How to Move a Refrigerator the Right Way

Depending on the size and model, a refrigerator can weigh between 160-320 lbs, which is quite heavy. When relocating, this is probably the most demanding appliance you will deal with. So, if you’re wondering how to move a refrigerator safely and without breaking your back, don’t worry – it’s feasible.

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November 4, 2020 Posted in How-to

Whether you are moving from a house into an apartment or relocating to a smaller home, you should expect the same preparatory steps – from choosing the right packing materials to picking the best moving company. Still, if you’re facing last-minute moving and need to bring your household items with you, you’ll probably ask yourself when to start packing for a move and How do you transport a fridge freezer?

When it comes to packing cumbersome and bulky things such as a refrigerator, keep in mind that it’s not recommended to skip any steps, especially when going DIY. Try to create your moving to-do list as early as you can, obtain all the necessary packing essentials, and pick the best time to move, because these are the factors that can affect your refrigerator’s move the most. For example, moving in the summer or relocating in the winter requires a different approach and timeframe along with moving across the country or to the other part of your current town. But, one thing is for sure – with the right moving tips and relocation hacks, you can’t go wrong. For that reason, we’ve prepared some handy words of advice to help you overcome your move easier, especially to pack and relocate your fridge. So, if you are wondering Can you lay a fridge down to move it? or How do you move a refrigerator off the wall?, keep reading and find all the answers.

What Materials and Tools You Need to Obtain to Move a Fridge

When relocating a fridge, the safest option is to leave this demanding work to professional long-distance movers. Yet, if you’re looking for the cheapest way to move out of the state or want to perform this job as soon as possible, you can do it DIY. You’ll just need the right technique, additional pair (or maybe two) of hands, patience, and also: the proper equipment. Your entire effort would be futile without these:

  • Appliance dolly with straps
  • Moving blankets
  • Measuring tape
  • Tape, rope, or bungee cords
  • Screwdriver or drill.
Find out more about equipment and steps you should perform in order to relocate your cooling device safely
When relocating a cumbersome household device, you'll want to have the proper equipment

Preparatory Steps Before You Move a Refrigerator

Since your fridge is an expensive household device and quite sensitive if not handled properly, you should perform proper steps and prevent any damage during the long-distance move. Also, using the right technique and equipment can save you from injuries and moving stress. So, let’s find out the things to do before moving.

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Empty, Clean Out, and Defrost

First things first, your cooling unit must be empty before a move. Even though it’s a no-brainer task, this is one of the most common things people forget when moving. You should also plan ahead of time what to do with all your perishables because movers won’t bring them. So, prepare food, give to family or friends, or just toss too long frozen food. In addition to packing your clothes for moving, or storing your pots and pans, which are a must-do, try to make it easier for you as much as you can with food. Get rid of everything you can.

Once you’ve removed all food, you can start with cleaning. Use a mixture of baking soda and water to clean all surfaces thoroughly. In the case of ice remains, a hairdryer will melt these surfaces. Your fridge’s interior should be water- and ice-free in order to prevent accidental leaks during the transport.

You can add activated charcoal inside to prevent odors during a move. And don’t forget to turn off the cooling unit at least a few hours before the relocation.

Disconnect Fridge

In case you have a water filter and an ice maker in your refrigerator, disconnect them in advance. To this properly, consult the owner’s manual because if you wait for your movers to do that instead of you, it won’t be done. Most long-distance companies don’t want to deal with water matters and cause some damage accidentally.

After unplugging and disconnecting, roll up the cord and tape it to the fridge’s back. You can remove the doors or secure them with rope or bungee cords. The fridge’s exterior should be protected with moving pads or bubble wrap to prevent possible scratches and dings. Also, don’t leave drawers and shelves inside – they won’t be safe during transportation. Take them out, wrap them, and pack properly in a box.

Measure Fridge and Doorways

If you’ve ever moved a piano, then this step will be familiar to you. The dimensions of your doorways are the crucial factor when relocating bulky and heavy objects. So, the first thing you have to do is to measure the height, depth, and width of your fridge. After that, jot down the measures of your hallways and doorways. Be prepared to remove both the doors of your rooms and on your fridge, if needed. So, before you begin any move, create a plan for how you will fit your cooling unit throughout each doorway until it reaches the rental truck for moving.

Remove Obstacles

During the whole moving state to state process, there will be a lot of preparations. This means your house will be crammed with different sized boxes for moving, including those for packaging fragile items and storing electronics. On top of that, you may get stuck on children’s toys while carrying a refrigerator. For that reason, remove anything in your path and have a clear path out of the house and onto the truck.

Protect Your Floors

When relocating, one of the most endangered elements in your home are your rooms’ lower surfaces, so think in advance how to protect floors when moving, especially if you have a rental. Since fridges are very heavy, it’s easy to damage your ground if you don’t provide proper protection to your floor. Luckily, when relocating a cooling unit by yourself, you can choose between several ways to protect your floors successfully.

The Most Important Floor Protection Technique – Use the Right Appliance Dolly

Have you heard of appliance dollies with rubber wheels? These tools are perfect for transferring heavy objects without damaging your floors, thanks to the clean rubber wheels. If you are unsure where to purchase this dolly, you can always try with your reliable moving company, or visit a home depot store and find the appropriate model for your fridge’s weight.

You Can Use Furniture Sliders or Plywood Panels When Moving Your Refrigerator

Before placing a fridge onto the appliance dolly, you should find the right way to move your cumbersome item out of its current location. As we all know, fridges are usually located against the wall, squeezed among other kitchen elements. With furniture sliders, you can rest assured that this job will go smoothly without damaging the floor beneath the fridge.

Another excellent option is a plywood panel that will facilitate the initial sliding. Just make sure to have a helper next to you for that first move to assist you in tilting the refrigerator to one side. After that, placing a slider or a panel under it shouldn’t be a problem.

Dollies with rubber wheels, furniture sliders, or plywood panels are the perfect choices when moving heavy appliances
Fridges are heavy, so think about protecting your floors in advance

How to Move a Refrigerator With a Dolly – Follow These Steps

Moving a fridge with a dolly is a straightforward process and can be done quickly and safely as long as you follow these steps:

  • Move your household device off the wall by using sliders or plywood boards
  • Wrap it in moving blankets
  • Your helper should lean the fridge slightly to one side and then slide the dolly under it
  • Use the dolly’s straps and additional rope to fasten the household device
  • Start wheeling without tilting or laying the fridge on its side
  • If moving downstairs, one person should be a guide, while the other should be below the dolly and help it go down step-by-step
  • After reaching the moving truck, load your appliance using the ramp
  • Use ratchet straps or rope to secure the loaded fridge
  • Transport it in an upright position.
Dollies are easy to operate if you follow the right steps
To move massive household devices, you should consider some help

Things You Shouldn’t Do When Moving Fridge

You shouldn’t do some things during the process of relocation to not damage the item. These are the following:

  • After placing the fridge onto the dolly, try not to tilt it at an angle greater than 45 degrees. Otherwise, you risk losing the balance
  • Laying the fridge on any of its sides is not recommended because this action can damage its cooling mechanism
  • Fasten your household device tightly and avoid any shifts in transit.
If you are laying fridges on their sides, that can affect their cooling mechanism
Relocating refrigerators requires the upright position of devices

Additional Tips After Reaching Your New Home

Even though you would like to plug in your fridge before unpacking after relocation, you should resist temptation. And here’s why:

  • Once you place your appliance at the desired spot in your kitchen, you should wait for at least three hours before turning it on. The cooling fluids require some time to flow back into the compressor
  • Don’t be surprised if your refrigerator in the beginning doesn’t work as it used to. Some models require two or three days to reach their optimal functionality after the move
  • You’ll need some extra time to place the fridge’s components back and clean all the surfaces again before putting food inside.
: It might happen your cooling device becomes most effective after several days
Bring your cooling device in your new kitchen and plug it after several hours

Do You Need Professional Help? Hire Some Pros

Hiring a long-distance moving company may be your best bet if you’re unsure about relocating your fridge by yourself. Cross country movers will pack your bulky household device safely and transport it to your home address damage-free. Also, if you want additional help, you can rely on long-distance moving services like packing and storage services, as well as auto shipping. Put simply, by leaving these challenging tasks to the state to state movers, you’ll have more time to check some other things that are a part of the interstate moving, such as how safe is your neighborhood or how to adjust to a new town and make friends in a new state.

Anastasia Hill

Apart from being the next fashion icon, Anastasia is also a freelance writer and expert on moving (and packing clothes).



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