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Tips for moving heavy objects

Submitted by Richard

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The key to moving something heavy by yourself is to use more brain than brawn. First make sure the item - including any protruding parts - will fit through openings and around corners. Then give careful thought to how you can do the job with the least strain. Once you decide on a strategy, be patient; going slowly may take time, but it may also prevent injury. If necessary, find a helper. Here are some tips:

In general, pushing is easier and more effective than pulling.

Make a big box lighter by removing all or some of its contents.

If you are throwing the object out, or if it is fairly easy to reassemble, take it apart carefully and move it piece by piece.

When pushing something across the floor, put old newspapers, a blanket or a piece of cardboard under it. You'll protect the floor and the object will slide more easily.

To move a large object, such as a refrigerator, get behind it, lean it towards you, and walk it slowly from side to side.

To carry a box on your back, wrap a strap around it: a belt, large towel or blanket will do. Or make a loop of strong rope. Put one length around the box and hook the other around one bottom corner so that it passes under the box. Put your hands in the free ends of the loop.

Furniture

To move a couch or anything else with legs, lay it on its back or side and slide it as much as you can.

Take the drawers out of a desk or dresser.

Heavy kitchen appliances, such as fridge freezers, dishwashers and washing machines, will slide across a vinyl floor more easily if you spray a little washing-up liquid on the floor first.

To move a bulky chair, turn it so you can put the seat on your head and then slowly stand upright with the back of the chair on your back. Balance the chair on your head. It is easiest to put the chair down with someone's help, but if you are alone, do it slowly and steadily, bending at the knees.

Stairs

To get an object down a flight of stairs, use two boards as a ramp; slowly slide the object down the boards as you back down between them.

Or lay the object on a quilt or heavy blanket; control the descent with your shoulder as you back down, lifting the leading edge of the 'skid' slightly with both hands.

Trolleys

To get a trolley under a heavy object by yourself, put the trolley against the wall, then walk or slide the object to it; the wall will keep the trolley from scooting away.

Improvise a trolley with a child's toy cart, a skateboard or roller skates. Or invest in a low-loading trolley.

Or instead of a trolley, use lengths of piping or poles. Roll the object over them, and as those in the rear become free, move them to the front.

This tip has 5 comments shown below

Slip Mat
Comments by: Jolly from UK May 10, 2011
You can also use a professional slip mat. I got one a year ago and it is great for moving heavy objects. Try these people at Stair climber uk

Left out one good idea!
Comments by: Dick from Houston, Texas Jul 30, 2010
Instead of using a blanket or cardboard to slide things across a floor, use a big sheet of heavy duty plastic. You can use it over and over, and it slides better than either of the other materials, over all kinds of surfaces. You can find it on the web by searching for "Moving heavy boxes and furniture".

Great ideas
Comments by: stephhy from London, UK Jan 15, 2010
I sometimes struggle to move things on my own but can't wait to try some of these which appear to be simple but effective eg the washing up liquid which should stop lino from ripping when moving heavy appliances.

good Ideas
Comments by: Randall from USA Aug 20, 2009
The boards on the stairs is a great Idea!

Excellent tips!
Comments by: C Jarrett from Cwmbran UK Jan 17, 2009
Good practical ideas - I've tried a few!


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