While folks can save a few bucks by lifting and moving the boxes themselves, they run the risk of suffering moving injuries if they don’t know what they’re doing.
Of course, that’s not to say that a careful and in-shape person can’t move their possessions. Still, it helps to know what you’re doing when it comes to heavy lifting.
Read on for a few tips and tricks on how to get your stuff from Point A to Point B without layover at Point C (that would be your couch, with a heating pad applied).
1. Know Your Limits
If something feels too heavy to lift safely, then it probably is. Stop and get help—either from a friend, family member or a professional.
There are some items that regular folks just shouldn’t attempt to move themselves. Think large appliances, heavy bookcases and the like: It just takes one slip or trip, and you could break a bone.
2. Keep It Close
There’s an old saying: Keep your friends close, but your moving boxes closer. Okay, so that’s not exactly a saying, but it should be.
As this blog post from MIT explains, the closer you are when you lift the object (while keeping a wide base), the easier it will be on your body.
To get close, try using the diagonal method: that’s one foot to the box’s side, the other foot behind the box. Lift that way and the box should stay close to your body, which will ease stress on your back and neck.
3. Use the Abdominals
Even if your mid-section is more keg than six-pack, using those muscles while lifting and carrying can help ease the work your back is doing.
Flex those muscles while lifting, and your spine will thank you for it, MIT writes.
4. Lift With Your Legs
No doubt this isn’t the first time you’ve heard this bit of advice, but it bears repeating: When lifting something heavy … bend your knees, get centered and then upsy-daisy.
If you have to turn, turn with your feet—not your hips.
5. Think Before You Act
Have a plan before you start lifting. Don’t lift up that antique anvil without knowing ahead of time where you’re going to place it.