For most people who are moving home, the hardest part of moving from your old home into your new one is all the hard physical labour of picking up and moving all the boxes!
Moving house involves a lot of lifting, and when it comes to heavy boxes, it can put a lot of strain on your body which can easily lead to injuries in your back, neck and spine. Here are 12 helpful tips on how to move heavy boxes.
1. Create a Plan
Organise your boxes and make sure you know what needs to go where so that you utilise your time wisely and minimise double-handling boxes being put in the wrong room. You can go around each box and write what room it needs to go to. For boxes that you might be too heavy to move yourself, you might need to use other tactics to move them so take this into account and make sure you have the necessary tools and help before you start.
2. Prepare Your House
Make sure the rooms are clear and that you know exactly where the boxes are going inside each room. Also check that there are no hazards in the walkways or entrances so that you avoid any unnecessary injuries. Consider the contents of each box and how often it would be used. The boxes with everyday items should be easier to get to, while boxes packed to be stored away can be in less convenient places as you won’t need them as often.
3. Get Your Body Ready
Moving and unpacking heavy boxes and furniture can take a toll on your body during and after the move. You should warm up and stretch before you begin, particularly if you don’t often lift such heavy loads or if there is a lot to lift. Stretch before and after and make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated – your body will thank you for it later, especially the morning after!
4. Wheel Your Boxes Through Your House
Buy a handcart from your local hardware store as it will make it easier and faster for you to move boxes around your house. You can load multiple boxes on at once meaning you’ll get the job done faster. It’s also an easy way to get the kids to help out!
5. Slide Heavier Boxes Instead of Lifting
For boxes that are too heavy to be lifted onto the handcart, you can wriggle the box onto a sheet of material and simply slide it across the floor into the right room. If you have carpet floors, plastic sheets work well as they glide right along the carpet. If you have hard wooden floors, use a blanket of some sort as there is very minimal friction and will also slide across the floor.
6. Get Help For Bigger Boxes
You may have awkward sized boxes such as lamp boxes, mattress boxes, or mirror boxes; they can limit your ability to move them on your own. Get help with moving them so that you can both carry the boxes into the rooms without strain or aches.
7. Use The Correct Lifting Technique
To protect your back and spine, make sure you have the correct posture and technique when lifting heavy boxes. Be sure to bend your knees when picking up the box and push through your legs to lift the weight. It is important you do not apply too much strain to your back when lifting as it can cause injuries.
8. Correct Your Grip
Regardless of how light you think the box is, do not carry it anywhere else apart from in front of you, just above waist height is perfect. Attempting to carry it on your shoulders or above shoulder height is asking for trouble.
9. Wear Protective Footwear
Even when carrying boxes in the correct position and with the correct technique you can still have accidents that can cause injuries. Wear fully-closed supportive shoes so that you stay protected during the move.
10. Pace Yourself
Accident-related injuries can happen when you rush through your moving process. Be sure to take your time and take extra care with heavier items so you don’t drop them or cause harm to yourself. Consider how long it will take to move everything and plan ahead y getting more helpers so that you don’t feel pressured to rush through the move.
11. Stack Boxes Carefully
When moving the boxes into their new place, don’t stack too many in the same pile in case they fall and damage the contents or injure someone. Also make sure you are applying the same correct technique when placing boxes as you would when lifting boxes.
12. Take Extra Care on the Stairs
When walking up or down stairs with boxes, angle your body so you walk slightly sideways. This is so that you can see the stairs below so that you don’t lose your footing. It also helps to have a spotter to help guide you up or down the stairs.