How do I move a heavy TV set?
June 26, 2007 6:37 AM   Subscribe

How do I move a big tv set down two flights of stairs? Help me use brains rather than brawn. The 32" TV weighs 80 lbs. That by itself is challenging but what makes things really tough is that it's 23"x27"x31" and i can't get a grip around it.

I'm a 140lb weakling. Sure I could go out and find two real men to get it done. But as a question of nerd pride, how could i do it myself?
posted by storybored to Home & Garden (19 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
As a fellow nerd and general hard-headed macho guy, get a friend to help. Or a girlfriend. Or the guy in the next apartment -and give him a beer for his trouble.

If you're dead set on doing it yourself, get a two-wheel dolly. Extend the bottom flat with an 18" piece of plywood. Put a pillow on the glass. Tie the TV to the dolly.
posted by notsnot at 6:43 AM on June 26, 2007

Outside pulley system or handtruck
posted by ijoyner at 6:44 AM on June 26, 2007

Ratchet-strap it to a board and slide it down the stairs, with you standing on the lower side to act as a brake.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:51 AM on June 26, 2007

Get some big friends to help you. Seriously. The cost of beer and pizza is much less than the cost of a new TV or damage to your landlord's staircase. Even if you weighed 250# and benched twice that much, you'd still want help with something that unwieldy.
posted by octothorpe at 6:51 AM on June 26, 2007

I'm not a 140lb weakling, but I have been known to be seriously lazy. Here's how I moved my monster tv (it's basically a sled):

Wood plank about 1' longer than the width of the tv and as wide as the depth (even crappy plywood works - you're not really going for load-bearing here). Lay a blanket near the top of the stairs, lay the wood on top (leave enough blanket sticking out to use as a handhold). Put tv firmly on top of the wood.

Get in front of tv w/ back to tv, grab blanket and pull. Gently slide down the stairs. If you start to lose control, lift the blanket to stop the tv slide.

You take full responsibility if you do this. If you are crushed by tv, it's your own fault!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:55 AM on June 26, 2007

I agree that you should just get someone to help. But if you are dead-set on doing this yourself, here are two ideas:

(1) Movers often use moving straps for awkward, heavy objects. While these are usually used in paris, I have also seen single movers use them to carry objects on their backs. If you can find some heavy-duty strap-like material, wrap it around the TV in such a way that allows you to have the TV on your back and your arms grasping the straps over your shoulders. Remember to be careful and lift with your legs!

(2) Get two heavy carpets and a board big enough to support hte TV. Sandwich the board in between the carpets on the floor. Place the TV on the contraption, and carefully use it to slide down the stairs.
posted by googly at 6:55 AM on June 26, 2007

Oh..or what Wolfdog said :P (should have previewed)
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:55 AM on June 26, 2007

My former 32" 140lb glass tube TV was the only item I owned that I could not move myself. Well, I could, but between the lack of handles, painful molding on the bottom, fragile glass, and completely off-center-of-gravity, I just didn't want to even for the sake of pride.

My solution was to sell it, let the buyer worry about moving it one last time, and to buy an LCD TV.
posted by kcm at 6:57 AM on June 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Find a hoard of nerds and have them wield their awesome super powers to help you out. Nerd singular = not so fun. Nerds in abundance = help moving tv/esoteric puns about web comics and +2 to dex.
posted by santojulieta at 7:04 AM on June 26, 2007

I'm with kcm. I was over moving a heavy TV.
posted by FlamingBore at 7:20 AM on June 26, 2007

Just rent a hand dolly with straps from one of the local moving companies (or borrow one). Strap the television onto the dolly (or hold it) and roll it down the stairs. Be mindful of controlling the dolly -- walking it down the stairs backwards might be your best option.

If you have help, it gets even easier: Have a friend control one end while you control the other.
posted by Kikkoman at 7:49 AM on June 26, 2007

Heh, best yet solution.

Go to Lowe's, Home Despot, or Wal-Mart. Buy an appliance dolly, the kind with the eccentric crank and straps, and the rubber rollers above the wheels for dealing w/ stairs.

Use it.

Return it.

Good game. Oh, and use some blankets when you crank it down.
posted by TomMelee at 8:01 AM on June 26, 2007

one assistant + moving straps. Picture of them in use.

Where to order them. $16.
posted by NortonDC at 8:13 AM on June 26, 2007

The picture of those moving straps is taken directly from the Uhaul site. You can pick up a pair of their "Forearm Forklifts" (aka moving straps) at any Uhaul location.
posted by tastybrains at 9:11 AM on June 26, 2007

one assistant + moving straps. Picture of them in use.
Where to order them. $16.

I saw an ad for these on TV. "Fore-arm forklifts" look like a good way to break a wrist or four. Especially with stairs. I don't know, I've never used them but they look very potentially ouchy.
posted by GPF at 12:24 PM on June 26, 2007

Another vote for moving straps.
I moved several large boxes of books using these (each box weighing in the 60-100 lbs range) and I'm a 120 lbs skinny nerd type guy. My roommate who is a 190 lbs warehouse worker had problems lifting 50 lbs boxes without the straps. The key is being able to securely lift the objects without over balancing. With the straps, you can keep your weight centered over your legs and are not encumbered by the prospect of losing your grip while moving.

I made my own straps out of wrachet straps from my friends truck. Worked like a charm.
posted by daq at 2:59 PM on June 26, 2007

What scares me is that I was going to post the same exact question about the same size TV and the same body weight. What's also interesting is that all 3 dimensions are less than your 32" TV :)

I'm going to attempt this myself in one of the coming days. I'll probably go a with sliding technique. Piece of wood or whatever underneath, then push it to the stairs. Then get in front and slide it down. You'll have to bear some weight, but some nice rubbery shoes should help. Maybe even a decent friend with some legs too.
posted by unformatt at 3:03 PM on June 26, 2007

Don't do it yourself - that's my only real suggestion. I've got a friend who was bedridden for 3 months because he tried to move a tv on his own, and did some horrible horrible stuff to his back. He did put on about 30lbs as a result of not being able to move, so maybe you'll end up being a 170lb weakling, though.
posted by backwards guitar at 9:05 AM on June 27, 2007

So I'm the manager of a store where heavy stuff gets moved as a part of our daily routine. In and out of peoples houses, around the store, etc.

There is no circumstance I can think of where I would allow our volunteers or employees to use those straps to carry ANYTHING; ESPECIALLY down stairs. I mean, come on, being physically attached to something bulky as you go down stairs?

I think not.

Of course, I often carry dryers in my arms and do fridges with just a dolly--but those straps REALLY look like an accident waiting to happen.
posted by TomMelee at 11:33 AM on June 27, 2007

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