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5 Best Moving Straps for Furniture

One of the most common home or workplace injuries is strain caused by improper lifting. Furniture moving straps help you lift properly.

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Lift and Move Safely

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has numerous documents and guidelines for avoiding strain when lifting heavy objects. They all basically boil down to keeping weight distributed in your “power zone,” the region between mid-thigh and mid-chest where you use your legs, core, arms and back to carry a load.

That’s easy enough when lifting a small box, but much more difficult when moving bulky, oddly shaped items, such as furniture. OSHA recommends using a moving strap to center the weight and bring the most muscle power to bear. Better yet, grab a strap that lets you work in conjunction with someone else. Double the muscle-power and you’ll often avoid muscle strain and cut your move time in half!

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Simple Strap

The most basic furniture moving strap is a length of material with a handle or loop attached on either end. By wrapping the strap underneath the object, you can raise the bulk of its weight into your “power zone” and avoid straining your back or teetering off balance. Some versions have an oversized handle, making it easy to grasp from a number of directions. Ideally the strap itself will have an adjustment feature, allowing it to be properly sized for each job.

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Forearm Brace

A hand-held furniture moving strap is a dramatic improvement over trying to wrangle a bulky object on your own, but it still centers the weight at the end of your arms. An improvement to this design is the forearm brace.

Slipping your arm inside the end loop of the strap allows you to move the weight up your arm, where it sits closer to your core. This is the same principle that makes a 10-pound weight feel lighter when held close to your chest instead of at arm’s length. Bringing the weight of furniture closer to your core makes it easier to manage and for you to move while carrying the load.

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Shoulder Brace

Taking things to the next logical step, a shoulder brace moving strap brings the weight even closer to your core. (Just like a heavy bag is easier to carry on your shoulders then over your forearm.) This design also leaves your hands free to help keep the furniture balanced.

Higher-end models include padding to make the labor as easy as possible on your shoulders. And like all of these straps, these can be used with another person by running the straps in an ‘X’ underneath the object you’re moving.

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Moving Strap Shoulder

Full Back Brace

For especially heavy loads, consider a moving strap that extends past a shoulder connection to distribute the weight across your whole back. Another backpack analogy is useful: A common school backpack is normally just thrown over your shoulders, but a serious hiking pack will often cinch at the waist. That brings your legs and lower core into play, making for an easier lift and less irritated shoulders at the end of a hard day’s work.

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Best Value for Occasional Use

As you can see there are a range of moving straps available, each one progressively better for more demanding lifting and moving jobs. But if you’re only moving one or two items, or only want moving straps on hand just in case, this simple forearm kit is a terrific value and folds up easily for storage.

Whichever strap solution you choose, be sure to think your way through the process before attempting to move any large or heavy items. If you take your time and use the right tools, you can get the job done safely and securely.

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Dan Stout
Ohio-based freelance writer and author Dan Stout is a former residential remodeler, commercial site supervisor and maintenance manager. He’s worked on nearly all aspects of building and DIY including project planning and permitting, plumbing, basic electric, drywall, carpentry, tiling, painting and more. He also publishes noir fantasy thrillers, including The Carter Series, from Penguin imprint DAW Books.