Although we’d like them to be, there are many places that aren’t accessible – take for instance my own basement. My laundry room is in the basement. Yep that’s right – down a set of stairs all the way in the basement, which makes the daunting task of doing laundry even more unpleasant.
Yet it has to be done, so I came up with a little invention called a scootcher. The scootcher has come in handy for more than just my laundry – basically I’ve used it numerous times in order to help get up stairs where an elevator or a friend isn’t around to help me.
If I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it again: Learning how to sew is key! The scootcher is basically a pad strapped to my butt. It can be made out of many different things. My first one was a backpack. I cut out all of the material except for the padded back and bottom. For the straps, I kept some of the backpack ones, as well as attached my own. It’s important to have a strap for each leg as well as one for your waist. That way the scootcher stays attached to your butt, and doesn’t move around mid-scootch. Some other good bases are any durable fabric like canvas or strong thick nylon. Layering fabric to make the base more durable is also a good idea.
For the padding, you can use an old seat cushion, but I’ve found that layers of wet suit material work well, and is way less expensive. I got a local dive shop to give me some neopreen (wetsuit material), and I layered it into a cushion. Dive shops usually sell neoprene by the yard. I use three layers of ¼ inch for my current scootcher.
Now that you’ve got your scootcher, using it takes a bit of practice. First, you’ve gotta get yourself into and out of the scootcher – which means you have to be comfortable transferring to the floor. You also have to be able to lift yourself up the stairs, and pull your chair up when you get to the top.
A few key things to remember:
- Tie the rope on tight to the back of your chair – there’s nothing worse than having the rope slide off, and seeing your chair bounce down the staircase.
- Position your chair so that you can pull it up when you get to the top. If you tie the rope to the backrest, you are going to have to pull the chair so that the seat is facing the sky, not the stairs.
- Always try to put it in the middle of the stair case. It’s kind of hard to pull if it’s on an angle and you tip it over mid-pull.