Heavy Lifting

Lift heavy stuff without breaking your back

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.

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Take the back off a recliner

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Be a sofa magician

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Take apart what you can

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Break heavy things into smaller pieces

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Remove your door stop molding

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Ramp it up (and down)

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Carry mirrors and glass with suction cups

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Two ways to budge a boulder

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Dragging a heavy log...can be a drag

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Use rollers for big loads

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Use plastic wrap, not tape, to secure items

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Slippery pads really work

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Lift plants the smart way

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Use chains, not your back

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Buy moving blankets—don't rent them

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

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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