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Hipster's avatar

How do I make a simple aid to carry packages up flights of stairs?

Asked by Hipster (81points) May 20th, 2015

I have to carry bags of groceries, packages, small pieces of furniture, and other items up one to four flights of stairs. SInce I’m not supposed to lift or carry heavy items, this creates a problem. How can I make a contraption that will do this for me, without drilling into the wall or banisters?

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19 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

A back pack is the most efficient way but would not work for furniture. Are there windows on the stairs where you could hoist things up on the end of a rope in a bag or basket?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

If I read the OP’s Q correctly they cannot lift or carry anything and are looking for an elevator stair crawler.


gailcalled's avatar

Good point but he said “cannot lift or carry heavy items,” we need more details.

Hipster's avatar

Thanks for the replies. To be more specific: I have trouble lifting and carrying. For example, when I come back from grocery shopping, I have to lug one bag at a time up the stairs to the main floor. When I go up to my office on the fourth floor, I have to carry stuff up one to three flights. I need to rig a simple contraption that will carry everything up at once, or at least work so I can send one thing at a time up or down while staying in the same place myself.

There’s no way to hoist things up from outside through a window. Everything has to go up and down stairs.

Tropical_Willie's avatar Makes and installs them, there are others.

Do you have a physical therapist or professional for your limited lifting?

Hipster's avatar

Thank you, yes. Today I’m interested in a device that will carry packages up stairs.

janbb's avatar

Is it possible for you to load things in a roll-aboard suitcase or a metal cart and drag it up behind you. Would that be too heavy to lift? I find that quite do-able when I am traveling but I don’t know how restricted you are.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Pachy's avatar

I sympathize, @Hipster. I have knee and back problems that make it increasingly difficult for me to carry stuff up and down stairs—and my house is a 2-story! There must be a cart or contraption with wheels especially designed for rolling up/down steps. I did a quick Google search and found this site. Perhaps it (or a site like it) will lead you to solution.

Hipster's avatar

Some helpful suggestions; thanks! I have a wooden red wagon to pull kids and small dogs around in. It has high sides and rubber tires, and holds quite a bit. I’m going to tie a line to the handle, using a bowline knot, load it up, go to the top of the stairs, hold onto the top newel post for stability, and pull. I’m shopping on Friday. I’ll let you know how it works. I also have a small, sturdy heavy metal cart to which I could strap packages and bags with bungee cords. If this works, I’ll refine it by adding some sort of pulley gizmo. Suggestions welcome. Stay tuned!

Response moderated
LuckyGuy's avatar

When you go to the top floor can you look down and see the bottom of the stairwell? Is the space wide enough to lift things up?
If yes a relatively inexpensive 12V winch with a 50 ft cable will work quite nicely. You can wire it with a switch at both ends so you can raise and lower it no matter where you are.

HarborFreight has a “2500 lb. ATV/Utility Electric Winch with Wireless Remote Control” for $70. You will need to add a car battery and a small trickle charger for about $5.

Hipster's avatar

This seems like a good solution. However, I’d like a free-standing device that I can put out of sight when not in use, and I’m afraid 2,500 lb. would be too challenging for me.
I see that you’re a tech-savvy person, and I’ll definitely ask your advice for my next question!

longgone's avatar

Just food for thought: I saw an elderly lady use the handrail as support for her shopping basket once. She pushed it up, and that seemed to work well. Perhaps saddle bags would work instead of the basket, hung on either side of the rail?

Also, consider asking for human help. Is there a teenager around who would like to earn a bit of money? For a few minutes’ work, that would not need to be much at all.

Welcome to Fluther. Look around, you’ll like it here!

Hipster's avatar

I like the human help solution. In fact, I’m going to use it on Friday! This one will even make us a G and T when we’re all through putting the groceries away—except for the limes. However, I’m in and out so much and pick up things here and there, that it isn’t always easy to anticipate that I’ll need help ahead of time. I need to do it myself if I have to.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Hipster No. no, no! The device does not weigh 2500 pounds It LIFTS 2500 pounds. The device weighs about 20 pounds (I’m guessing) and can be attached to a support at the top of the stairs. Properly mounted you’d be able to lift bags of groceries (or a piano) with the push of the “up” button on the remote key fob..

LuckyGuy's avatar

Or you can look at the smaller , lighter version “2000 lb. Marine Electric Winch”. Sorry. I can’t link to it for some reason. You can look it up easily with the keywords above.

Hipster's avatar

Thank you! I’ll look into it further, although 20 lb. is still more than I can handle. Maybe I can throw a decorative rug over it when it’s not in use.
This is probably the best solution, as it does all the work and all I have to do is push a button.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Maybe someone can help you mount it. If you live in apartment building you might offer to let everyone use it. You will be a hero and there would not be any complaints.

A small winch is generally slower than a big one. It won’t zip stuff up to roof in seconds. Typically they move at about 5 seconds per foot. Maybe that is fast enough. A small car battery and charger will be all you need.
Look around. There might be something better that plugs into the wall.
Good luck.

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