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Moving tips: Moving safety

Follow these tips to help your move go safely.

Follow these tips to help your move go safely.

Sometimes, a move can go horribly wrong. Recently, four police officers in New York City were shot after responding to reports of a man harassing professional movers who were trying to work in his building. While there's no accounting for the actions of deranged individuals, there are steps the average homeowner can take to ensure a move goes as smoothly - and safely - as possible.

Always make sure you have a First Aid kit around. Before a move, during a move, 10 years after a move, it's an essential around-the-house item. While there's no way of knowing exactly how many minor injuries and mishaps occur each year, conventional wisdom says most accidents happen in the home. With the stress of moving - and the hazards posed by moving heavy objects and packing breakable and sharp ones - it's even more important to watch out for yourself.

There's one safety tip that is so basic, many people overlook its importance: Always make sure you have enough to eat and drink. No matter how good you are at packing, some boxes or items of furniture are just going to be heavy. Many people also wait until the hot summer months to make a move to avoid disrupting school schedules. By staying hydrated and keeping your strength up, you can avoid a fatigue-related accident. Having bottled water around will also come in handy if your water is shut off early, or hasn't been turned on in your new home.

Make sure kids and pets are well out of the way before you get going with your move. A curious cat could cause an unfortunate spill down a flight of stairs, or a child on a tricycle could crash into a stack of boxes containing fragile items. If you can, drop the kids off with a neighbor, babysitter or nearby family member until it's time to pack them into the car. Put pets inside their crates or cages to keep them out from underfoot.

Perhaps most importantly, take it easy. Moving can be a hassle, but faster is not always better. By some estimates, the average room contains 4,000 to 5,000 pounds of stuff, so unless you're a circus strongman, it's probably not a good idea to start hurling it into a truck. One option would be to use a portable storage container. Some companies will deliver the container to your house, where you can load it up at your leisure. Once you're done, the moving company will pick it up and ship it to your new home, where you can unpack in your own time.