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Heavy Lifting

Whether you're moving a couch or a boulder, a heavy planter or a delicate glass mirror, these heavy-lifting tips will make the job easier and save wear and tear on your body.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Use the muscles in your head, not in your back

Need to move a boulder? Or maybe wrestle a refrigerator down a flight of stairs? Brute strength may have served you well back in high school. But growing older means using your mind more than your muscles when it comes to moving heavy or awkward things. Otherwise, you risk wrecking your back, your house and the item you’re moving.

We asked veteran movers and our Field Editors for their top moving tips. Their brains can make your next move faster and easier, even if you don’t have the brawn of a high school he-man.

Take the back off a recliner

Be a sofa magician

Take apart what you can

Break heavy things into smaller pieces

Remove your door stop molding

Ramp it up (and down)

Carry mirrors and glass with suction cups

Two ways to budge a boulder

Dragging a heavy log...can be a drag

Use rollers for big loads

Use plastic wrap, not tape, to secure items

Slippery pads really work

Lift plants the smart way

Use chains, not your back

Buy moving blankets—don't rent them

Bring in the heavy lifting gear (and cut a hole in your house)

Move it on ice

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • Cordless drill
    • Circular saw
    • 4-in-1 screwdriver
    • Needle-nose pliers
    • Pry bar
    • Safety glasses
    • Sledgehammer

You'll also need a come-along, glass suction cups, a chain hoist, plant straps, moving blankets and moving straps.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • Planks and lumber for ramp
    • Pipes (for rollers)
    • 2 x 4s
    • Plastic wrap
    • Furniture sliders
    • Ice cubes

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