Tina McManus | Beverly Real Estate, Salem Real Estate, Hamilton Real Estate, Danvers Real Estate

If you're moving homes, odds are you have a lot on your mind. You're trying to keep track of all your boxes, making sure the moving truck arrives at both locations on time, and focusing on getting all of your belongings to your new home in one piece. In all of this chaos, it's easy to overlook basic safety precautions. If you have a moving day coming up, read these important safety tips to make sure you and your belongings arrive safely.

Packing boxes

  • Practice good lifting technique. It has long been taught that you should "lift with your knees" when picking up heavy objects. However, if you look at the people who lift things for a living, professional weightlifters, you'll notice that they use a combination of muscles.Before lifting, test the weight of the object to see if it's feasible for you to move alone. Then make sure you can get a good grip on the box. When lifting, be sure to keep your chest facing the object and avoid twisting your back. Lift from a squatting position relying mostly on your leg muscles.It's also a good practice to stretch and warm up your back before lifting to avoid injuries.
  • Pack properly. To ensure the safety of you and your possessions during the move, be sure to use boxes that are the correct size and pack them fully. Empty space in boxes can cause them to crush one another and tip over in the moving truck, harming you or your fragile belongings.Double up on tape on the bottom of your boxes and tape a "plus" sign so that the box is reinforced fully. This will stop heavy objects from falling out of the bottom of the box and breaking, and from hurting your feet.

On the road

  • Stack smart, not higher. When stacking boxes, always put the heavier boxes on the bottom. Don't stack them too high or too close to the door of the truck. Think of stacking boxes as playing a game of Tetris--an organized stack will have much better stability than a disorganized one.
  • Test drive the route. Driving in an unfamiliar place is difficult enough without having to do it towing all of your most valued possessions. Travel the route beforehand to get a feel for the roads and for safe places to stop for gas or food.

In your new home

Once you arrive at your new home it's easy to let your guard down and start dreaming about relaxing on the sofa in your empty living room. However, you should ensure the safety of you and your belongings first.
  • Don't leave things unattended. Even if your neighborhood is a safe place you should still keep track of where your boxes are outside at all times.
  • Unpack the truck safely. If you can't reach a box, use a step ladder to get it down. If boxes are too heavy to move, use a dolly.
  • Clear the path. It's easy to lose track of objects and trip over a box in the hallway when carrying your bed frame in. Make sure you and your helpers keep the paths clear while moving.

Houseplants give any room a finishing touch and can even help purify the air in your home. Unfortunately, not everyone was blessed with a green thumb. Even if you’ve struggled to keep plants alive in the past armed with the tips below and some smart plant selections you too can have a home with a little greenery. Consider the light: When you buy a plant it will come with a label telling you how much sunlight it will require. However, the problem many people face is that they don’t know how many hours per day areas of their home receive light. Never fear! There is actually an easy way to figure this out and all you will need is a general sense of direction and/or a compass. This is because depending on which direction your windows face you will instantly know how much light a room is taking in throughout the day. A south facing window receives the most light and is perfect for plants who require lots of sunlight or for any plant in the winter time. East and west facing windows are ideal for most plants as they receive lots of sun in the morning and a steady stream for the rest of the day. North windows receive little to no direct sunlight, but can have bright light for most of the day. Choose wisely: Which plants you choose to bring home is just as important as how you will take care of them. Knowing the amount of light each room in your home receives ahead of time will allow you to find a plant that will thrive where you place it. You may also want to shop with a list of easiest plants to care for in mind. Some to consider are the: Spider plant, jade plant, snake plant, pothos, aloe, English ivy, succulents, and air plants Maintain Moisture: One of the top reasons plants don’t live long is that they have been overwatered. When picking out a pot for your plant ensure that it comes with drainage holes and a tray to catch water. Placing stones at the bottom of the pot before adding soil will also help prevent your plant from becoming over watered. You can check if a plant needs to be watered by pushing your finger into the soil to test the moistness of it. If it is dry about an inch down in the soil it’s time to water your plant. After watering check back in around half an hour to empty any excess water in the tray so that your plant is not left soaking. Extras for experts: Turn you plant every few weeks to encourage even growth and prevent a lopsided plant. Misting plant leaves every few days will help it stay green and fresh. If you want to move your plant to a different spot in a room avoid it going into shock by gradually moving it to the new location. When shopping for plants look for gardening soil that contains time released fertilizer and water retaining crystals to make plant care even easier. Caring for plants can be intimidating, especially if you have had little success in the past. However, with a few tricks up your sleeve you can keep a collection of greenery thriving in your home. Before you know it you will be a plant growing connoisseur in no time!