You have a home with a gorgeous and space-saving spiral staircase, so you should be thrilled, but there’s just one big problem. How can you get furniture up a spiral staircase? Many spirals are barely wide enough for a person, maybe two, and there are all those curves to contend with. From the ground level, it looks like a complete nightmare. More importantly, if you do it wrong, then your worst fears might just come true. What can you do? First, take a deep breath and relax. I lived in a small apartment with a spiral staircase when I was just out of high school, and my bedroom was upstairs. Through a lot of trial and error and finally getting smart enough to do some research and enlist a friend to help, I figured out how to make it work. Luckily, you don’t need to go through all that hassle on your own. I will explain exactly how I accomplished it so you can move with confidence.
How do you get furniture up a spiral staircase? To get furniture up a spiral staircase, you use the railing. It typically takes two people to maneuver large items, so you’ll want to call a friend or family member to accomplish this task. By placing larger items on the rails and sliding them upward while balancing the weight manually, you can move surprisingly large items up a spiral staircase.
Steps To Get Furniture Up a Spiral Staircase
At first glance, getting furniture up a spiral staircase looks impossible, but it’s actually surprisingly easy. You will need a friend for larger items because a second set of hands to help balance the unbalanced weight at the other end is essential. Beyond that, you may need a dolly (aka hand truck), some straps, bungee cords or ropes, a measuring tape, and patience.
- Carry up all the small items. Remove dresser drawers and take off any furniture, legs, or other parts that you can to make the whole process simpler. These things need to be upstairs and out of the way before you begin moving larger furniture.
- Some large-ish pieces may fit between your rails and the center of the spiral staircase. For these things, place them on the hand truck and tie them in place. Unsecured furniture can tip forward as you work and result in damage to stairs or the furniture at the very least.
- Turn yourself and the dolly around backward and ease these mid-size items up one step at a time. If they don’t make the first turn, they won’t make the rest, so put them back downstairs with other large pieces. Otherwise, proceed upward and put these items well out of the way. They should fit onto the top landing, but you will want plenty of room for the big items, so take the time to get things out of the way.
- Next, you will need to measure your large items and the opening through which you will pass at the top. Depending on the opening’s size at the top of your spiral staircase, you may need to change your plans. So long as at least one side of the sides can fit through the opening, you should be alright. However, you must lead with that end of the large furniture pieces because there is no safe or practical way to rotate the items at the top.
- Once you’ve established it will indeed fit, you need to place the item on the railing. Please note that this requires sturdy rails for heavy furniture. If you do not have sturdy side rails, this is not a way to move large furniture. You may need to resort to the pulley methods outlined further down in this article.
- It is okay if the furniture overhangs the railing so long as it is well supported and capable of reaching the landing. This is where you need a friend or assistant. One of you needs to go up backward and balance the dresser, box spring, or another large item while the other pushes and balances below. Anything too wide to fit on the stairs has to go up above the railing or another way. Think of the rails as a really awkward monorail track with an unbalanced train. Steady it with pressure toward the inside edge of the stairs, and don’t let it tip over the rails, or it will fall.
- Most mattresses can be upended and turned on their side. Since they bend, two people can often manipulate the mattress up the stairs without the railing, but non-flexible items need to go on the rails.
I recommend a Magna Cart Personal Hand Truck for getting those mid-size items upstairs. Not only is this aluminum dolly lightweight, but it’s foldable and easy to store when you’re finished. Moreover, this strong and durable cart can hold up to a hundred and fifty pounds. The five-inch rubber wheels make moving easier, and they require no air, so you don’t need to worry about flat tires. See the excellent Amazon reviews by clicking here.
Tips And Tricks For Getting Furniture Up Spiral Stairs
Once you’ve figured out the proper balance for getting furniture up spiral stairs, it’s a lot easier. However, you can do even better with more pre-planning. Anything that makes it faster or simpler is a boon because going up and downstairs is tiring regardless of the configuration.
My first tip is to measure. Always get the staircase dimensions and the opening for the landing before you commit to a move or install your spiral staircase. Furthermore, if you are replacing old space-consuming stairs, consider moving things upstairs first.
Take a DTape Laser Tape Measure from Amazon with you to check out the dimensions of your new stairs, landing opening, and furniture. Not only does this tape measure have a standard retractable piece, but it also has a highly accurate laser for hard to reach spots. The LCD is straightforward with a high-end black and white reverse display screen so you can read it easily. Click here to learn more.
Next, take a look at your railing. Obviously, it needs to be capable of bearing the load you’re putting on it, but look at the style of the rails themselves. Are the rails smooth, beautiful wood that you might accidentally damage? Alternately, are they made of iron, and if so, are they textured? Rails with a texture will make this harder, but not impossible.
For smoother rails, you can easily prevent damage and make the transition upstairs smoother. Drape a cloth or blanket over the rail to slide up and down simply. Just keep in mind that this may make it too slippery, and test it out with something smaller or harder to damage first.
If your queen size box spring just doesn’t fit, then get a bigger bed. While this may seem counterintuitive, king beds use two smaller box springs. Hence, it’s actually easier to get up a spiral staircase. Lastly, if you cannot get everything upstairs, make adjustments.
You can find some incredible folding furniture, inflatables, beanbag variants, lightweight papasans, and futons. Alternately try a DIY by hauling some lumber up for a custom build, or opt to leave something downstairs instead. Your antique, solid oak dresser might be safer if you don’t try to get it up that spiral staircase.
When You Cannot Go Up The Spiral Stairs
Sometimes there’s just no way to take a piece of furniture up a spiral staircase. However, that doesn’t mean you need to leave it behind. When downstairs won’t do, then it’s time to get a hand winch. Skipp the flimsy pulleys, and go for a serious tool to make sure all your heavy furniture makes the trip safely.
Hopefully, you have a balcony upstairs with no windows underneath. By leveraging your furniture up the side of a building, you can reach places where a small landing opening wouldn’t otherwise allow you to move furniture. Similarly, if the opening is wide, but the staircase is not, you can always use a hand winch to move furniture up the outside of your spiral staircase.
Skip the flimsy, hard to stop modern pulleys and get an OpenRoad Hand Winch from Amazon. Designed to handle stuck ATVs and Boats, this hand-cranked winch can help you get the job done quickly and correctly. The nonslip handle helps you move up to six hundred pounds. Plus, the heat-treated steel is rust and corrosion resistant, so it lasts for years. To have an OpenRoad Hand Winch delivered to your door, click here.
Hopefully, you’ll never have to worry about moving furniture up a spiral staircase alone. However, if there is truly no other way, consider hiring professional movers instead. It’s not worth risking serious injuries to move furniture alone in such a delicate situation.
If you are working alone, then using a pulley system from a balcony is smarter and less risky. You can use multiple pulleys, but a hand winch is easier for one person. Just be aware that there’s always a chance to break a window or damage your furniture when it’s swinging on a rope outdoors. Secure items completely before you lift anything.
Using a sturdy spiral staircase railing should be a safe method as long as you have two people to manage the larger items. At least you don’t need to worry about sliding down a long straight flight of stairs if you slip, but please observe your footing anyhow.