Moving house can be a stressful time. Part of this is money-related. Whether you’re going to be renting or are buying your new home, sometimes it can feel like the bills are stacking up.
Moving your possessions to your new home yourself is a great way to save money. Whether you rent a van or use your own transport, moving your belongings yourself is cheaper than hiring a company to do it for you.
But before you get started you need to be sure that you can do the job safely. Moving house usually involves lots of heavy lifting. If you do this wrong you can end up hurting yourself and having to hire a removal company anyway.
To help you avoid all this, we’ve made a 5 step guide to lifting heavy objects on moving day.
1. Have a look at what you’re about to move
The first thing you should do when preparing to lift a heavy object is take a look at it. Check to see if it’s got handles or any particularly convenient places to pick it up. This might stop you from trapping your fingers or dropping it.
You should also try testing its weight if you can. Sometimes it can be hard to work out how heavy an object is by just looking at it – if it’s small it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not heavy.
Finally, check the object for any loose or unstable parts. If any of it’s detachable, it might be a good idea to take these off to make it lighter. And if it’s a box, look inside it. If its contents shift around while you’re carrying it and you’re not prepared, you might lose your balance.
2. Think about where you’re moving your object to
You can lessen the amount of time you spend lifting a heavy object if you know where you’re taking it. Reminding yourself of where you’re going and how you’re going to get there beforehand will stop you dithering around with a heavy load and potentially injuring yourself.
Once you’re sure of your route, have a quick look to see if there are any hazards on the way. Make a note of any steps or changes of level and clear away any removable objects.
3. Get into position
The golden rule is to lift with your legs, not your back. Start with your back straight and your knees bent. Preparing by squatting with your feet shoulder-width apart will mean that when you do lift the heavy object you’ll be using all the right muscles.
4. Go ahead and lift
Once you’re in position, go ahead and lift. Keep your back straight and the object close to you to avoid straining. Use your leg muscles and move slowly and smoothly. Try to avoid twisting your body or hunching your shoulders.
5. Put it down safely
Putting a heavy object down safely is just as important as picking it up. Make sure that where you’re putting it is level and stable. As with picking it up, use your leg muscles and not your back. Keep holding the object close to your body and lower it down by bending your knees. Put it down gently to avoid straining yourself.
So now you should be one step closer to moving safely and relatively cheaply. And remember, if you think an object is too heavy for you to lift, don’t do it! Your health is more valuable than the object and it’s not worth the risk.