Apartment without Elevator: How to Get Furniture Upstairs

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When you’re moving furniture into an upstairs apartment, elevator access might not always be available. The elevator might be out of service, there may be weight restrictions against moving furniture in it or the building might not even have an elevator. If that’s the case, you’re going to need some help and a little bit of know-how.

Safety Equipment

Moving furniture up several flights of stairs can be dangerous, so take the necessary precautions. Wear shoes with a good tread that will be able to grip the stairs without slipping. It’s also a good idea to wear a brace to support your lower back, because you’re going to be doing a lot of heavy lifting. One more tip: wear gloves. There’s a reason you always see professional movers wearing a sturdy pair of gloves. Your easy chair might be really comfortable when you’re sitting in it, but you don’t want to be surprised by a lot of staples or splinters poking out of the bottom of it when you’re halfway up a flight of stairs.

Get Some Help

You might be able to muscle some of your furniture alone with an apartment elevator, but without one, you’re going to need some extra sets of hands. One extra person would be sufficient, but two is even better. While you and a friend can handle the heavier things, the third person help balance things or ease the load when going around corners, and can also keep an eye out for people coming down the stairs at the wrong time. For particularly heavy items, you’ll want to have two people lifting on the”downhill” side, because that’s where most of the weight is.

Handling Corners

Getting furniture up the stairs isn’t the difficult part. It’s when you come to a tight corner to go up the next flight of stairs that things get tricky. You might feel like you’ve gotten stuck, but remember that other people have moved into these upstairs apartments without an elevator before you. Put your thinking cap on when it comes to maneuvering a couch or mattress around a tight corner. You can usually lift it up enough to clear a railing to in order to get around a corner. You might have to tip a couch end over end to make it happen, so again, two people on the downhill side is the way to go.

Use a Hand Truck

A hand truck (sometimes referred to as a hand cart or a dolly) can be your best friend when it comes to moving furniture up stairs. You can tie a piece of furniture to it with bungee cords or straps, and just back your way up the stairs with it. The person handling the dolly pulls it toward them (upstairs), while the person below balances the item and helps to lift it from step to step. It’s slower than carrying it by hand, but it makes the job much easier for any bulky cabinets that you’re moving.

There’s no easy way to get furniture upstairs to an apartment without an elevator. Just take it one step at a time, and remember to be safe.

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