Moving home, or packing possessions up for self-storage, is a serious workout. Plenty of bending, stretching, step aerobics as you head up and down the stairs and, of course, heavy lifting with all of those boxes.
At Space Station, we offer a complimentary removals service if you need it, so we know a thing or two about moving boxes – here are our tips for making sure you don't hurt yourself if you do choose to do things yourself.
- Dress the part. It might seem silly, but make sure you're wearing comfortable, loose fitting clothing and sturdy shoes for maximum freedom of movement and stability. Don't move all of your boxes in skinny jeans and flip-flops, for example.
- Plan things out. Don't just start grabbing boxes – make sure there's space to put things down before you pick them up, and clear your path from room to room, and out to the van.
- Don't twist. Stand in front of the item you're lifting and face it straight on – twisting to lift can put unnecessary strain on your back.
- Bend at the knees. Surely the most common piece of advice for safe lifting – bend your knees to lower yourself down, with only a slight bend at the hips, rather than bending entirely at the waist and putting strain on your back.
- Grip tightly, and hold boxes close to your body. Hold boxes with the heaviest side resting against your chest or waist to keep strain off your arms. It means you'll be less likely to drop things, too.
- Keep it smooth. Keep your movements smooth, rather than jerky – you'll be less likely to drop things, as well as less likely to hurt yourself by snapping your back or neck up quickly.
- Put things down when you need to. If you're struggling with the weight, or are losing your grip, put the box down, take a breather, readjust and try again. Shuffling while carrying is yet another great way to drop things and hurt yourself.
- Know your limit. Don't lift more than you're able to – if a box is too heavy, get some help, or split the items into smaller boxes.
Don't push yourself too hard, either – take a rest every now and then to let your muscles recover.
There's no sense hurting yourself over a move – so take it slow, be careful, and don't be afraid to call in the pros if you're struggling. If you do sustain an injury, don't ignore it – consult your GP in the event of severe pain that lasts more than a day or two.