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Safety tips when packing

So, you've purchased a new home. Your removal boxes have just arrived and you're ready to get packing under way. Where to start? There's so much to do that your mind races uncontrollably. But before you pack a single box, before you wrap a single plate, before you do any packing it all - stop and think safety first.

Untold numbers of UK residents suffer back and leg injuries every year during a house move. The most common causes of these injuries are improper lifting techniques and packing boxes packed with too much weight. This is more common than you would think, because very few people understand the principles behind weight and lifting. Without that understanding many think that they can pack moving boxes with impunity and have no trouble lifting and carrying them.

Thankfully, many moving supply companies provide helpful resources to instruct you in proper packing techniques. If yours doesn't, there are some hopeful things to remember. First of all, never pack removal boxes with too much weight. A good rule of thumb is to try to hold a packed box in a single arm for 2 to 3 minutes. If you can do so successfully the box has not been over packed. If not, it's best to remove some weight to make it lighter.

Next, books are the most notorious cause of boxes that are too heavy. When packing books you should only put one layer in the bottom then fill the box with lighter items. You may end up using more removal boxes this way, but if that's what's needed to avoid injury, it's well worth it. Furthermore, boxes that have too many books are difficult to handle and can easily split apart if they are set down improperly.

Finally, the key to lifting anything heavy is to use the legs and not the back. As you've probably heard many times before, we are to lift by bending at the knees. Lifting this way enables the legs and the arms to take the weight rather than putting stress on the back. If we don't lift with the knees, all that stress goes on the spine and hips, which is a recipe for injuries. For extra-heavy items it's advisable to use a hernia belt. This belt keeps everything nice and tight in the abdomen against the strain of lifting heavy objects.

Whenever you're moving house it's important that you consider the safety aspects of your move. The more safety conscious you are, the less likely that you or a family member will sustain an injury.