Nothing is more daunting than having to move your bed, TV, dresser and tables … when you have to climb five flights of stairs. I know this because I went through it myself. And I’m happy to say that I came out on the other side, so there’s hope for everyone.
Why every apartment building doesn’t have an elevator is beyond me, but if you’re lucky enough to move into a unit with only stairs, I have some tips that can help make your move a little less frustrating.
1. Ask For Help
If you can successfully move the entire contents of one apartment by yourself with no elevator, I applaud you. But I certainly couldn’t do it. Make the move much easier on yourself by reaching out for help. One friend can help you carry the heavy stuff, while another can help guide you up the stairs.
As much as your friends might not be psyched about helping you move, they’re your friends and that’s what they’re there for. Feel free to bribe them with anything from pizza to beer (or both).
If your friends are “busy” the weekend you’re moving, another option would be to hire movers. After all, they certainly know what you’re doing and will help you get the job done in no time.
2. Find a Hand Cart
A hand cart will be your best friend when it comes to moving into your new apartment. You can use this device to carry heavy furniture up the stairs—just remember to tie the furniture down with bungee cords so it doesn’t move. You’ll need someone to help you carry the cart up the stairs.
3. Wear the Right Clothes
You’re not making a fashion statement while moving, so choose clothes based on comfort (you’ll be happy you did). The shoes that you wear should have good tread to make it easy to go up and down stairs while you’re handling heavy objects. You probably don’t want to wear your tightest pair of skinny jeans either.
4. Bring Gloves
Even if it’s 90 degrees outside, bring gloves. Carrying wooden tables, chairs and other objects up to your apartment can leave you with slivers and splinters.
5. Wrap Your Furniture
When carrying sharp tables, chairs, dressers and other objects up the stairs, you’re bound to hit a wall or two. Keep your furniture (and the building’s walls) safe from harm by wrapping the pieces in blankets or bubble wrap.
6. Think Before You Move
Carrying bulky objects up a skinny staircase and through a doorway takes a little bit of strategic thinking. For example, if you’re moving a sofa that bends to the left, you want the open part of the furniture to face the angle of the stairs. You may have to remove any railings if necessary.
7. Move the Heavy Stuff First
As much as you may be dreading carrying your metal bed frame up those five flights of stairs, it’s best to tackle that first. By the end of your move, you’re going to be exhausted, which will make moving the heavy stuff even more difficult than it has to be. After you’ve gotten it up to your new place, you’ll be so happy you got it over with.
Side Note: Make sure that all of the large pieces that you’re about to move actually fit into your apartment. It wasn’t until my two friends carried my gargantuan sofa up seven flights of stairs that I realized it wouldn’t even fit through the door. Oops. Lesson learned.
8. Know Where to Put the Strongest People
The person lifting the lower end of the furniture up the stairs will have the toughest job, so make sure that this person has enough muscle power. So if grandma’s helping you move, maybe give her a lamp instead of the bottom of the couch.
9. Disassemble All That You Can
If you have a dresser or a couch that can be broken up into different pieces, do that. This is going to make it so much easier to move up the stairs. Once you have everything in your apartment, then you can go to work on putting the pieces back together.
10. Give Yourself a Pat on the Back (Or Maybe a Beer)
You just moved the contents of your new apartment without an elevator. I think that deserves a little celebration.