When we talk about moving, we often focus on the hassle of packing, the stress of budgeting and of course, the excitement of getting to that new home. One thing we don’t talk about enough is safety. It may not be the most fun topic, but focusing on safety during a move is crucial. From driving a moving truck to lifting boxes to dealing with unexpected situations like bad weather and tantrums from your kids, having a safety plan in place for your next move will make it so much easier.
Below are some tips for a safer move (P.S. Don’t forget that renting a storage unit can also help!):
Know How to Drive a Moving Truck
Let’s say you drive a sedan in your day-to-day life. Getting behind the wheel of a moving truck is a huge change. Don’t underestimate how different it will be. Before getting on the road to your new home, get to know the moving truck. Adjust the mirrors, test the brakes and check out the manual. You should also know your clearance height to avoid a tall-vehicle-low-bridge disaster. When driving, stay in the far right lane on the highway, give yourself plenty of space and don’t speed. Slow down when turning and park away from vehicles. If you’re leaving items in the moving truck overnight, back into a space against a wall to prevent theft.
Lift a Box the Right Way
The best way to avoid injury is to avoid overpacking boxes. If you’ve still got some heavy items, use a hand truck or enlist the help of a friend who can literally share the load. If you must lift a heavy box on your own, test the weight of it by nudging it with your foot before picking it up. Next, bend from the knees, lower into a squat and get a good grip on the box. Lift up slowly with your back straight and carry the box close to your body. Lower it with care.
Plan for the Weather—Any Weather
Moving in extreme heat? Stay hydrated, eat salty snacks and dress in loose, light-colored clothing. Reapply sunscreen regularly and take breaks in the shade or in air conditioning. If you’re moving in the winter, dress warmly and allot extra time for the possibility of inclement weather. Pour salt on walking paths prior to moving day and always wear non-slip shoes. Similar advice applies to moving in the rain. Put on non-slip shoes, drive slowly and use handrails when walking down stairs. Pro tip: Consider renting a storage unit with EZ Drive Thru so that you can unpack in a fully-enclosed building.
Hire a Sitter for Kids and Pets
Moving is stressful for children and pets, and having the door open while you move out of your home can allow them to get out when they shouldn’t. If your kids are too young to help with moving, hire a babysitter or ask a friend or family member to watch them. For dogs, cats and other pets, contact your vet about boarding options or hire a pet sitter. If you are unable to hire a babysitter or pet sitter, take steps to ensure that children are supervised and pets are secure behind a closed door or in a crate.
What’s the best way to have a safer—and let’s be honest, happier—move? Hire professional movers to do the job for you. Yes, this costs more than the DIY method, but it can prevent injury to you and damage to your belongings. About a month before your move, contact several moving companies and request estimates to see what you can afford. Trust us, the investment will be worth it come moving day.
Be Prepared to Improvise
Moving isn’t fun; of course you want to get it over with. However, rushing can compromise the safety of your move. If the friends who are supposed to help you load up your boxes into your storage unit need to reschedule, be open to that. If there’s a blizzard during your cross-country move, hunker down in a motel for the night instead of driving in dangerous conditions. If you’re not comfortable driving a moving truck and would prefer to hire movers, trust your gut. Once you’re in your new home with all of your belongings, you’ll be glad you took the time to ensure a safe move.