As if you didn’t have enough to worry about, moving can be a dangerous task. Not like swimming overnight off the coast of the Australia dangerous, but enough where planning and mindfulness will benefit you. We are not quite at the age where we can make robots lug around our jam-packed boxes, while carrier drones transport the storage container to the new location. Think of this like you would the cautionary lessons in Science class where the teacher would spend two hours trying to get you to wear safety goggles. After your entire school career, I bet you still smelled chemicals directly. You’re supposed to waft the fumes. The entire lesson may seem like common sense, but it will save you from a date with some dissolving acid and third degree chemical burns. Safety and convenience is our top priority, so we are certainly here to help! Grab your grip chalk and your moving suspenders as we take a look at some tips that will make you just a bit safer.
The more, the merrier! No matter what those Christopher Nolan movies told you, Batman needs his Robin just like Bert needs Ernie and Nicholas Cage needs a gig that will get him out of bankruptcy. The point is, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Moving all that stuff can be exhausting and, coupled with the heat from strenuous activity, can be detrimental to your health. The last thing we need is for the Captain and champion move organizer to go down. Along with providing muscle, friends or family will be able to give you an outside perspective on your current state. You may look a little famished or tired, so they can recommend a quick nap or a snack. Moving can also be dangerous for children and pets. It may be worth cashing in a favor or two so that a close friend can watch the little ones in the days where the house is stacked full of misplaced boxes and items.
Help doesn’t just come in the form of friends or family, but comes from the past version of yourself. Pay attention to what you wear on the days that you participate in heavy lifting or moving. If the objects are large and cumbersome, you may want to wear some jeans to protect your legs from scratches and scrapes. Make sure to pick out your favorite ones as they are likely to be broken-in and flexible for the bending that you must do. In most situations, it will be best to dress light so that you retain as little heat as possible. Athletic shoes are the best kind of footwear. They are formed to reduce stress on your feet and will give you enough breathing room to stay comfortable.
Pack like a pro! Whenever I pack or move, I tend to just cram as many things as possible into a single box to save me a trip out to buy more boxes. This results in 300 lb. boxes mixed with breakable objects and heavy books (you wouldn’t believe how heavy books are until you start moving!) that caused me muscle pain for a week. Don’t be like me. Invest in the moving supplies early so you aren’t tempted to put unneeded strain on the boxes. The target weight for each box should be around 30 lbs; that is a comfortable weight for most people to lift and it also saves you from having to pick up your scattered belongings when the bottom inevitably gives way.
Channel that moving Zen! The greatest mistakes and the greatest dangers to come out of your move happen because you aren’t paying attention. As I mentioned before, there is always a tendency to go on autopilot, but in unfamiliar situations, this can play against you. The key is to slow down. Take every part of the move piece by piece. When you are moving a group of boxes, think about how you will only ever have to move this one box: the one in the present moment. You are much more likely to get the job done by dividing it up and thinking about it as parts with tiny goals. Pay close attention to your body throughout the entire process. If you are in pain, or if you are hungry or tired, take a break and tend to your needs. It is all too common that we push off the necessities to get something done. You are the ultimate piece in the big moving machine! As far as moving and lifting heavy objects, always push the heavy stuff over pulling it (dramatically reduces body strain). Follow your father’s advice about lifting with your legs, keeping one foot slightly in front of the other, feeling the pressure and tension in the lower part of your body. You’re back will be healthier for it.