You might be really excited about your new home, new job, or other changes happening in your life. But you have to admit: you don’t love the idea of packing up all your items and hauling them into a moving van.
On top of all the time and effort you’ll spend, you risk injury by transporting furniture and other heavy objects.
How to Get Started
Even if you are in a rush, think ahead before you start grabbing boxes. Wear comfortable, closed-toed shoes and clothing you can flex in. Decide what path you will take to move each object and make sure there are no obstacles in your way.
Consider the weight of each object before you lift it. Professional movers estimate that a piece of furniture weighs about 7 pounds for every cubic foot (up to 10 pounds for sturdier materials). You increase your chance of injury by lifting items over 50 pounds, so you may want to leave those extra heavy objects to the professionals.
Depending on your size and strength, you will most likely need help from another person or moving equipment for some large pieces of furniture. You can use the following equipment to help lift heavy objects:
A stair roller. This metal device attaches to a single step and features a rolling bar in which heavy objects can glide over,allowing you to quickly slide heavy items down the stairs. Stair rollers are used most often for moving pianos.
Moving blankets or pads. With a moving blanket, you barely have to lift the heavy object. Slide the blanket underneath your furniture or appliance and pull. Use the moving blankets to cushion your products in the moving truck afterward.
Furniture sliders. These tools have a plastic base and foam pad that conform to the shape of your furniture. They work like moving blankets; you put one slider under each leg and push the item across your floor.
A dolly. Dollies come in two types: one that stands upright with two wheels and one with a flat base supported by four wheels. Either type can help you move multiple items at a time.
Tips for Heavy Lifting
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep one foot slightly ahead of the other for balance.
- Don’t bend your back; instead bend with your hips and knees. Keep your shoulders back, your back straight, and your head up.
- Straighten your hips and knees to lift the object.
- Hold the load close to your waist, around your belly button. This method works better than just gripping the object with your hands. Never lift an item above shoulder level.
- Don’t twist or lean when lifting an object. Move your feet to turn.
- Squat once more with your hips and knees to set down your load, then position your load after you have put it down.
By following this method or by hiring a professional mover, you won’t put as much stress on your back and spine, and you can avoid injury.