Moving yourself may help you save money in comparison to hiring a moving company, but it also means you'll be doing a lot of physical labor. Arriving at your new home with an injury won't be any fun, so make sure you follow these quick safety tips to avoid accidents and injuries as you pack, drive, and unpack.
Take big furniture items apart.
Even with several people helping you, moving big items like dressers and desks down flights of stairs and into the moving truck can be risky. You don't want to fall or drop the furniture on anyone's toes. The safest approach is to take these items apart if possible. Keep any screws in a plastic baggie, and rubber band it to the piece of furniture so the screws don't get lost.
Drive the route in advance.
If you're not moving too far away, drive the route from your old home to your new home in your car first so that you know what you're up against when it comes time to drive it with a big moving truck. It's a lot easier to quick jet off a hidden exit or get around a strange corner in a small car than in a big moving truck. If you're moving far away, at least take the time to carefully review your directions before you set off. Do not just rely on GPS -- you want to have a good idea of where you're going so you can drive more confidently in that big, awkward truck.
Get instructions from the rental truck company before you leave.
Make sure you know where the emergency brake, lights, and windshield wipers are. Also, ask for any general operating tips. You'll need to brake sooner than you would in a car, and you'll need to take corners wider. Depending on the exact truck model, however, your rental company may be able to provide you with more specific advice.
Don't bring dangerous chemicals with you.
If you have any dangerous chemical products, like paint thinner or insecticides, give them away to friends before you move rather than bringing them with you. It would be dangerous for any of these to spill accidentally in the moving truck. Some products may even explode if you happen to get in a crash. If they're not even there, you don't have to worry.
Take plenty of breaks.
Packing your whole home's contents into a moving truck can be exhausting. When you're tired, you're more likely to make mistakes, such as dropping things or forgetting to secure items with straps inside the truck. Throughout the packing and loading process, take breaks every hour or so. Have a drink of water to stay hydrated, and get off your feet for a few minutes so your legs get a break.
Use smaller boxes.
Lifting heavy boxes can strain your back. Even if you lift with your knees, it's far too easy to pull a muscle if you're straining to lift an item. So, choose smaller boxes rather than big ones. Also, avoid filling entire boxes with heavy items like books. Instead of packing one box of books and one box of linens, for example, you can pack two boxes that are half linens and half books -- the boxes will be of manageable weight.
Don't pack alone.
Even if you only have one helper, wait until someone else is around before you start moving bigger items into the truck. You never know when something might topple over on you or when a heavy box may accidentally fall on your toe. It's best to have someone there to help you out if an accident does happen.
Keep hallways clear of obstacles.
It's far too easy to trip on something while you're carrying a box down the hall. While you're moving, keep all of your items to be moved in certain rooms, and do not let things accumulate in the hallway or walkways on the way to the moving truck. Periodically check the path between your home and the truck to ensure it is clear.
Moving is exciting, but it can also be dangerous. Following the tips above will help minimize the risk so you can focus on the good parts, and consider talking with a local moving company, such as Wheaton World Wide Moving, for more information and tips.