How to Avoid Injuries When Moving

Posted in Moving on Feb 03, 2023, tagged with moving tips

How to Avoid Injuries When Moving

Moving injuries are common—just imagine someone throwing their back out on moving day and being unable to participate in the move—but they are, thankfully, avoidable for the most part if you are careful. 

In this post, we will share some expert tips for avoiding moving day injuries, including:

  • Planning ahead
  • Packing accordingly
  • Getting the right equipment
  • Dressing appropriately 
  • Preparing your space
  • Lifting with care
  • Knowing when to stop
  • Asking for help
  • Hiring professionals

Now let’s dive in.

Plan ahead

As much as possible, try to avoid rushing to be out of your home. Panic-packing and speeding through the moving process often leads to mistakes and carelessness, which can quickly result in injuries. Avoid injuries by planning ahead and taking steps in advance, such as: 

  • Start picking up packing supplies as soon as you know you are moving
  • Arrange your moving logistics—whether you are hiring movers, recruiting a shipping team, or moving on your own, you should nail down an exact moving date as early as possible
  • With your moving date in place, create a moving timeline and stick to it
  • Begin packing early in the process
  • If you’re moving yourself and you’re really committed, work on strengthening your core and leg muscles ahead of moving day. 

Pack easy-to-lift boxes and disassemble furniture

Whatever you do, resist the urge to overpack your boxes. It can be tempting to cram as much stuff as possible into a single box, but if you can’t lift it easily, you are setting yourself up for an injury (and for damaged goods when the box eventually tears). Boxes should be a maximum of 40 lbs, but you can opt for a lower weight if you don’t feel you can comfortably lift 40 lbs. 

Whenever you can, disassemble furniture into its smallest possible form to make lifting and transporting it easier. Remove legs, cushions, cabinet doors, etc. and place the screws and other attaching components in a bag that you tape to the furniture. This will make it lighter and easier to carry to the moving truck. 

Get the right equipment

Using proper moving equipment like work gloves, dollys, sliders, and moving straps is key to avoiding injury. Using a dolly makes it easier to lift and maneuver heavy items. If you don’t think you’ll need these items long term, you can rent them from most truck rental places. 

Dress appropriately

Wear appropriate clothing. This means items that you should cover your skin as much as possible to help prevent scrapes or splinters. Choose items such as pants, long sleeves, work gloves, and closed-toed shoes. If you are prone to back injuries, you may also wish to consider wearing a support belt or other braces to help protect your joints. 

Prep your space

To reduce holdups and struggling around corners or through doorways when you have your arms full, prep your home before you move the first box. 

  • Clear walkways of boxes or furniture 
  • Protect floors and carpets with plastic sheeting, cardboard, newspaper, old sheets and rugs, or other protective materials to prevent scratches and dents and limit the amount of dirt your floors are exposed to. Secure them in place with tape and double check to make sure these protective items won’t be tripping hazards. 
  • Tape down any cords or cables that can’t be removed ahead of the move. 
  • Attach sheets to walls to prevent scratches.
  • Wrap stair railings and banisters with thick blankets.
  • Install temporary corner guards.
  • If possible, put down non-slip treads on stairs.
  • Remove doors from the hinges and add padding to the frame.  
  • Take down everything hanging on the walls.
  • For large items, plan out the best possible route in advance.

Move items with care

You are most at risk of injury when you are lifting, carrying, and setting down items, so it is important to be careful when you begin to move any item. The best way to avoid injury when lifting something is to: 

  • Lift with your legs and keep your feet shoulder-width apart while lifting.
  • Keep your back straight.
  • Keep the weight close to your body.
  • Take small steps and walk slowly.
  • Try to hold items high enough that you aren’t having to bend while you carry them, but do not lift items over your head.
  • Don’t turn with your hips.
  • When putting an item down, reverse the lifting process—keep your back straight and bend your knees so your legs take most of the weight. 

Know when to stop

Schedule breaks and stick to them. It’s important to rest when you have reached your limit so you don’t get overtired and injure yourself. Mistakes happen when you push beyond what you’re capable of, so don’t be afraid to take 15 minute breaks as needed to rest and refuel (or tackle gentler moving tasks for a while that don’t require much physical effort). It’s also important to stay hydrated and eat often to keep your energy levels up. 

Ask for help

Nobody can move house entirely by themselves, so don’t be afraid to ask your family and friends to help. You will need a minimum of two people, but having four or five people will really speed up the process and make everything easier. 

Hire professionals

The easiest way to avoid injuries while moving is to hire professionals to do the heavy lifting for you. Moving is stressful enough as it is without all the strenuous physical activity of actually loading and unloading a truck, so why not leave the hardest part of the job to someone else? 


Injuries are mostly preventable during the moving process if you take care and don’t rush ahead, overpack boxes, or try to move everything in the same day. Take steps to avoid injuries by: 

  • Planning ahead
  • Packing accordingly
  • Getting the right equipment
  • Dressing appropriately 
  • Preparing your space
  • Lifting with care
  • Knowing when to stop
  • Asking for help
  • Hiring professionals

Moving long distance?

TSI specializes in long distance and out-of-state moves. 

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