Moving? The Right Way to Lift Boxes

You should always leave the heavy lifting to the professionals, pun intended.  But if you are inclined to move items from room to room in an attempt to get organized for moving day, please make sure you lift properly.  Failing to do so can cause serious – even permanent – damage.  Consult your physician before any physical activity.

As stupid as it may sound, there is a right way and a wrong way to lift a box.  When it comes to lifting your rare vinyl record collection up from the basement, make sure you follow the following steps:

First, you should plan in advance before you commence lifting anything. This means you need to know where you’re going, what you’re lifting and what might be in your way en route. You don’t want to be stepping over anything unnecessarily and you certainly don’t want to get stuck in a tight doorway or stairwell whilst carrying a heavy load.

Second, stand next to the box with your legs spread shoulder-width apart in a solid position. This will give you a firm and stable base to lift the box. If you were to keep your feet too close together you would be unstable and conversely, placing your feet too far apart would hinder free movement.

Next, when it comes to actually lifting the box you need to lift the box using your knees and not your waist and you need to make sure your back is kept straight. In other words, make sure your spine and trunk are vertical and bend down using only your knees. This is because your legs are much stronger than your back and much better designed to take the strain. Focus on staying in this position as you actually lift the box. Get a solid, firm grip and then slowly, carefully straighten your legs. Keep your torso straight at all times, keeping your eyes focused upwards (this helps to keep you straight). If you want you can tighten your stomach muscles as this will help you to keep your back in that optimum lifting position and prevent force on your spine.

Lift the box as close to your body as possible. This again gives you a more stable lift because the object is closer to your body rather than dangling at the end of your reach. It will also prevent your centre of gravity from moving and putting extra stress on your back.

Finally, once you are carrying the box, avoid twisting or bending down again. Face in the direction you’re walking and should you need to turn, make sure you stop first and then take small steps in the new direction before carrying on.

If you are straining at any point then stop and get help. If you have a lot to lift and are worried about your back it is possible to get a belt or back support to help you maintain the correct posture. And if you have back problems, why not ‘delegate’ to friends and neighbors, children and grandchildren.  Plus your courteous NYC movers are always here to help and make moving day as easy as possible.

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