7 Ways to Stay Safe When Moving Heavy Items Upstairs

Plan ahead

Before moving day, take stock of the items that may present a challenge. First, measure their height, width and depth. You may want to record these measurements so you have them on hand for the move. Next, measure the width of the stairs, the space around corners and the distance to the ceiling. Jot these measurements down as well.

Then, formulate a plan for each item. You’ll want to decide what the best position to carry that is. Does it need to be carried at a particular angle as you go up or down the stairs? Will you need a different position or angle to avoid hitting the walls, railings or ceiling? Also, consider whether specific equipment, like a hand truck, will make the task easier. Finally, you’ll want to determine how many people you need to help move that piece.

If you’ve never moved heavy or bulky items before, invest the time to learn how to lift correctly. This will prevent injury and reduce the risk of damaging your belongings.

Protect your home

To minimize damage to your home’s banisters and walls during the move, take these extra steps.

  1. Wrap moving blankets, old blankets or thick towels around the banisters to prevent the edges and corners of large pieces from causing damage. Secure with painter’s tape.
  2. Cover staircase walls with moving blankets or old bedspreads held in place with painter’s tape. If you don’t have thick coverings, bedsheets will at least prevent scuffs.
  3. Remove doors, if necessary for added maneuverability and to protect the door from damage.


Moving furniture up stairs using an electric stair climber

The best way to move an item of furniture up stairs is to use a professional electric stair climber in order to minimise the physical impact of moving the load.

If the item of furniture is not particularly heavy – well below 100 Kg – you can use an electric stair climber dolly with wheels, like Zonzini’s  powered stair climber dolly Buddy. However if you use a wheeled stair climber you will have to balance the weight of the furniture on the stairs while it is being moved to stop it falling. If the furniture is heavy there is a very real risk that it will tip over on the stairs.

Straight stairs are the easiest to move loads on using an electric stair climber. You can move your furniture on a helical staircase using all of the wheeled stair climbers, but only very few of the tracked stair climbers.

The Domino Automatic tracked stair climbing robot by Zonzini can move furniture weighing up to 881 Pounds (400 Kg) also on helical staircases, depending on the degree of rotation of the stairs and the size of the load. The Skipper tracked stair climber can move tall furniture and heavy furniture weighing up to 350 Kg, but is only suitable for use on straight staircases.

Spiral staircases have a tight angle and it is almost impossible to use a wheeled or tracked motorized stair climber on them. If the spiral staircase is very narrow, there is not enough space to manoeuvre an electric stair climber.

Think about wardrobes made from solid wood or with stone or marble inlays. In such cases it is advisable to use a tracked electric stair climber. As well as having a higher load capacity it is also much safer, because the operator does not have to balance the item of furniture on the stairs.

Whenever possible, it is always preferable to move furniture and domestic appliances using an electric stair climber which, depending on the type of furniture, may be wheeled – for furniture weighing less than 100 Kg – or tracked – if weighing more than 100 Kg.

The two types of technology have different levels of safety and comfort for the operator. Stair climbers with tracks are more expensive but also safer, because they require less physical effort during transport. Electric stair climbers with wheels tend to be quicker and more suitable for moving furniture weighing less than 100 Kg.

Find out all the differences between stair climbers with tracks and stair climbers with wheels

Tip 3: Protect Your Furniture and the Premises

If you’re moving heavy objects, don’t be surprised if you face a few bumps along the way. To protect your belongings (and your space), wrap plastic or bubble wrap around your items. Moving upholstered furniture? Look into plastic covers designed for sofas and chairs. If you’re in a pinch, you can always use old blankets or sheets to cover your furniture.

To protect your floors and walls, place furniture pads on the bottom of your furniture to keep from scraping the floor and tape cardboard on the walls (especially the corners) to reduce scratches and dents.

Tip 6: Look into Moving Techniques

You probably know you’re supposed to lift with your legs, but that’s not the only moving technique you should keep in mind. Bend your knees and avoid twisting your body when lifting or carrying furniture. You’ll also want to keep the object as close to your body as possible to help you maintain balance. Above all, make sure you can see clearly in front of you.


Once you get that big, heavy piece of furniture or appliance upstairs, getting it to the right spot can still be a chore.

One possibility to make this easier is to slide it. This works best on a wooden or other uncarpeted floor, but can work on a carpet as well. Put down a blanket, preferably a moving blanket, if you have one, and ease the piece of furniture onto it. For a couch, place it on end, which will make it easier to get through doors. With this done, you’ll be able to slide it, at least part of the way to its final destination.


Using a strap, you can carry two to three boxes on your back. Drape a circular moving strap around your shoulders and chest so that it falls behind your back. Lean slightly forward and hold onto the bottom of the strap. Have a friend place a box on your hands and the strap, making sure the strap is in the center of the box. Depending on your strength, have your friend add one or two more boxes. Don’t stack any boxes higher than your head. This method lets your back to the lifting, rather than your arms and legs. Lean slightly forward as you go up the stairs.

Use a Mattress Sling

Mattresses are just plain awkward. They’re heavy, bulky, oddly shaped for moving, and tend to bend one way and the other as you carry them. Add to that the fact that the holders on the sides aren’t meant for carrying the mattress. Rather, those are there to help you move it into place once it’s on top of your box spring.

Enter the mattress sling. This handy tool works well with your shoulder dolly, allowing you to stand upright, hold onto the top portion of a mattress to keep it from tipping, while the sling cradles the bottom section as you walk. This can make moving it to your bedroom much easier.

Now, have a happy, and safe, move!


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