10 Tips for Safely Completing a Personally Procured Move

A personally procured move (formerly called a do-it-yourself move) is often a smart choice for relocating service members and their families. But a personally procured move can also increase the risk of moving-related injuries. If you'll be moving yourself, talk with your family and helpers about safety, and ask everyone to follow these safety tips.

  • Pack boxes for safe handling. Put books and other heavy items in smaller boxes and light items in larger boxes. Wrap sharp or pointed objects, like kitchen knives and shop tools, in packing paper before boxing them.
  • Dress appropriately on moving day. Wear good shoes that support your arches and protect your feet if you drop something on them. Use work gloves to give you a good grip for lifting and to protect your hands. Avoid loose clothing that might catch on things.
  • Lift properly. Always use your legs and not your back to lift heavy objects. Squat down, lift upward with your legs and keep your back straight.
  • Pace yourself. Go slow and take plenty of breaks. It's when you're rushing to get the move over with that careless accidents are most likely to happen.
  • Use moving aids. Rental trucks often come with dollies (also called hand trucks) that you can use instead of carrying heavy items. Inexpensive sliders from the hardware store also help you move pieces of furniture across floors and carpets rather than lifting them.
  • Load your truck correctly. Put the heaviest items at the front of the truck and tie down anything that might move around. If you stack boxes in the truck, put the heavy ones on the bottom.
  • Have food and water readily available. When you're preparing for your move, be sure to get plenty of bottled water for hydration and snacks for energy during loading and unloading. You may want to plan for everyone to break together for a midday meal as a way to keep their energy from lagging.
  • Have a plan for children. Young children should not be underfoot while you're moving. Arrange for child care or designate someone to keep them occupied and away from trucks, cars and walkways.
  • Get rid of flammables before you move.  Packing things like paint thinners, matches, lamp oil and other household chemicals increases the risk of combustion and fire.
  • Have a first-aid kit handy. Just in case someone needs to be patched up, don't pack it.


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