It doesn’t matter whether you live in a big house or a small apartment. Unless you’re a minimalist, accustomed to the zen-like experience of sleeping on a roll-up mat and staying entertained with endless hours of staring at your single piece of wall art, you’ll have some heavy objects to deal with when the time comes to move. During this process, you’ll want to be sure that you’re lifting items correctly in order to protect your back and sleep easy in your new home (on your very much non-rollable mattress).
Before you commit to actually moving an object, visualize a plan in your mind for how you are going to do it. Here are a few variables to keep in mind before you begin moving.
- How heavy is it?
It seems obvious, but you can easily forget how heavy something is and put too much strain on your body to keep a stable hold of it. Complete a quick trial run of slightly lifting or moving the object before doing it for a longer time and distance.
- What path are you going to take to move it?
When you’re holding a 40-pound nightstand, the time to rationally and methodically think of a plan has passed. Make sure to plan out the path that you are going to take before you lift the object to make your journey much smoother.
- Where are you going to hold it?
Make sure your grip on your item gives you a good amount of leverage and doesn’t put you in danger of losing your balance or dropping the item. If you don’t feel confident, find a partner or mover to help.
- Squat – Don’t bend over to pick up items. This puts a lot of stress on your lower back instead of your stronger leg muscles that’ll be more up to the task. Instead, you should bend low at the knees, then drive up on your heels. Don’t stand using your toes because you’ll be at risk of falling forward.
- Keep your back straight – Pull your shoulders back as you stand, lifting in a controlled manner. Fast or jerky motions are more likely to injure you, so take it slow. When you are standing up straight, the object should sit comfortably on your hips.
- Take small steps – If you take large steps with heavy items, you are liable to lose balance. Even a minor fall can turn into a nasty one if you are hauling a heavy box around. No one remembers the person who took big steps while moving a heavy box, but they do remember the one who fell down and twisted their ankle.
- Don’t lean over – When you set the object down, don’t bend at your back. Set the object down using the same pattern with which you picked it up. Bend all the way down at your knees and set it down in a controlled fashion.
Moving heavy objects is a hassle, but with proper form and technique, you’ll be able to avoid any potential injury on your move and rest easy.