Moving into Self-Storage with Ease and Without Straining Your Body
The annoying part of locating a self-storage unit, determining which type and size is suitable for your needs, packing your belongings together and renting a vehicle to transport it all is accomplished. Now, all you need to do is move those items into the self-storage unit.
This is the most physically straining portion of getting your personal belongings into a self-storage unit. This is why you don’t want to do it the wrong way. Take your time, rely on form (not strength!), and this task won’t be as bad as it sounds.
Here, we at Real Storage want to be sure your physical health isn’t compromised with a move into self-storage, so we’ve compiled the following tips to help you get through the arduous task of lifting and moving.
Our first suggestion is to hire a moving company. Not only will you save yourself from physical wear and tear, but the professionals will not only move things much faster than you, but they will also be able to accomplish this with less risk of damage to your personal items. They do this every day, so if you can afford them, they’ll be well worth the cost. At the very least, your body will thank us.
Of course, if this is not an option for your budget, then you need, first, to ensure you do have enough help for your move. Do not get caught trying to do this yourself, unless you are only moving smaller items. Moving a sofa or refrigerator by yourself is certainly not advisable. Ask your brother, your sister’s husband, your best buddy – whoever can give you a hand for a few hours. And then be sure to pay them in kind (pizza and beer is a typical payment method).
With a team assembled, you now need to make sure you have the right tools.
Never move in flip-flops or sandals. Always wear comfortable shoes that are securely fastened to your feet and also cover them entirely. Expect to use your feet to rest objects on when you need to: keeping a gap between the item and the ground means picking it up again is much easier to accomplish.
Gloves can be helpful to protect your hands from sharp or dirty edges, and can often have extra grip support. Be careful, though, of using dirty gloves on fabrics or items that may soil.
Perhaps the most important tool for moving is the four-wheel dolly. These dollies are flat platforms with a strap attached for pulling the weight. Almost any object can go on this flat surface and be moved with ease. If you are moving by yourself, a four-wheel dolly is the one thing that will make moving a sofa by yourself possible. We advise against that, but certainly encourage renting a four-wheel dolly for moving day regardless.
Blankets and/or pads are excellent tools for helping to protect your items during the move. Not only can they be used to protect furniture, but they can also be used as wedges to tighten up loads on the truck, or even inside the self-storage unit, preventing movement, and therefore lowering the risk of damage.
One easy mistake is to just start moving things without thinking the move through properly. Before you know it, you’ll have a pile of things that can’t fit together properly in the self-storage unit. Before you know it, you’ll be stuck halfway up a set of stairs with a sofa in your hands, not knowing if it will go any further.
Be sure you know that the path you are taking to get to the item’s final destination is clear of any obstacles that may get in the way or trip you once you have the item in your hands.
Always consider what you’re moving next, where it needs to go, how to get it there, and why it should be the next item to move. Bring a tape measure, and be sure it fits through the door or around the bend before you expend the energy necessary to get it there. Bring a large heavy object first, and then start with progressively smaller and lighter options as you stack these on top of the heavier pieces. To do that, you need to plan that first.
Now that you have the team together and the tools and plan needed for a successful move, it’s time to get to work.
Lifting and moving furniture appears to be a task that requires great strength, but we argue that your form and posture – how you move the furniture – is more significant than brute strength.
Learning how to leverage your weight against an object will see you struggle less than the big, muscular dude that has no idea how to hold the item properly. Lean into items; think about how to balance the item.
For example, one should never move a dining room table flat – it’s really heavy this way! Instead, flip the table on its side, and you will see that carrying it with one hand this way is easier than carrying it with two hands the other way. It isn’t actually lighter of course, but it certainly feels so.
This is all the more pertinent when considering more breakable items, like a marble table top. Marble, as heavy as it is, is a very fragile stone: carrying it flat will probably see it snap in half. Similarly, a piece of glass should never be carried flat: flip it on its side. Not only is this always a safer way to move something, but it is also a far easier way to move it.
When carrying an item with a partner, the most important thing to consider is, again, the balance. It is easy to really throw off your partner, making things much more difficult for them, if you do not give equal force to both sides of the object you are carrying. Most will not even realise they are doing something like this, in fact. You’ve now been told: keep it in mind for every piece you move with a partner – they will appreciate it!
All of the above is valuable information, but it won’t matter one bit if you use the wrong posture when lifting heavy items. Do not turn one afternoon of moving into weeks of pain and stiffness.
Here’s the basic procedure for lifting something heavy while putting the least amount of strain on your body:
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees; never your waist.
- Keep your back straight, with your shoulders back and elbows on your side (not out from your body).
- Lift with your legs, not your back.
- Keep items close to your waist for balance and support.
The team at Real Storage hopes that these tips makes moving day a smoother, easier, faster and far less painful day. Speak to your Real Storage agent for further moving and self-storage tips.