Tips for Moving Heavy Items
Lifting heavy objects, if done incorrectly, can cause painful injuries or even damage your home and belongings. Carrying large furniture and heavy boxes will always come with challenges, but with the right preparation and technique, it’s possible to do it without straining your back or scuffing up your walls. To avoid problems, anyone with an upcoming move ought to familiarize themselves with these tips for moving heavy items.
Plan Your Route
Before beginning your move, decide which path you’re going to take with your belongings. Sometimes the most direct way isn’t the easiest. Choosing a longer route might let you take advantage of larger doorways, avoid a narrow staircase, or steer clear of obstacles, such as a fountain or winding hallway.
By planning your route, you’ll also be able to protect delicate structures, such as banisters, or install helpful hardware, such as a ramp, to help you navigate potential trouble spots. Finally, once you know which way you’ll be going, make sure it’s clear of obstacles, such as furniture and boxes. Carrying bulky items limits your visibility, which makes it far harder to avoid tripping hazards when carrying a heavy load.
Get the Right Equipment
Moving heavy items is easier with the right gear. It reduces the effort required to convey objects and helps prevent damage to your home. Depending on the size of your move, you’ll need:
- Dollies and Hand Trucks. Though the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, a dolly is a four-wheeled square platform while a hand truck is a two wheeled, L-shaped moving cart. They remove or significantly lessen the strain of transporting boxes and oversized objects.
- Ramps. Installing a ramp over your front steps or between different levels in your house eliminates tripping hazards and creates safer routes through your home.
- Moving Straps or Shoulder Dollies. These hook under the furniture and around your shoulders, distributing the weight evenly between your body’s load-bearing muscles in order to reduce fatigue.
- Sliders. Small discs placed under furniture so you can slide it easily across the floor. They save effort and prevent scratching. A blanket or towel also works. Simply lift each corner of your furniture, slip the blanket underneath, and pull it where you need it. Thick blankets work best and won’t tear when dragging large furniture.
- Gloves. Wearing gloves protects your hands from sharp edges. It also prevents dirt and oil in your skin from getting on your belongings.
Remove and Empty Drawers
Drawers might not weigh much, but when you’re moving a desk or dresser, every bit counts. If your drawers can’t be removed, then make sure they’re completely empty. Making your furniture as light as possible also makes it easier to maneuver.
Disassemble Your Furniture
Anything in your home that can be taken apart should be. Dismantled furniture is easier to carry and transport, and allows you to use the space in your moving van more efficiently.
Use Proper Technique
Repeatedly bending and lifting heavy items can lead to serious lower back pain.. Carrying them in an unbalanced position can also lead to accidents. The best way to move heavy objects is to:
- Keep Your Back Straight. This lets your knees, hips, and legs absorb the weight, while your back and abdominal muscles keep you stable.
- Don’t Twist Your Back. Twisting or turning your back while carrying a heavy object puts a lot of stress on your muscles and spine. If you have to turn, rotate your entire body instead.
- Carry Items Close to Your Chest. This helps you maintain balance and keeps the burden on your arms and shoulders, rather than your back.
- Carry Items High and Low. When moving tall items, have one person hold the top while the other holds the bottom. This keeps the weight centered and prevents it from swinging uncontrollably.
Wrap Furniture in Blankets
Moving blankets protect your furniture from bumps and scratches, as well as any rain or dirt they might encounter during the moving process. They do the same for your home as well. In fact, covering doors, banisters, and other delicate structures in blankets is a good way to protect them from getting dinged up.
Wrap your furniture as tight as possible, then secure it with plastic stretch wrap. Unlike tape, plastic wrap sticks to itself but doesn’t leave behind any residue. Your bundles stay compact and manageable while your belongings remain free from damage.
Wear Appropriate Shoes
When moving heavy items, the last thing you want is for one of them to fall and land on your toes. On the off chance something goes wrong, make sure your feet are protected by wearing closed toed shoes. Unlike sandals, closed toed shoes wrap around your entire foot, provide strong arch support, won’t slip off, and also reduce the likelihood of blisters.
Ask For Help
Most of the heavy objects in your house are too big to move on your own. Ask at least one friend or family member for help. Or consider hiring a professional moving team. They’ll not only have the right tools and supplies, but the right experience as well. After years spent handling heavy items, they’ll know how to guide them safely through tight spaces.
Moving with Allied
Allied is a full service moving company. We don’t just load and transport your goods. We help with every aspect of the moving process, including preparing and packing your belongings. Our team can supply everything you need, from boxes to blankets to plastic wrap. Our experienced teams know how to move heavy items quickly and safely. They can even help disassemble and reassemble your furniture. Every service is customizable. Choose the level of help that fits your needs and your budget. Contact us today for a free quote!