How to Move to Your New Waterloo Region Home Safely
As exciting as moving into your new Waterloo Region home will no doubt be, moving itself can be more perilous than you think. It's grueling work that, when paired with heavy lifting, sharp packing knives, and other risky variables, can result in serious injury if not done properly.
This is especially true if you're planning a do-it-yourself move and will be hauling big heavy boxes and bulky furniture without the assistance of professionals. Protecting yourself during your move is just as vital (if not more important) than protecting your stuff, which is why you should never move without first learning some fundamental moving safety rules.
Here are some of the most important ones to remember.
Don't Overpack Boxes
It doesn't mean you should put 100 pounds of books in that medium-sized box just because you can technically fit them in. Each moving box is designed to bear a particular amount of weight, and going over that limit might cause strain or injury to your back, knees, and other joints.
Pack no more than 50 pounds in a small box, 65 pounds in a medium box, and 70 pounds in a big box as a general rule. Save those extra-large boxes for bulky (but not necessarily heavy) items like linens and comforters, clothes, and cushions.
Wrap Sharp Objects
Knives, gardening tools, and other sharp objects that aren't properly wrapped and secured can cause serious injury during packing and unpacking, as well as the items dangerously protruding out of your packed boxes. Wrap these items in packing paper and/or bubble wrap to protect yourself from sharp edges. Roll the wrapped object in a dish towel and secure it with a rubber band for added protection.
Dress for the Occasion
When you're moving, your clothes should be comfortable and manageable, but avoid baggy or too-large apparel, which can obstruct your movement or cause you to trip, even if it is the more seemingly comfortable option.
To stay as comfortable as possible, choose clothing that is soft, breathable, and weather suitable, and make sure to wear footwear that provides adequate support and grip. Stick to sneakers or boots instead of flimsy flip flops or heels that hinder your balance and mobility.
Have a Lifting Plan
Heavy lifting is an inevitable part of moving into a new Waterloo Region home, but it can put a lot of strain on your muscles and joints, especially around your spine. To decrease the risk, just lift as much as is absolutely necessary.
If you're moving by yourself, prepare ahead of time how you'll organize the truck so you don't have to lift and carry boxes and furniture more than is required.
You'll want to follow the fundamentals of heavy lifting to stay safe and avoid injury, which includes keeping your spine alignment as neutral as possible during the procedure. Bend at your knees, not your waist, while lifting up heavy loads from the ground.
To keep your equilibrium, keep heavy loads close to your body and avoid twisting your body when lifting or carrying. If you must twist or turn, begin with your hips rather than your feet.
Only Lift What You Are Truly Capable Of
This is a move, not a weightlifting competition. Instead of attempting to tackle something on your own if something feels too heavy or you are not sure if you can move it without dropping it, get assistance. You know your body better than anybody else, so pay attention to what it's telling you, and don't try to carry more than you can.
Use a Dolly
By taking on much of the effort involved in hauling large objects, a dolly can make the entire process of transporting your items from your old home to the truck to your new home a lot easier. You can usually rent one from your local hardware shop or moving company if you don't already have one.
Stretch Before, After, and During the Move
Your body is more prone to damage if your muscles and limbs are tight. Stretching throughout the day, especially in the morning before you start and later in the day when you're finished, will keep your body loose.
If you have a known trouble region, such as your knees or shoulders, make it a point to focus on it to avoid and relieve any stress or discomfort.
Keep a Clear Path Open
Whether you're packing, hauling, or unpacking, it's critical that you provide a clean path through which you may go without encountering any barriers. Trips and falls are dangerous enough on their own, but they're even more so when the environment is cluttered and/or you're carrying something heavy.
Making safety a priority during your move means avoiding adding to the already-existing concerns, so make sure to identify and keep a clear path both inside and outdoors.
Get Enough Rest
When you're tired, you're more likely to have an accident, which is why getting adequate sleep is so important throughout your move. When you are in the middle of packing or unpacking, it's tempting to stay up as late as possible, but you're not doing yourself any favors, and you might even injure yourself.
If you know you'll need more time to complete your tasks, go to bed at a decent hour and get up extra early rather than staying up late. You'll have the energy you need to move quickly, intelligently, and safely.
Stay Hydrated and Eat Healthy
Without preaching too much about the general need to eat well and drink plenty of water during your move, no list of moving safety advice would be complete without mentioning it. Failure to do either of these things can result in tiredness, weakness, and a foggy mind, all of which increase your risk of injury and accidents.
Keep nutritious, high-energy snacks on available, such as almonds, protein bars, and whole-grain crackers, and take breaks for entire meals. Also, even if you're not thirsty, drink water on a regular basis. Sure, you'll take more toilet breaks, but that's better than suffering from dehydration's dangerous side effects, such as a reduction in brain function and cardiovascular stress.
Keep Kids and Pets Busy Elsewhere
It's never a good idea to have too many figurative cooks in the kitchen, especially if those cooks are prone to mishaps.
If you have children or pets, the best thing you can do for them and yourself during a move is to keep them occupied and contained in a designated safe zone area, or have a friend or family member look after them outside of your home. Any small animal, two-legged or four-legged, running under your feet adds a new level of danger that should be avoided if at all possible.
Listen to Your Body
It's a recipe for disaster if you ignore indicators that you need to slow down. It's been said before, but it bears repeating: your body will tell you what it needs right now, and it's critical that you listen.
If you're experiencing tension, discomfort, or weariness, don't ignore it and keep going. It's fine to take a break or seek assistance if necessary. Trying to do more than you're capable of is one of the most dangerous moving mistakes you can make when it comes to safety. If you need to take a break or alter your strategy, do so.
It's OK to Defer to the Professionals
Don't try to do more than you can handle. When you have a difficult moving job ahead of you, hiring a professional moving company is sometimes the best—and safest—thing you can do for yourself.
When it comes to safe moving, professionals have a lot more knowledge and know-how, and they can complete the work faster and more efficiently than you can. Yes, it may be more expensive in some ways, but the cost of days (or weeks) off work with a bad back, or the price you'll need to replace the big TV you dropped (and repair the big hole it left in your new home's floor) will probably be even higher.
Keeping yourself safe throughout your move takes both planning and common sense. To be sure you're doing everything you can to avoid accidents and injuries, follow the moving safety advice above. Make your own physical requirements a priority alongside the needs of your move, and do everything you can to move as safely as possible, so you can enjoy being a new Waterloo Region homeowner in the way you hope.