When we lived in our split level house, my husband would often do the shopping and carry in most of the groceries. When we traveled, he would load the suitcases in and out of the car. If furniture needed to be moved in or out, he could do it. I depended on him to do the heavy lifting.
After my husband’s motorcycle accident in 2015, we moved into a third floor condo with elevator to accommodate Arthur’s wheelchair.
It was up to me to figure out how to get the groceries in, how to carry the recyclables and trash out and how to get all the paraphernalia in the car when we go on vacation.
It’s been an evolution and I found several tools that I use. When I emptied our my storage unit and moved it into my condo, ALL of these were used! It was great since we had several people helping. But for daily use like carrying groceries or heavy boxes in or out, I have my favorites. All of these are under $100.
Here’s a list of pros and cons:
The first one was a granny cart – one of these shopping carts that remind me of the kind little old ladies used when going to the grocery store (of course I am that grey-haired lady now!) Seriously, google granny carts and see what pops up.
Pros: it’s easy to open and close. It’s light and it fits in the trunk.
Cons: the size limits what it can hold. The wheels on mine do not turn. They don’t pivot. So you’re forcing it to turn corners. There are versions that have front wheel pivots.
Next I ordered a flatbed. I had seen this used for music equipment and it seemed like a great idea for boxes and larger items. This opened up my ability to carry heavier, bulkier things into the condo. More info here: https://amzn.to/3jMG3dx
- Pros: lightweight, sturdy, can hold several heavy boxes and it folds flat.
- Cons: the size of it limits the size of the boxes. I can usually get 2 boxes on it. It doesn’t do well with trash bags that have no shape. I solve that by putting the trash bags in an empty box on the flatbed to carry them downstairs.
The third tool – the collapsible wagon – was a game changer. I wondered why I didn’t find it sooner! This one has pockets for your drinks. I’ve seen people use it at the beach for chairs and stuff as well as putting their kids in it. We recently used it to carry a piece of furniture out to my van. Check out a similar one here: https://amzn.to/34UZDzU
- Pros: Easy to set up, easy to break down. Sturdy. Because it’s deep, it holds more. I can pile stuff up and cram in the corners. It holds loosely shaped items like trash without falling out of the cart. The wheels pivot nicely.
- Cons: Not sure I have any! Ok, maybe after using it for a year or two, the wheels squeak and need to be greased.
I’ll mention this hand truck/dolly, though it has been my least favorite. It’s a small version of the kind used by mail companies to carry boxes. Similar ones here: https://amzn.to/2EUVJw5
Pros: It folds flat and takes up very little room. Can hold up to three boxes like the ones in the photo.
Cons: It’s very shallow. The cart has to be tipped back and unless the boxes are wrapped with something like a bungee cord, they can fall off.
Hoping my experience can help you whether you live alone, are elderly or like me, am the main person carrying things in and out.
Which is your favorite? Or do you have another suggestion?
The Italian Grandmama
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