Get Groceries Upstairs the Safe, Easy Way!

This is a guest post by Ken Oguss, Becca’s uncle, who lives alone on an upper floor of an apartment building with no elevator. Even if you’re getting groceries delivered in these pandemic times, you still have to get them from your front door into your kitchen, and that can be a problem if your body doesn’t cooperate with all that heavy lifting! Here is Ken’s ingenious, low-cost solution.


How to transport bags of groceries, gallons of milk, water, etc. up the three flights of stairs to my apartment without bearing the weight with my bad hip?

I had tried a hand truck and then a dolly in the past to carry heavy things up stairs, but wheeled carts, even the three-wheeled windmill type vehicles, don’t work as easily as advertised.  You have to pull the truck or dolly up the front surface of each step each time–still a lot of heavy lifting!


I brainstormed and thought, why not use a plastic sled? Then the remaining problem would be keeping everything on board while pulling it up.  I figured I could use a large carabiner clip attached to the leading end of the sled to hold the handles of multiple grocery bags.

I almost bought a long plastic snow sled at Target, but then I thought, it doesn’t have to be that long–just long enough to bridge two or more steps.  A laundry basket would do the trick!

I used my large, plastic laundry basket which measures 21″ by 13″ on the bottom surface, enough to bridge 2 step edges. I wove rope around the basket through the existing holes, high up in back and as low as the lowest holes in front. I cut a loop of rope, long enough for the double length to reach down one of the longest flights of stairs (15 feet), total length 30 feet of rope. Having two sections of rope is better for steering and stability.

When I loaded the basket, I put two heavy gallon jugs of water in front and two very large, full, reusable grocery bags behind them. I walked up to the top of the half flight and pulled the basket up to me. It worked perfectly!   After loading the basket I never had to lift its weight.  When I was pulling the rope I was standing firmly at the top of the flight of stairs. No strain at all on my hip.

I already had the basket and rope.  I did buy a large carabiner clip and used it at the front end to secure the grocery bags, as I had planned.  [This keeps the bags upright so they don’t spill groceries out of the basket when it tilts.]

I would have filmed it, but my hands were full! I may do a How-To YouTube video about it. I did an extensive search and found no videos showing this idea.  Certainly there are other folks who are having to deal with stairs and bad hips.  Here is a diagram for the general idea.

Visit Hearth & Soul for more ideas to improve your life on Earth!

One thought on “Get Groceries Upstairs the Safe, Easy Way!

  1. that’s a good idea, but its still heavy, I was thinking more like a pulley system, or something like that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.