There’s a good reason why the home moving process is always associated with lifting and carrying around heavy things such as furniture pieces, electric appliances, and filled cardboard boxes. In reality, moving to a new home does come down to lugging around heavy objects – safely, of course.
And unless you have made the sensible choice to hire professional movers who have been trained well to handle heavyweight items, you will definitely need to know how to properly lift heavy objects without hurting yourself or causing any damage to the home itself.
Read on to get familiar with the 10 proper lifting techniques when moving heavy furniture and boxes on Moving day.
What you will need to do before lifting heavy objects
Before we outline the principles of safe lifting techniques, let’s first say a few words about what you need to do before you start lugging around those heavy furniture pieces and heavyweight moving boxes. As always, preparation is key!
The most important thing to remember before moving heavy objects on Moving day is that you’re not trying to speed up the process. Instead, what you’re attempting to do is prevent personal injury, especially back injury. Of course, once you master the basic manual handling and lifting techniques, you’ll be able to avoid property damage as well – a good bonus that reflects the overall concept of Moving day safety.
For your own safety, don’t you even lift your finger before you have completed the following brief checklist – only then are you authorized to commence any heavy lifting operations.
- Keep exit paths clear. Make sure no obstacles are present along the pathways, for randomly cluttered items can seriously jeopardize your safety and the safety of everyone else involved in the move. The paths outside your home should also be free of any debris, excessive dust, water, mud, snow, or ice.
- Have appropriate footwear. Select the most comfortable shoes you own – the ones that will give you the best protection possible. Go for closed shoes with rubber soles that offer good traction and flexibility. Sports shows are usually great for the purpose.
- Ask friends for timely help. Lifting heavy furniture and packed boxes is not something you should do entirely on your own – it’s fairly risky, it’s rather dangerous, and it’s really unsafe. Ask good friends to give you a hand when you need it the most, and of course – promise to return the favor when the right time comes. If your friends cannot come to the rescue this time, you must consider hiring professional movers to avoid hurting yourself during the move.
10 Proper lifting techniques: How to properly lift heavy objects
Interestingly enough, underestimation and overestimation can be your worst enemies when you are required to lift heavy items during your house move. Do not underestimate the effectiveness of the proper lifting mechanics, and do not overestimate your own abilities and physical strength to lift and carry heavyweight objects come Moving day.
Ultimately, your knowledge of the proper lifting techniques will enable you to keep everything running smoothly and more importantly – safely. Here’s how to lift heavy objects properly in order to prevent injuries and avoid damage.
1. Always think before you lift
Hasty actions can be your archenemy when lifting heavy things on your Moving day. Make sure you complete an initial assessment of the task ahead of you to determine whether or not you can handle the load safely. Discuss the situation with your friends. Resist the temptation to prove to yourself or to your pals just how strong you are.
2. Keep a stable base
Always keep a wide and stable base with your feet before lifting heavy objects. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with one of your feet slightly forward. This way, the weight of the item you’re trying to lift and carry will be distributed across your entire body without putting too much pressure on one particular area.
3. Have a proper back posture
Improper lifting techniques often result in some form of back injury – something you must avoid at all cost. Adopt a proper back posture – always keep your back straight, your shoulders back, and your look straight ahead. Your upper back should be as straight as possible while your powerful lower limbs are doing the hard work.
4. Bend your knees, not your back
Speaking of right lifting techniques, remember to always bend your knees, not your back. This simple yet crucial detail cannot be stressed enough! Bending your knees will allow you to use the strong leg muscles to power the entire lifting operation, while at the same time it will reduce the pressure from the much weaker back muscles.
5. Keep a good grip
Make sure you have a firm grip on the heavy object before attempting to lift it. It’s always a good idea to wear work gloves of good quality that will improve the grip significantly and will protect your fingers and hands during the move. Whenever available, use handles to minimize the risks of accidents.
6. Have items close to your body
While moving heavy boxes, for example, always keep them close to your waist – that is, relatively centered in relation to your body. This is an excellent way to maintain your stability because the load will stay close to your center of gravity. Also, keep your elbows tucked in and your eyes upfront at all times.
7. Move your feet, do not twist
It’s important that you do not bend or twist your back when lifting and carrying heavy furniture and boxes on Moving day. Instead of turning with your hips at the waist, what you should do is move your feet to turn together with the load.
8. Move slowly and smoothly
Avoid doing any sudden and abrupt movements that may place a surge of enormous pressure on a certain part of your body. Always make slow and smooth movements allowing the muscles and soft tissues in your body to have the time to adapt to the extra efforts. Also, make sure your footing is as secure as it can be, and take only small and carefully measured steps – one at a time.
9. Keep the load below waist level
Whenever possible, lift heavy items up to your waist. When lifting fairly heavy things over your head, you will put extra strain on your arm and back muscles which may lead to injury. Weight distribution in such cases is critical! If the load you’re trying to lift over your head turns out to be more than you can handle safely and its weight is not distributed evenly, you may easily pull a muscle.
10. Push rather than pull
If you’re using mechanical aid in the form of a furniture dolly or if you’ve just placed sliders under the legs of a super heavy furniture piece, then be mindful that it’s safer to push heavy objects forward than to pull them backward. This way, you’ll not only need less force to keep heavy items moving, but you’ll also be able to see what’s happening in front of you.
Good to know: Common moving injuries: types and prevention techniques