If you’re moving soon and planning to move all your possessions yourself, be prepared to lift and move a wide variety of boxes and other containers.
While small, light boxes can be quick and easy to move, larger or heavier ones can pose some challenges. While the difficulty of physically moving them is obviously a factor, this can also pose a risk of damaging other items while moving large boxes around, or even severely injuring yourself.
Lifting objects incorrectly commonly leads to muscle strain and injuries. This is the case even when they aren’t overly heavy, but the risk is exacerbated significantly when they are.
Thankfully we’ve listed some tips for safely lifting, carrying and putting down weighty boxes minimising the risk of injury to yourself. By sticking to this guide, you’ll make the task a lot easier, smoother and safer.
Lifting a Box Safely During a Move
Wear Appropriate Clothing and Footwear
Shoes are probably the most important factor here. Moving heavy items in open toe shoes like sandals or sliders is a bad idea. Equally, do not attempt to move heavy boxes while wearing heels. All it takes is dropping something heavy on your feet in sandals to cause a serious injury, and simply losing your balance in heels can have the same result.
Trainers or comfortable flats are much safer and help to avoid any potential mishaps.
In regards to clothes, things you would wear to work out or play sports or are ideal. Tight fitting leggings, joggers, t -shirts etc. Things like jeans or more formal attire can make it much more difficult to bend down and are likely to make a moving day a much more sweaty experience.
If you start the task in the wrong clothes, you’ll only waste time getting changed later, so consider this point first.
Test the Weight
Bend down and lightly lift a corner of the box to test the weight. If it’s so heavy that you can’t even budge a corner, do not attempt to lift it. You will likely need assistance or equipment to safely move something this heavy.
If you move part of the box easily and feel you can lift it safely, then feel free to do so.
Is Help Needed?
If you moved the box with ease in step 2 already, you can skip this point.
However if you couldn’t, and other heavy boxes need to be moved too, consider asking for help.
Family or friends can grab another side of the box for you and make things a lot easier, less stressful and less dangerous.
If help isn’t available, consider using a hire crates provider to move your possessions safely for you.
Ensure Box Contents are Laid Out Efficiently
The last thing you want is to pick up and have the weight completely throw you off by being heavy on one side and light on another. This can make the box tip over in your hands, causing its contents to slide to one side, which is likely to damage items and can cause you to drop the box entirely.
Ideally, spread all the items across the bottom of the box so that the weight is evenly distributed.
Put the heaviest items at the bottom so they don’t crush lighter items in the box or fall off them.
Split Boxes if Needed
If a box is too heavy, and you haven’t hired professional help, and no friends and family are available - rather than hurting yourself by trying to drag a box that’s way too heavy, split the contents into several smaller boxes.
This may be annoying and time consuming, but we promise, it’s infinitely better than struggling to move a box that is way too heavy for you.
Stand Straight on Before Lifting
Stand and face the box with your feet shoulder length apart. If they’re too close you can be unbalanced, and if they’re too far apart you will increase the risk of injury.
Squat With Your Knees
This is the single most important tip in our guide. Bending your back and then attempting to lift a box by straightening your back will cause a serious injury.
Instead keep your back straight and bend your knees, squatting down to grab the box. If you’re doing this correctly, your legs should be the only part of your body that moves.
Drive Up With Your Legs
Keeping your back straight like before, simply drive the box upwards by straightening your legs. All of the effort should come from your legs and your back shouldn’t move at all. As you stand up, bring the box towards your chest to support it as much as possible.
Walk Slowly Towards Your Destination
Now, simply walk slowly and carefully towards your removal van, car, or wherever you’re putting the boxes. Just like the previous steps, all of this work should be done with your legs. Don’t move, lean, bend or rotate your upper body at all, as this can transfer the weight to your lower back instead of your leg muscles.
Maintain the Same Form When Placing the Box Down
When you place the box down, follow the exact same process as when you picked it up. Keep your back upright and straight. Bend your knees first, and keep bending them until you’re able to place the box down.
Need Professional Help With Your Heavy Lifting?
If you would prefer not to do any of this, consider hiring professional help.
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With crate capacities ranging from 25 to 165 litres, no job is too big or too small for phs Teacrate. We serve the needs of households and businesses undertaking home or office moves, re-organisations, refurbishments or complete relocations.
To learn more about what we can do for you, and to turn your removal process into a stress free one, contact us now!