Moving to Minneapolis – Part 2 : Handling Boxes

If you read Part 1 of our guide to moving in Minneapolis, you’ve turned a home full of your stuff into a home full of boxes, boxes, and more boxes… and a few pieces of furniture. The next step is getting all those boxes out of your house and onto your moving truck.

College Muscle Movers can help. But maybe you’ve just got a small move to take care of that you’re happy to handle on your own—or maybe you’re helping out a friend in return for a little pizza and a lot of good will. In that case, you’re going to want to know how to get the job done efficiently and safely by yourself. College Muscle Movers can still help. Moving boxes is what we do, and we’ve got some tips for you.

The most important thing is keeping you—and especially your back—safe. Here are some guidelines for good form in lifting and carrying:

1. Don’t rely on your body alone

There are a lot of tools you can use to make moving safer and easier, and most are very cheap to rent or own. Dollies are the most basic and powerful tool for moving a lot of boxes with a little effort, but you can also use moving blankets, load securing tools like bungees, and other equipment.

It’s also a great idea to have somebody else present—even if they aren’t helping you move, they’ll be available to help if something goes wrong.

2. Preparing to lift

Of course, even if you’re using a dolly, you’re going to have to put the boxes on it yourself. Here are the basics of correct lifting posture: Place your feet apart, bend your knees (not your back), and grip with your entire hand (not just your fingers). You want to grip the area of your box or item that is heaviest to keep the load close to your body.

A too-large truck is definitely better than a too-small truck. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
A too-large truck is definitely better than a too-small truck.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

3. Straightening up

Okay, you’ve got a good grip and you’re ready for action. Begin by lifting your head up to keep your back straight, then smoothly bend your knees up—no sudden movements, relying on your legs. If you’re feeling strain at any point, now is the time to put down the box and reassess the situation before it gets worse.

4. Moving with a heavy load

Keep the load close to your body, never at arm’s length. Avoid twisting your body and especially your back—if you have to move around an awkward space, try setting down the load and sliding it around until it is facing the right direction.

5. Big and heavy first

Now you’ve got a basic understanding of how to keep yourself safe while you move. To keep your possessions safe, you’ll want to be smart about loading your moving vehicle. Begin with the biggest and heaviest items: if you have major appliances, those should go in first, up against the far wall of the truck. Next are long, large, but not quite as heavy items like furniture—and do consider using moving blankets to pad these items and keep them safe from scratches. Move on to large heavy boxes, then put smaller and lighter boxes on top.

This box contains fragile materials, and should definitely not be placed at the bottom of a stack. Image credit: Flickr
This box contains fragile materials, and should definitely not be placed at the bottom of a stack.
Image credit: Flickr

Those are the basics of safe and efficient box handling. Sound simple? It is, but you’d be amazed how often people use unsafe practices, causing harm to themselves and their possessions. We hope this little guide keeps you out of that category, and we’ll be back next week with more moving tips.