Did the pandemic’s sweeping changes result in a pending relocation for your family? Maybe you decided you needed more space for the baby you have on-board or downsized an empty nest.
Regardless of your motivations, relocation can involve significant hazards. They don’t begin and end with achy muscles from lifting boxes. The following eight safety tips will help you navigate your fall move without a trip to the emergency room.
1. Start Packing Early
Did you know that many workplace injuries occur on Mondays and when jobs run behind schedule? That’s because rushing around causes you to cut corners when it comes to safety, sometimes with disastrous results.
If you want to make your fall move less accident-prone, get packing early. Depending on your home’s size, you may want to begin a month or two in advance. Start with your least frequently used areas and finish up in the kitchen. That way, you’ll save money and the planet from the excess use of disposable cups and plates.
2. Get Your New Home Inspected
If your current apartment is a study in landlord negligence, you probably eagerly look forward to owning a home where you handle the necessary repairs. That doesn’t mean you’ll celebrate spending thousands on critical fixes — a home inspection can identify hidden hazards.
Additionally, you might be one of many looking to reduce your cost of living by relocating from the city to the countryside. You won’t meet this objective if you purchase a money pit. Septic tank trouble can make you yearn for the days when your noisy upstairs neighbor was your only complaint.
3. Wear Protective Gloves
You’ll rarely see a DIY home show that doesn’t feature participants wearing gloves. No matter how careful you try to be with your vintage wine glass collection, glassware can break in transit. Reaching into a box unawares can result in a painful gash — one made even more excruciating in today’s era of hand sanitizer.
If you have furry friends, you might discover previously unnoticed hairballs when you start slinging sofas. You don’t want to touch them barehanded. Plus, some specialty work gloves feature non-slip grips that make carrying boxes less unwieldy.
4. Cover Your Eyes
Unless you and TV’s “Queen of Clean” are best buddies, you will probably stir up more than your fair share of dust while moving. If you wear contacts, exposure to these flying particles can leave you with torn lenses and scratched corneas — ouch.
Please consider wearing protective goggles. It’s better to look a bit bug-eyed temporarily than don a pirate costume for months complete with an eyepatch while your injury heals.
5. Brace Your Back
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over a third of workplace back injuries result from lifting heavy objects. That figure includes professional movers — you can imagine the risk to laypeople.
Please consider protecting your back by wearing a brace. If you are a powerlifter, your gym weight belt provides some protection. If you have chronic lumbar pain, you can find versions that come complete with suspenders to offer additional cushioning.
6. Carry a First Aid Kit
You trip on a concrete ledge while carrying a bulky box and gash your knee open. You have no clue where the nearest pharmacy or convenience store is, and you have a gusher.
Make sure you carry a fully stocked first aid kit with you, please. This principle can save you considerable anguish if you move to an unfamiliar location and don’t yet know where to get supplies when you arrive.
7. Hire Adequate Help
Moving companies don’t come inexpensively — most cost anywhere from $90 to $120 per hour. However, emergency room visits can ring in at thousands more. Remember the principle of taking your time? Don’t bite off more than you can realistically chew, either.
Make sure you hire adequate help. Evaluate your ability levels honestly. If you have health conditions that make straining yourself dangerous, you don’t want to miss your housewarming party due to spending time in the hospital.
8. Give Yourself Additional Time
Finally, moving involves physical exertion far beyond what you probably experience daily unless you’re an athlete or a construction worker by trade. All that effort means using muscles you never knew you had — and they will cause productivity-robbing soreness, even if you keep fit. If at all possible, schedule an extra day or two off of work. You deserve some TLC and maybe a professional massage.
Remember, your brain is a muscle, too. Moving requires you to keep track of countless details, from where you hid the spare keys to when to schedule water shut-off to allow for carpet cleaning at your old place. You can only focus for so long — padding your schedule with extra time lets you recover mentally.
Keep Safety a Priority During Your Fall Move With These Tips
Moving is an exciting new start, but it also contains hazards aplenty. Keep safety a priority during your fall move by following these eight tips.