When moving furniture or any large object it is imperative that you keep safety and ergonomics in mind.
Trying to lift and move heavy objects without the foundational knowledge or with the wrong tools can result in injury to oneself or others, damaged property and loss of time. Though they require a partner to help you, the most effective generic tools you are likely to find as an amateur mover are moving straps.
Also commonly referred to as lifting straps, moving straps help you move things more easily and safely by utilizing your own body's leverage and weight.
Lifting straps distribute weight more evenly between movers and lower the center of gravity of items they are used with, saving the movers from having to resort to possibly dangerous bending and maneuvering.
There are two basic types of furniture moving straps: forearm straps and shoulder straps, but before we get into the specifics of each there are some basic ideas you should keep in mind.
- You should wear comfortable, durable clothing and sturdy, slip-resistant shoes when moving and lifting furniture.
- Always take care to plan out your move, making sure your paths are clear and you have a clean line of sight to the desired destination. Measure doorways and tight spots before beginning to move to make certain you will have enough room to maneuver.
- Make sure to communicate with your partner before attempting a move. Having a clear plan can eliminate the possibility of a misunderstanding or accident. Take the time to clarify a plan and you'll never have to worry about getting hurt or damaging your belongings.
- Use small movements and communicate clearly when you are lifting, moving, turning and lowering the item to keep your partner aware and give them time to react to your motions.
- Bear weight on your legs, not your back. Bearing weight in your back reduces mobility and forces the back to wrench in unhealthy positions to keep the weight levied. Keep the weight centered in your legs to keep your body mobile and reduce the chance of injury.
Forearm Moving Straps
Forearm moving straps, also commonly know as forearm forklift straps, are moving straps that attach to both mover's forearms and can make moving small or medium sized objects a breeze.
To use forearm forklift straps, one should locate the correct loop through which to put their forearm. These straps often have multiple loops for differently sized and shaped loads. You should aim for the loops that will allow the partners to lift the load with at least 5 inches of clearance beneath the load.
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Once your arms are securely positioned inside the loops, bend your knees and keep your back straight, preparing to hoist the weight onto your legs. Stand up simultaneously with your partner and carry the object to the destination, making sure to use small steps and keep the weight centered in your legs.
Shoulder Moving Straps
Shoulder moving straps, also commonly called shoulder dolly straps, tend to be more pricey than the previously mentioned forearm straps, but dolly moving certainly makes up for the cost with their increased capacity and safety measures.
In shoulder dolly moving, you will need to wear the shoulder dolly straps over your shoulders with the buckle in front, where they will cross behind your back. Arrange the long strap under the furniture or piece to be moved before bringing the strap through the buckle, over the bar.
Once both ends of the strap are secure, make sure the length of the strap between the two harnesses is appropriate for lifting the object clear of and doorways and thresholds. Lift from the legs and slowly move the object to the chosen destination before gently setting it in place and removing the strap from each buckle to free yourself from the piece.