Oct 29, 2021 by Wendy Hoke

Using Moving Straps

Moving straps help with lifting heavy items like sofas, file cabinets, and large appliances. If you are doing a DIY move, moving straps are a crucial tool to have handy especially if you need to navigate stairs. When used correctly, moving straps reduce the risk of injury because they require less twisting and bending to get the job done. They also help distribute the weight evenly.

Here’s our advice on how to use moving straps correctly.

What are Moving Straps?

Moving straps use leverage to allow you to lift more than you normally could. The straps are attached to your shoulders or forearms and placed under the object, which distributes the weight. Moving straps also lower the center of gravity of the heavy item, which lessens the need for excessing bending or twisting.

Moving straps come in 2 basic models: forearm and shoulder. They are relatively inexpensive to purchase, or you may be able to rent some from your moving truck rental company. Depending on how many friends are helping you with the move, you may want several sets.

When to Use Moving Straps

You can use moving straps anytime you need to lift a heavy item. However, other tools might be better in some circumstances. For instance, if you can slide a dolly under the item, it is easier and safer to move that way. But, if you need to carry an item downstairs, then moving straps make more sense.

At the same time, if you don’t have a dolly, moving straps are a much better option than nothing at all. Lifting a couch without moving straps takes more energy and requires you to bend and reposition in ways that can lead to injury.

How to Use Moving Straps

  • Read the instructions that come with your moving straps. Make sure you know how to position the straps and understand exactly what you need to do and how to lift properly.
  • Measure the furniture and any doorways, halls, and staircases you will navigate to make sure the item you are moving will fit through. If necessary, remove doors from their hinges for additional space.
  • Place the straps either on your forearms or across your chest and shoulders depending on which type of moving strap you are using. Refer to the diagram in your moving strap’s instructions to see the proper placement of the straps. The instructions should also tell you how to adjust them so they don’t slip.
  • Lay the lifting strap on the floor in front of the item you’re moving. Tip that item back and slide the strap under it. If you are working with two straps, repeat the process.
  • Center the strap in the middle. If you are working with two straps, place each strap near the front and back edges, and center the item over them.
  • How you lift will depend on whether you are using forearm or shoulder straps. Make sure you understand the proper lifting technique and the potential for injuries before you start.
  • Work in tandem with your partner. Lift at the same time, then move at the same time with one person taking small steps forward and the other small steps back. Communicate as you go. If one of you needs a break or needs to make an adjustment, lower the item and continue when ready.

Moving with forearm straps

  • Place each strap near the edge of the object you are moving. If the item has legs, place the straps parallel along the inner side of the legs. For items without legs, place straps in an x-pattern for added stability.
  • Locate the correct loop to safely move the item, and slip your forearm inside. Because forearm moving straps have several loops, you’ll need to find the loop that allows you to lift the item at least 5 inches off the ground.
  • With your arms secure in the loops and your back straight, bend your knees. At the same time as your partner, lift the load using your legs.
  • Take small steps with one of you moving forward and the other moving back. Be sure to keep the majority of the weight on your legs.
  • When you get to your destination, work in tandem with your partner to lower the item. Remove the straps from your forearms and slip them out from under the item.

Moving with shoulder straps

  • Position the harness over your shoulders according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The bar should face front.
  • Slip the lifting strap under the item you want to move, and center it. Then, attach the strap to your harness by weaving it up and over the bar on the front of your harness. Have your partner do the same.
  • Adjust the strap length so you can lift the item at least 5 inches off the ground. Your partner should do likewise. When you stand, the item should be level. That means the shorter person will have more unused strap on the ground than the taller one. Tuck the excess strap in your harness so you don’t trip on it.
  • Bend your knees, and put your hands in front of you on the side of the object. Push against the object, and in tandem with your partner, lift using your legs and keep your back straight.
  • Slowly move with one person taking small steps forward and the other small steps back. Continue using your hands to stabilize the item.
  • When you’ve made it to your destination, lower the item to the ground in tandem with your partner. Remove the lifting strap from your harness, and slip the strap out from under the item.

What’s Better Than Moving Straps?

Getting professional help is best. Professional movers have the experience and right tools to lift and relocate all your heavy items safely. Give Alliance Relocation Services a call today for a free quote.

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