4 Tips to Stay Safe and Avoid Injury When Moving
We know that moving can be a stressful time. With so much on your mind and so many moving parts, it’s easy to focus on “just getting things done”. In the process, it’s easy to forget about taking the time to do the move safely.
Customers who choose to move with BigSteelBox often do so because they’re looking for a moving service that is convenient, reliable, and affordable. And, while our moving service is extremely flexible and provides you with extra time to pack and unpack, most of our customers are doing the packing, loading and unloading themselves.
That’s why it’s so important to be prepared for all aspects of your move in order to avoid injuries in the process. But remember, while you may have the best intensions to take all the steps to plan and prepare for a safe move, there can still be factors at play that are out of your control, such as weather.
Our customers’ safety is important to us! So, to help you avoid injury during your next move, we’ve put together some information and outlined steps you can take to avoid the most common injuries that occur when moving.
1) Dress Appropriately to Avoid Injury
Most parts of Canada go through some pretty extreme weather changes, not only throughout the year, but throughout the seasons. When you’re moving, an unexpected rain or snow storm can wreak havoc on the best laid plans.
In addition, moving is physically demanding. Climbing up and down stairs, pulling things out of tight spaces, and manoeuvring large items down hallways and through doorways can be tough. Plus, lifting heavy items and things with sharp corners can quickly cause minor injuries that will only slow down the moving process.
Here are a few simple things you can do to ensure you’re as prepared as possible for moving day:
- Wear clothing that covers your body to avoid cuts and scrapes.
- Wear closed-toe shoes that have good grip to avoid trips, falls, and injuries to your feet.
- Wear gloves to protect your hands.
- Wear weather-appropriate clothing to ensure you are protected from the elements, particularly in the winter months when there is the risk of frostbite.
- If you have to remove shoes while inside the home, it’s a good idea to wear gripper socks to avoid slipping and sliding.
2) Use Proper Lifting Technique to Protect Your Back & Ask for Help
Did you know that poor lifting technique is the leading cause of injury during the move?
Further to dressing appropriately (Tip #1 above), practicing a proper lifting form when moving items in and out of your home (especially heavy items) can save you from injury during a move. Here are a few tips to follow:
- Whenever possible, use a dolly or cart to move your belongings rather than lifting.
- Bend and lift with your knees rather than your back.
- Maintain your stability when lifting by keeping your feet shoulder width apart.
- Lift items slowly and in a controlled manner. Do not contort your body.
- Do not lift heavy items over your head.
- Stand on solid ground and keep your footing secure.
- Ask friends and family to help, especially with the heavy items – the more hands on deck the better!
The real key to getting through your move injury-free is to pay attention to the signs your body is giving you. Don’t try to lift more or do more than you are able. Take breaks and pace yourself.
And lastly, ask for help. Offer your friends and family free pizza and beverages for a few hours of their time – who knows, you might actually have fun during the packing and unpacking process!
“Lifting Tips” Infographic above courtesy of Shelter Movers Ottawa
3) Take Your Time and Get Plenty of Rest
One of the biggest causes of stress and injury during a move is feeling rushed. When you feel rushed you’re more likely to cut corners, and not pay attention to your surroundings. This type of distraction can result in overlooking possible hazards.
As you get closer to moving day and your to-do list continues to grow, it can be difficult to wind down at the end of the day. It’s common to push yourself too hard trying to get as much done as possible each day. However, one of the keys to a successful and injury-free move is getting adequate rest and taking your time.
We all know we should get 7-8 hours of sleep every night, but that’s something that can be tough to do on a regular basis, never mind when you’re moving! However, before you plan to pull an all-nighter, consider this:
- Research has shown that lack of sleep dulls alertness, affects memory and increases the chances of an accident happening.
- Some studies have even shown that lack of sleep causes the same level of cognitive impairment as drinking multiple alcoholic beverages.
So please, get enough sleep when you’re moving!
4) Keep Your Space Organized and Clear of Hazards
Tips to Organize the Inside of Your Home During a Move:
Try to keep the floor clean of toys and packing materials so you maintain a clear path to and from the entrance.
When you’re moving, it’s easy for a home to quickly become cluttered and disorganized. Furniture is often moved around in preparation for foot traffic, and it’s common to stack packed boxes wherever there is space in a room.
In addition, staying organized can be especially challenging if you have young children. Moving is stressful for kids too, so we recommend packing their items last. For them, this keeps things as “normal” as possible for as long as possible. Learn more about making moving easier for kids.
If you’re moving with small children, designate one room as their “playroom” or “toy room”. Keep as many of their things (toys, craft supplies, tables, chairs, etc.) there as possible during the packing process. Then, when the time comes to pack up your child’s items, they’re all in one place.
You can even encourage them to help pack the boxes with their things, and have them label the boxes with their name so it’s easy to identify them in the new home.
*FACT: Moving with a BigSteelBox can really help keep your space organized and free of clutter during the packing process. Because you can get your BigSteelBox delivered well in advance of moving day, you can gradually load it with packed boxes and furniture. This will help avoid a build-up of stuff in your home, and it gives you a head start on the loading process so there’s less work to do on moving day.
Tips to Prepare the Outside of Your Home for a Move
Depending on the time of year you’re moving, there are different things you’ll have to prepare for outside. Below are a few seasonal measures you should take when moving:
- Summer: Be prepared for hot weather by having plenty of drinking water on hand so that everyone helping with the move stays hydrated.
- Spring or Fall: Rain and damp conditions can cause problems. Clear away wet leaves from the moving path to avoid slips. Lay down plastic sheeting to protect your floors.
- Winter: Shovel away snow from the moving path to create a wide path. Ensure walkways are free of ice using a de-icer or anti-icer on your steps and sidewalks. Dress appropriately to protect hands and feet from the cold.
*NOTE: If you’re loading a moving container in wet weather, it’s important to take steps to minimize moisture from being tracked inside. Because a BigSteelBox is sealed to keep wind, water and rodents out of your container, it will also trap moisture inside. If there’s a chance moisture has gotten inside your container during the packing process, and it’s going to be stored for an extended period of time, we recommend adding a desiccant to absorb excess moisture and avoid the chance of mold or mildew from occurring.
Move at Your Pace with BigSteelBox
If there’s a common theme in all these tips to staying safe and injury-free during a move, it’s to take your time and minimize stress. That’s where BigSteelBox can really help. If you’re already planning to do the packing and unpacking yourself, using a portable moving service like BigSteelBox can be very helpful.
When you rent a moving container, you’ll be able to load many items prior to moving day, which dramatically reduces the stress on moving day. Plus, you have control over the packing and loading of your items, which is something that gives many of our customers peace of mind knowing their items are being treated with care, but is also a benefit for moving during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Have your BigSteelBox delivered a couple weeks, a month or even two months prior to moving day. After it’s loaded, we’ll move it to your new home or store it at our location until you’re ready to have it delivered again. Keep your BigSteelBox for as long as you need it so you can take your time unpacking as well.
When you move with BigSteelBox, you pay for your container on a monthly basis, so there’s no need to try to cram all the stress of moving into one day. Pack a little at a time – your things will be safe inside your secure container. Our service gives you plenty of time to plan and pack, plus it takes some of the stress out of the process and allows you to get enough sleep so you’re alert, fresh, and more likely to avoid injury during your move.