You’ve paid the deposit. You’ve set up renter’s insurance. And you’ve taped up every one of your boxes. It’s the time none of your friends or family have been waiting for: moving day.
We’ll leave it to the realtors as to why we always move in the dead heat of summer. Texans like it hot, including the moves. The rental trucks line Austin’s streets as if it were a hip new trend in the last weekends of the summer. So how do you make it through this tiring process?
Hiring movers is the easiest way to safely get through this process, but sometimes time and money leave us no option but to do it ourselves. For all you movers in the DIY territory, here are some tips to make your moving experience as seamless as possible.
9 Moving Musts to Keep Your Crew Injury Free
Protect your back from injury
Have you been doing your squats? You’re going to need them. Back injuries are the most common types of injury incurred during a move. Just like any type of physical activity, the proper technique is important for protecting your body. When packing, try to keep all boxes weighing under 50 lbs. To most efficiently and effectively move heavy items, bend at the knees, keep your core strong, and lift with your legs. Do NOT bend at the waist. If you have a house full of furniture an a weekend to move – it may be time to flex your wallet and hire qualified movers.
Timing is Key
The fall semester may have started, but it’s still summer in Austin. We all know what this means – 100˚F afternoons day after day. Moving is a strenuous physical activity which becomes harder the hotter it gets. To avoid the the most scorching times of the day, move your boxes to the truck (and vice versa) during the early morning and late evening hours. If you have to move during the day, be sure to drink plenty of water. We know pizza and beer act as a “thank you” to friends and family who help you move. But be sure to provide plenty of water for your move-in crew as well.
Make Notes About the Property
Moving to a new place is exciting, but not all changes are welcome. If the property is dirty, railings are broken, or stairs are in disrepair, be sure to let the property manager know immediately. It may be a good idea to call them and let them know about any concerns you may have, but follow up with an email detailing your conversation. If an apartment manager leaves a safety hazard, it’s always good to have a record of your communication with the property manager. What you should expect from your apartment complex:
- Adequate lighting in all common areas
- Property management follows State Rent Rules
- Hot water (of 120 degrees)
- Smoke Detectors
- Gas detectors (if applicable)
- Window Latches
- Dead bolt
- Sliding door security bar
- A working heater
In Texas, lawmakers are very pro-business. So consumer protections are more limited than in other states. Even so, Texas law protects your health and safety. It also gives you the right to feel secure and to have “quiet enjoyment.” If you have issues, it may be time to end the lease and move again. But remember that if you encounter any problems – document them so that you have legal grounds to stand on when the time comes to break the lease or even sue the apartment complex.
Busy Streets and Unsafe Walkways
It is very likely that your moving truck will need to be parked on the street. Depending where you live, that street may have pretty regular traffic. Trucks can often block more of the road than an average car, causing disturbances to the passing traffic. Cars may be traveling very close to the truck when passing, and it may be hard for other drivers to see anyone behind the truck. When moving things into or out of your truck, stay on the curb side. If you must step into the street, be sure to double check for cars that may be trying to get around the truck.
Austin Pedestrian Safety Infographic
This year Austin has seen 4 tragic pedestrian fatality accidents involving children. While McMinn Law Firm was researching the 2015 pedestrian fatality statistics we couldn’t believe how dangerous the roads were for the youngest people in our community.
Dangers of Being an Austin Pedestrian
Pedestrians can be severely injured even if a car is going at a slow rate of speed.
The Chronicle famously has a Sidewalk Fail Map detailing sidewalks that are just straight up unwalkable. Beyond uneven pavement, other impediments like rocks, pets, and unfamiliar territory can make moving large objects difficult and dangerous. Before moving boxes into your new abode, walk the path from the truck to the door and examine the area for any obstructing objects or dangerous debris that might cause you to trip or fall when you can’t see your footing.
Two words: renter’s insurance. It’s an essential step before you move in. Renter’s insurance may be required by your apartment complex, and event if it isn’t – these Austin Lawyers recommend purchasing renter’s insurance. Why? First, because it is typically very inexpensive. Most plans will cost you about $10 a month. But the coverage provided by renter’s insurance can save you from going into debt in case something ever happens. To find out more: Read our guide on Renter’s Insurance.
Speaking of footing
Make sure to wear the right shoes! Austin is a big fan of the shorts, tank top, and flip flop look year-round, but moving is one of the few times digging those sneakers out of your closet is a non-negotiable. Flip flops can be dangerous while moving because they can get caught on things (i.e. terrible Austin sidewalks). They also typically have abysmal traction, and you or your moving partner can step on them causing you to fall. It may not be Austin’s favorite fashion trend, but the sneaker is a moving must.
Use the right tools
The saying never gets old: have the right tools for the job. Moving something made of wood? Wear moving gloves to prevent splinters and increase grip. Moving a heavy box? Use a dolly. Have a truck with a high loading bed? Make sure you have a ramp. When it comes to tools and equipment, you can never have too many when preparing for a move. Slips and falls are the most common cause of brain injury. And the injury isn’t exclusive to the very young or old.
Invest in a heavy duty lock
Move out and move in dates are rarely, if ever, convenient or coordinated. More often than not, you’ll need to move out of one house, “enjoy” a few days of couch surfing, and move into your new place a few days later. If you plan to keep your belongings in the truck in the interim, invest in a heavy duty lock to secure the bed of the truck when you’re not around to keep an eye on it. It is, after all, your life in a box.
Get your groove on
Moving can quickly become monotonous, but there’s truth in Snow White’s mantra to “Whistle While you Work.” So turn on some jams as you’re packing up. Go ahead, sing into that flashlight, spoon, remote or whatever else you find. Disco with a broom or tango with a mop. A little shimmy to the truck and a little two steppin’ down the stairs never hurt anyone.
Looking for legal advice? Jason McMinn and Justin McMinn offer free consultations. If you have been seriously injured in a slip and fall accident, or car crash do not hesitate to contact the McMinn Law Firm team with your questions. Get started on your case, and have justice on your side when you work with McMinn Law Firm.
Personal Injury Lawyers Recover Settlement for Damaged Property
$185,000 Personal Injury Settlement in Bus / Car Accident Case An Austin man’s vehicle was rear-ended by a bus in an accident that seriously injured the victim. The crash also broke most of the equipment owned and used by the victim to make a living. The McMinn Law Firm was able to recover 185,000 with $111,000 paid to the victim.
Dog Bite Trial: McMinn Wins For Client:
A Georgetown, TX, man was bitten by a Border Collie when the dog jumped over a fence. The dog caused serious injury to his face. He and his family sought legal help from McMinn Law Firm. An animal attack trial was held in Williamson County, TX, where the jury awarded maximum damages and punitive damages to victim. More on legal services information related to animal attacks.
Justice for Victim of Semi-Truck Crash:
A client needed help after a tragic trucking rollover collision two years ago. Our McMinn Law Firm team joined forces with personal injury lawyer, Adam Loewy, to get the justice she deserves. Photo: Attorney Jason McMinn below with the client and Adam Loewy. More on legal services related to truck accidents.
$1,080,000 Recovered; Car Underrode Truck Trailer:
Deceased's vehicle underrode a commercial truck's trailer blocking his lane on the highway. Jason McMinn represented the deceased's spouse, on behalf of the estate, negotiating the $1.8 million settlement, providing $702,000 to the deceased's family and estate. more about this case, including coverage by American Association of Justice.