General Question

give_seek's avatar

Is there an easy way to carry groceries upstairs?

Asked by give_seek (739points) August 5th, 2013

I’m moving to a 3rd floor walk-up apartment, and I’m concerned about carrying groceries up all the stairs. Is there some kind of modern, cool, innovative invention that eases the burden of carrying things up stairs?

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49 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Large backpack is the ergonomic solution, although neither modern, cool or innovative.

Here’s a daytrekker pack from LL Bean.

talljasperman's avatar

Yes take one light bag (spread them around so all are light) up one flight then go back down and get the second and then take the second story bags to the third and repeat… Also you can take the milk or perishables first… the invention could be an installation of a dumb waiter.

flip86's avatar

Not really. I had a third floor apartment and had to lug groceries up 3 flights of steep stairs. It sucked.

Judi's avatar

Something like this might help if the wheels are as big as the rise on your steps.

gailcalled's avatar

My first apartment was a third-floor walkup, and my then husband and I simply schlepped the bags. If I was alone, I did only a two-bag shopping. it was a pain.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I’d consider it exercise for the day and just do it the old fashioned way. Maybe multiple light trips for cardio one week, as quickly as I could and one or two heavy loads and do bicep curls as I go up the stairs the next week for some strength training.

I’ll take all the non-exercise exercise I can get.

shego's avatar

I have yet to find a good answer to that. I currently live in a third floor apartment, and it is a pain bringing groceries up the stairs. I use to recruit my friends little sister to help me.

talljasperman's avatar

Another alternative is to tip the taxi driver $20 if he helps you take your food to your door.

gailcalled's avatar

^^^ Most people who live in third-floor walkups do not take taxis.

seekingwolf's avatar

I live in an attic apartment. 3 flights of stairs. Just bag as light as you can and haul it up
That’s all you can do.

glacial's avatar

@gailcalled Not… necessarily.

Seek's avatar

For what it’s worth, reusable shopping totes are way easier to carry than plastic. They hold more, and you can hoist a couple over each shoulder.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Hire the neighbor’s kid to help you carry them upstairs.

Coloma's avatar

Get a burro….is there room on your balcony for a hay rack and water bucket? lol

serenade's avatar

Maybe this. Also there are ideas in the comments here.

give_seek's avatar

Thanks for the backpack idea @gailcalled. I’ve found two things I’m going to try: a stair climbing shopping cart (Amazon & Walmart) and a gadget called the One-Trip Grip. I had no idea these things existed. I’m going to keep looking. There may be something else out there.

give_seek's avatar

@serenade Thank you. Great suggestions. The Baggler is a terrific idea.

gailcalled's avatar

@glacial: I know…and I did say “Most people.” When I lived in my third-floor walk up, I drove a VW Beetle (the early version) took the T or walked.

I love the Baggler, suggested by @serenade.

WestRiverrat's avatar

If there were 2 of you, you could rig a block and tackle out of one of the windows. One of you runs upstairs and rigs out the block and tackle and lowers a basket to the ground. The other loads the basket and it is hauled up.

tranquilsea's avatar

I’d just consider it a work out. I’m a big fan of grabbing as many bags as I can carry and running up the stairs.

Coloma's avatar

I lug in about 8 bags at a time, I am pretty sure my arms are getting longer every week or so.
By the time I’m 60 I will have the arms of a chimpanzee, knuckles scraping the ground from carrying 50 lbs. of groceries all these years. haha

JLeslie's avatar

I walk up one story right now and it sucks, I have done it before. I wind up usually making a couple trips up and down the stairs, but I buy groceries for both my husband and me. If I was alone I would do my best to not buy more than I could carry in one trip most of the time. If you drink a lot of bottled drinks that can be a lot of weight fast. If you are walking quite a distance before even getting to the stairs I like @Judi‘s suggestion. Otherwise, a very lightweight bag that goes over your head and shoulder (I cannot think of the name of that type of bag right now) will hold a few bags and then you can carry some more in your hands. You can use the bag in the market and have them pack it right up at the register.

@gailcalled If she is wondering about the stairs she probably is not walking to the grocery store. People who walk to the store already are only carrying a limited amount. Although, I realize the stairs are more effort than the street. There are tons and tons of third floor apartments that are walk up all over the country in suburban areas that don’t have grocery stores for miles.

2davidc8's avatar

In many areas, grocery stores will deliver. Why don’t you pay to have it delivered?

glacial's avatar

@gailcalled In my town, apartment-dwellers are unlikely to have cars. Taxis are ubiquitous and not all that expensive – I would actually say that most people here in 3rd floor walk-ups do take taxis from time to time, if not on a regular basis.

gailcalled's avatar

In theory, I love the idea of the European system of dropping baskets on ropes, but you do need two people, or some sort of old-fashioned clothes-line-on-pulleys device, re @WestRiverrat.

Or you can plan ahead.

Prepare to go shopping, by any means.
Lower empty baskets to street.
Descend stairs.
Cover baskets with pine boughs (or something) to disguise and prevent thievery.
Arrive at market,by any mode of transport. (We forgot bikes.)
Return home, by any means.
Fill baskets with groceries, etc.
Run upstairs.
Haul baskets up.

@glacial: I yield on the taxi issue. My first apt. was in Cambridge, where everything was accessible by foot.

When I lived in NYC, it is true, that we all took taxis often. They were omnipresent and cheap.

Seek's avatar

Or, carry your groceries home in a handled tote, and when you get home, lower the rope with a hook. Then no one can steal your mule.

gailcalled's avatar

How do you then get the mule up the three flights of stairs?

Judi's avatar

@gailcalled, one step at a time!
Ever been to Santorini?

gailcalled's avatar

@Judi:Hahaha. No, but I wish.

Judi's avatar

I was trying to find a great picture of the mules climbing the steps in Santorini but I didn’t sleep well last night and my search skills are crippled this morning.

Seek's avatar

Sorry, the mule being the basket.

If you shop with a tote, leave the tote below the window or landing, you can then raise the tote with a hook attached to a pulley system.

Judi's avatar

They encouraged me to get in shape. So embarrassed when they had to get a bigger mule.

gailcalled's avatar

There’s a SNL skit for you. Guy in wings calls out, “Bring on the queen-sized mule.

(You’re serious?)

Judi's avatar

:1( yes. I used to weigh nearly 220 lbs. never going back there.

gailcalled's avatar

Well, if you are going to have a conversion, having it happen on a Greek isle is not a bad beginning.

Judi's avatar

Well, I might go back and ask for a tiny mule. :-)

gailcalled's avatar

^^^ There is now a strong movement to save the mules and donkeys from what many feel is misery and exploitation. Apparently,cruise ships have directives now asking their passengers who disembark not to take the mule taxis.

Judi's avatar

Aww. They would take you right where the beautiful views were.

Amo101's avatar

Bring along some friends and maybe they can help.

ApartmentDweller26's avatar

I had this EXACT same problem when I lived in a walkup apartment in downtown KC. Check out Mighty Handle ( Mighty Handle helps you carry all of your groceries in comfortably and in 1-trip.

CrifJohnson's avatar

Well, I would suggest that you buy a nice light weight bags for yourself in which you could put your groceries and carry it on your own.

talljasperman's avatar

Yes. Get backpacks.

tvtuneup's avatar

If you have a porch I would think about a hoist system. Even a small hoist can take up to 400lbs. at one time , put a swing arm on it to get items over the rail. security wise I would put all items within a canvas blanket like painters use ans lock the loops connect to hoist and your good to go.

Champang's avatar

I live on the 3rd floor and when my wife gets home with the groceries I lower a basket over the balcony that I have rigged up to a ropeand she loads the groceries in the basket! I then tie the rope to my dog and put a treat infront of his face and walk him to the front door. It is awesome!!

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