Are You a Bag-Carrying Champion?

by Bruce Montgomery Ph.D. May 11, 2016

Are You a Bag-Carrying Champion?

You arrive home from the grocery store and it’s time to unload. The store was busy, traffic was annoying and you just want to get inside and put away the groceries.

And if you are like me, you want to be efficient. Now – let me see – how many bags can I carry at once? If they are plastic, I can carry 5, 6, 7 – my record is 9! But the real trick is to unlock the door with the bags in your hands. Wrong!

Here are some tips to help you safely navigate getting into (or out of) your house with groceries or packages:

  1. Place a sturdy bench, a table, or a shelf next to your entry door – one inside and one outside. This provides a place to rest your bags when you open the door. I also put things there that I want to remember to take with me when I go out on business, visits or shopping. You can enhance the bench, table or shelf with paint or decorative items. Make sure it is sturdy and clear of your path.
  2. Another idea is to securely attach one or more coat hooks next to the door. These make really convenient holders for plastic bags. Make sure the hooks are properly installed (into wall studs if possible). You can find nice-looking hooks for under $10.
  3. If you have a screen or a storm door with an automatic closer, learn how to use the mechanism to prop the door open. This prevents you from having to worry about the door catching your foot or closing before you can make it inside. Prop the door open – even if it’s cold out. If you have a pet – put the pet in a room or a secure area until you are done.
  4. If you have a long way to walk to your door (from a bus or the road), purchase a light hand cart.
  5. Best bet – be smart. Carry a light load. The extra steps are good exercise and much safer when you can move freely.

When it comes to fall prevention and senior safety, making these simple modifications to your every day activities can be the difference between a quiet night at home and a night in the hospital from a fall. 

*Note: Fall prevention efforts can reduce the risk of falling. Caregivers and older homeowners can become knowledgeable about what needs to be done to make homes as fall-proof as possible. Check here often and search for product ideas that can make you safer in your home!

Bruce Montgomery Ph.D.
Bruce Montgomery Ph.D.


Dr. Bruce Montgomery is a licensed building contractor in Michigan and Florida. He is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist as designated by the National Association of Home Builders. He has also achieved an Executive Certificate in Home Modification from the University of Southern California. He has a wide ranging educational background, including a Master of Science degree in Entomology, with a Master of Science degree in Forestry and a Ph.D. in educational administration.