Asked on Sep 26, 2017

How can I make moving items (med. size boxes) up & down stairs easier?

by Barb
I'm a 77 yr old female with on-going back problems , despite having 3 surgeries, and COPD. My bigest concern is Christmas season when I have to bring decorations upstairs & then down again. Is there anything like a slide contraption for stairs that could be used as needed?

  15 answers
  • Jacquie Trundy Jacquie Trundy on Sep 26, 2017

    They advertise on TV a dolly like contraption that has wheels that will go up and down stairs easily. UpCart

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    • Jacquie Trundy Jacquie Trundy on Sep 27, 2017

      You and I are very close in age. I don't know about you but I can't think of a thing that would make me want to go up stairs with anything heavier than a cup of coffee!

  • Ann Cherkas Halstead Ann Cherkas Halstead on Sep 26, 2017

    ask for help from a child, friend or neighbor. You never know who will be gracious enough to help.

    • Barb Barb on Sep 26, 2017

      You're right Ann. Guess I'm use to being independent and realize that other folks may have a full plate (or bad back, LOL). But I agree, given the chance, people can very happy to help. Thanks, Ann.

  • Suellen Hintz Suellen Hintz on Sep 26, 2017

    I wonder if you can make something to solve this problem. How about a heavy-duty plastic storage bin but use the lid to reinforce an area on the handle or narrow end. I'd use my electric drill to make two large holes in the end. Then mark the reinforcement plastic and drill large holes that match. Now glue that piece onto the inside of the plastic bin so the holes line up. This reinforcement might not even be needed. Get a length of rope that is twice the length of your stairs, plus an extra 10 ft or more. Run the rope through the drilled holes and tie the ends together. To use, put the bin at the bottom of your stairs and load it up. Go to the top of your stairs and pull the bin up. It will slide on the leading edge of the steps and if there is any resistance you could glue carpet to the bottom Of the bin. Sounds like a lot of work but you'd be able to use it over and over, also letting it slide down the steps to put items back.

    • Barb Barb on Sep 26, 2017

      Thanks, Suellen. Sure do like the way that sounds and was it was along the thought I had. May give this project a try after another surgery in late Oct. (Had a cousin who lived in Brookings until he passed - he loved the area). Have a good evening.

  • Gracie Gracie on Sep 26, 2017

    I have an upcart but, frankly, it’s Not that great. It’s kind of heavy on its own. I would recommend offloading and taking few items at a time.

    • Barb Barb on Sep 26, 2017

      Thanks for your thoughts, Patricia. I saw such an upcart advertised on TV. I also wondered about the weight. Your most thought about taking the proverbial small bite of the elephant was most logical. Thanks again & have a great evening.

  • Eileen clabuesch Eileen clabuesch on Sep 26, 2017

    Slide them down steps. Hand on to rail with one hand and get in front of box or boxes and with other hand on box and slide it down as you step down. Hope this helps. I do this with big tote.

    • Barb Barb on Sep 26, 2017

      Thanks Eileen. That's close to what I've been doing. Getting them up that way is a bit hard on the back - going back down, not as bad. Just might be doing it again. Thanks for your input.

  • Rebecca Taylor Rebecca Taylor on Sep 26, 2017

    Here is a link to see all the different climbing carts and you can click on them to see the price on amazon.

    • Barb Barb on Sep 26, 2017

      Hi Rebecca - thanks for the link!! Why didn't I think to Google??? Guess it's not only my back that's going bad!! LOL. Will check these out. Thanks again and have a good evening.

  • Eileen clabuesch Eileen clabuesch on Sep 26, 2017

    Slide them down. Get in front of box and one hand on rail and other on box and slide it down one step at a time. Hope this helps.

  • Roxaneg Roxaneg on Sep 26, 2017

    Have someone get you a piece of plywood that spans at least two of the stairs. They can drill holes in the wood in the front and back to attach a rope. Attach a rope to haul the stuff up and one to hold the things on the sled.

    • Barb Barb on Sep 26, 2017

      Thanks Roxane. Concept is good. There was another response that suggested using plastic storage bin in the same way. I mention this because the tote might be lighter to deal with. either way, I truly appreciate your input.

  • Rebecca Taylor Rebecca Taylor on Sep 26, 2017

    You are so very welcome.

  • Clarice A Humphrey Clarice A Humphrey on Dec 29, 2018

    Taking items up the stairs: get smaller containers for your items. Then load about 3 steps up with the containers and move everything up a stair or two at a time as you work your way up. Might have to make a couple trips but it's doesn't require numerous trips trying to carry heavy containers.

    I do this when taking groceries up to second floor apartment.

    Taking items down stairs, repeat procedure or slide containers down to a helper at bottom or half way point.

  • Shu Miller Shu Miller on May 07, 2019

    not a direct answer to your question, but for getting trash down the stairs from my condo, I throw everything in to a huge heavy duty garbage bag, tie it tightly and simply nudge it off the top step w my toe. It tumbles gently down the stairs to the bottom. I then load it onto wheeler cart and push it to nearest outdoor garbage bin.

  • Penineche Penineche on Nov 10, 2023

    I completely understand how challenging it can be to handle moving items up and down stairs, especially with ongoing back problems and COPD. It's crucial to prioritize your safety and well-being.

  • Simwameto Simwameto on Nov 10, 2023

    You can always ask for assistance from friends, family, or neighbors during the Christmas season. Many people are willing to lend a hand, especially when it comes to spreading holiday cheer. You might even consider reaching out to local community organizations or volunteer groups for support.

    Alternatively, if you prefer not to rely on others, you could explore local moving services in London. They often offer customizable solutions, including packing and unpacking services. Having professionals handle the heavy lifting can significantly ease the burden on your back and make the holiday season more enjoyable.

  • Betsy Betsy on Nov 20, 2023

    Hi Barb: We are very close in age, and what I do, going down, is put something like a rope around the box, move it to the edge of the steps and get in front of it and, hanging onto the railing with one hand and the rope with the other, I back down the steps and let the box down one step at a time, using my legs to control the box. When coming up the steps, I pull the box up, one step at a time. But, if you can, ask your neighbours or their kids if they will help you. Kids love to help, especially if there are cookies involved :)

  • Mogie Mogie on Nov 21, 2023

    Dollies will save your energy when moving boxes up the stairs. You can pack 3 or more of them on a dolly and lift them at once in little time. Lay the boxes on the truck and fasten them with a strap. Stand on the top stairs facing downwards and pull up the dolly as you step back one step at a time. The benefit of using dollies is that they are narrow and can fit in most hallways and pass through most doors. You can rent a dolly from your local rental truck places.

    Carton Slides

    This is a practical concept that only requires you to turn your right boxes into slides for the stairs. Find thick and sturdy cardboard pieces and lay them along the stairs. Let someone at the bottom push the boxes up as another person at a point somewhere in the middle of the staircase slides them upwards to the top. The person at the top of the stairs will be arranging each box to the side as they arrive.

    Back Straps

    You can use a back strap to carry two or even three boxes on your back effortlessly. The harness passes around your shoulders to cross at the back. The buckle should fall at the front of your chest. Lean forward slightly and let a friend place a box on your back resting on the strap. The strap should be at the center of the weight, and you can add two or more boxes depending on how energetic you feel. The boxes should however not be stacked higher than your head. Slowly climb the stairs, slightly leaning forwards.


    For smaller boxes, you can move many of them at once in a backpack. Ensure to pack the boxes so that they sit flat in the bag then lift the kit to your shoulders as well. Remember to bend at the knees to avoid straining your back when moving upstairs with the backpack. It also works much better if the bag has a waist belt -you will be better able to distribute the weight on your body evenly as required.