So, you've decided on a DIY move. The decision to move yourself without the help of professional movers can be a less expensive option. However, unfamiliarity with the best ways to pack boxes and trucks, picking up large pieces of furniture, or driving a moving truck can place you in dangerous situations. With some extra attention to safety, you can save yourself and those helping you a lot of headache on moving day.
Packing Safety Tips
Steer clear of packing moving boxes so heavy that they are difficult to pick up on your own. Books and other heavy items should be placed in smaller boxes so you are not tempted to overfill them. Typically, boxes over 50 pounds are too heavy for someone to pick up without assistance. Have another person available to help lift and carry the box to the truck.
Light items can be packed in larger boxes. Sharp objects such as knives or tools should be wrapped to protect yourself from protrusions through the box or while unpacking.
Properly label the boxes so that when it comes time to load them onto the truck you have an idea of what is in them and can judge the weight when stacking them for the ride to the new digs. Not to mention, labeling the boxes will also be extremely helpful unloading the truck; they can be taken to the appropriate room right away.
What to Wear on Moving Day
Safety precautions begin with getting dressed on moving day. Your body temperature will rise and you will probably sweat quite a bit so where a breathable fabric to help regulate your body temperature. Dry wick material will help to evaporate sweat quickly. Loose or baggy clothing is not recommended since it can get caught on boxes or anything protruding from furniture, moving tools, or the moving truck. Stay away from open-toed shoes like flip flops or sandals. Wear a good pair of sneakers that have a good grip to keep you steady.
Have the Right Moving Tools
Having these tools at the ready is a good way to help take some of the strain of your body during the move. They may be an added expense, but having at least some of these available on moving day will save time and frustration:
- A dolly or hand truck minimizes stress on your body and allows you to scoop up multiple boxes at once or appliances as well as larger pieces of furniture. Most truck rental places will offer these as an option.
- Lifting straps that help facilitate moving heavy or awkward-sized objects like armoires or mattresses.
- Furniture sliders are small discs you place under the feet of large pieces of furniture to help move slide them around so you don't have to exert your physical strength carrying them until you absolutely must.
- Gloves to help aid grip and save your fingers from getting snagged by nails or splinters on the underside of furniture.
Loading the Moving Truck Safety Tips
Before loading the moving truck, there are a few things to consider depending on the weather conditions on your moving day. Have plenty of water available to avoid dehydration. Try load the truck early in the morning when everyone has the most energy; it is also the coolest part of the day if it is summer time. Moving in winter has its own set of safety tips. Keep children and pets out of the way for their safety and your peace of mind by asking a friend of family member to watch them while you are moving. Have a fully stocked first-aid kit easily accessible in case finger get smashed, legs get gouged, or someone slips and falls.
- When loading the truck, first and foremost, don't forget about using the proper lifting technique. Back injuries are some of the most common moving injuries. Always lift with your legs, not your back. Squat down, lift upward with your legs and keep your back straight.
- Weight distribution is imperative. Distribute the heavy items at the front of the truck to keep the balance of the truck while driving.
- Stacking boxes correctly is important for stability as well as keeping the structure of moving boxes intact protecting the contents. Stack similar sized boxes on top of each other with the heavier, full boxes on the bottom.
- Tie down and secure anything that might move a round. Weight fluctuation from items moving around while driving can make for some tense moments on the road; not to mention the risk of items falling when opening the door at the other end of your move.
Driving a Moving Truck Safety Tips
Rental truck drivers need to be extra cautious when driving. If you are inexperienced with driving a large, heavy truck, you can do some damage on the road- particularly when driving in a city. Narrower, car-lined roads and traffic are especially stressful.Follow these safe driving tips in general:
- Go slow. Everyone on the road expects trucks to go slow, so don't feel like you need to drive at the speeds you would normally if you were driving a passenger vehicle. Generally, it is good to drive half the speed you would in a regular car.
- The turning radius in a truck requires much more space than a car. You will need more space to allow for wider turns or you might end up cutting corners at a curb or crunching the end of a car behind you or in front of you. Not to mention the embarrassment of blocking traffic if you don't take the space needed to make a wide turn into consideration.
- Know your driving route and pay particular attention to clearance signage at bridges. If the truck is too tall to go underneath the bridge, find an alternate route, or this could be you:
Are we missing any moving safety tips? Please share your safety tips in the comments.