Skip to main content

You are here

5 Safety Considerations for Unpacking

After you pack and make a household move —  you have to unpack at your new home. And that’s often the most challenging part.

Once you move, you want to get everything going as quickly as possible. But, unfortunately, that can lead you to skip necessary steps, like safety.

Follow these tips to avoid injury and inconvenience during the unpacking process.

1. Create an Unpacking Station

Unpacking boxes may take several days, if not weeks. You need to protect your back and upper body from repetitive stress.

An unpacking station in each room can make unpacking easier. Confirm that you have access to a table and chair at an appropriate height.

If you have to unpack items onto shelves, consider using a bar-height table or rolling cart. You’ll minimize bending that way.

2. Wear Protective Clothing

Working with cardboard, packing tape, and box cutters can be hard on your hands. Since you’ll have to do it a lot, it may make sense to wear a lightweight, fitted pair of gloves.

It’s tempting to unpack in light clothes or pajamas, whatever you happen to be wearing at the time. Just make sure that the clothing is sufficient, and remember to wear shoes.

Some people react to dust or cardboard debris. If you notice that unpacking makes you feel itchy, take a shower or change clothes afterward.

3. Learn How to Lift

Regularly picking up boxes and furniture can cause injury. Instead, you should learn how to lift to minimize stress on your body.

Before you start unpacking, do some stretching exercises first. Squats are a great way to strengthen and stretch the muscles you’ll need for this task.

Bend your knees and keep your center of gravity above your feet. Avoid bending over too much, as you may start to feel lightheaded and be more likely to lose your balance.

4. Start With Storage

Smaller items need a place to go before you unpack them. Otherwise, you risk tall stacks turning into a toppling hazard. If you’re unpacking an at-home library, you’ll need to have a system to organize it.

Unload your shelves and cabinets first. Put them into the proper position. Then install a wall anchor so that they do not fall over as you fill them up.

If you can, unload boxes next to the storage item. Then, use a table to bring the box closer to you.

5. Keep Kids and Pets Safe

Adults are more likely to receive an injury by repetitive stress. By comparison, kids and pets are more likely to get in the way or cause a pile to fall over.

If you need hours of focused unpacking time, arrange for someone else to care for your kids and pets. Ensure that they can’t get into the room where you are working.

It’s wise to unpack kids’ rooms first. That way, they have a safe place to relax and play while you work.

Smart Moving and Unpacking

No one wants unpacking to cause injury, but it happens on occasion. By starting this way, you’ll avoid most of the risks. To learn more about how to make your move less stressful, contact us for a quote.