appropriate equipment on hand, literally. Safety gloves will protect your skin and keep items from slipping out of your grasp.
Whenever possible, use a hand truck or dolly to transport boxes and furniture, especially if items are on the floor and require a low body bend. Too much lifting or bending over, even if done correctly, can stress your back or knees.
Use moving tools like furniture glides, forklift straps, stair rollers and flat dollies to make large furniture and bulky items easier to move.
Ideally, pick up boxes that are at least at your waist level. It's not always possible, but stacking as many boxes as possible on folding tables, for instance, instead of the floor, is a great start.
Take care of yourself throughout the day. Stay hydrated, take meal, snack and rest breaks, and pay attention to your body's physical cues.
Stretch throughout the day and at the end of the move to keep your muscles warm.
If you must bend over to lift things from the floor:
Keep your back straight and bend at the knees.
Lift with your legs in a steady motion, and don't jerk or twist.
Walk slowly and carefully, holding the item close to your center of gravity.
Do not attempt to carry more than one item at a time.
Don't lift items that are too heavy for you to comfortably manage. Leave those for a fellow mover who can handle the weight, or lift with a partner.
You want to move on up - but not into the ER. Find out how to prevent common moving-related injuries here.
Don't get careless once all of your possessions are in place at your new home. You might be excited to get settled, but just be careful when you're unpacking and arranging your furniture.
If you must move boxes from room to room while you're unpacking, continue practicing good lifting skills. If a box is too heavy, wait until someone can help you.
Don't try to move or rearrange furniture alone. You can strain your back lifting a heavy sofa or chest of drawers all by yourself.
Use a stepstool or ladder when putting away items on shelves or in cabinets that are out of your reach.
And finally, at the end of your day, do some basic stretching exercises. These should include at the very least stretches of your calf muscles, hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, shoulders, and neck.