Moving a fridge or freezer is not an easy task. If not properly prepared for moving and moved correctly, your refrigerator and freezer could be damaged. Learn about how to prepare, clean, and secure your fridge for moving.
Table of contents:
- Don’t Want to go Through the Trouble of Moving Your Fridge?
- How Chipman Relocation & Logistics Can Help
Tools Needed to Move a Fridge
Before you begin the process of moving your fridge, you first need to gather materials to make the proper preparations! Make sure you have:
- Cleaning Supplies (sponges, paper towels, baking soda, spray bottle, and water)
- Trash Bags/Can
- Moving Blankets
- Tape Measure
- Moving Dolly
- Moving Straps
- Moving Truck
6 Steps to Moving a Fridge
1. Measure Your Fridge, Doorways, and Stairwells
Before moving the fridge throughout your home to the moving truck, make sure to measure your refrigerator, doorways, and stairwells to ensure you will be able to maneuver the fridge on a dolly and fit through those spaces. It’s best to do this first because navigating heavy appliances throughout a home and figuring out it doesn’t fit at the last minute can be frustrating. Measure the width, height, and depth of the fridge with your tape measure.
Next, carefully plan the route you will take from your kitchen to your front door and measure the doorways on the route. It might be necessary to remove doors to allow for more space.
2. Empty the Old Fridge Contents
Now, it’s time to start emptying your refrigerator and freezer contents. Dispose of anything that you will not be eating before the move. Consider giving away any food that has not been consumed or opened. You don’t want to waste food, but sometimes you can’t take it with you if you are making a long-distance move. If you are not moving your fridge far, you can store any leftover food in an ice cooler. Be sure to have enough ice to keep it at a safe cooling temperature to store food.
3. Defrost Your Fridge 24 Hours Before
After emptying your fridge, it’s time to defrost it. Disconnect it and place towels on the floor to soak up any water that may drip from melting ice. While waiting for the freezer to defrost, you can clean the interior of your fridge to prevent any bacteria from growing. A safe cleaning solution to use is a quart of hot water with two tablespoons of baking soda.
After your freezer completely defrosts, thoroughly clean and dry all surfaces of your refrigerator and freezer inside and out, then leave the doors open at least 24 hours to enable any remaining moisture to evaporate. Even slight moisture can cause mold and mildew to grow. Don’t forget to also empty, clean, and dry the evaporator pan.
4. Secure Your Refrigerator for Moving
After you’ve wiped down any leftover water inside the fridge, remove any glass drawers or shelves as well as any loose parts. Clean, dry, wrap and pack them separately for moving. You don’t want anything to slide around inside the fridge during the move and break. Simply wrap them with blankets, towels, or bubble wrap. After that, close the door shut with a rope or a moving strap, so it will not open once it’s on the dolly. Add an extra layer of protection by wrapping your fridge with a blanket or padded cover.
5. Protect Your Floors
Refrigerators are very heavy and usually sandwiched in a tight space that will require you to slide it out some before loading onto the moving dolly. To prevent scratching your floors, use furniture sliders or rubber mats to help you slide out your fridge. Tilt your fridge slightly back and slide the protectors under, one on each side, then slowly push side to side pulling the fridge forward
6. Move Fridge from Your Home to the Truck
Now that you have moved the refrigerator onto your dolly and made sure to secure it in place with moving straps, you are ready to roll it through your planned route and onto the moving truck. Have your helpers stay on each side of the fridge, so they can help make sure it doesn’t fall off.
Slowly maneuver through the doorways and down any steps if necessary. Most moving trucks are equipped with a ramp for you to push the dolly up on. After moving it in the truck, cover it with blankets to prevent any damage and place it in a space where it will not tip over. It might be a good idea to push other objects, boxes, or furniture up against it for extra support.
After the Move
Pat yourself on the back because you have completed the hardest part! Unloading your fridge to its new home is much easier and quicker than packing and loading it to be moved. After you have moved the refrigerator to its new location, let it stand upright for 24 hours before plugging it in to allow all the fluids to settle. While you are waiting, place the shelves and drawers back in their original positions.
When it is time, plug in your fridge and let it start cooling. It can take anywhere from two hours to a full day for your fridge to reach its optimal temperature. It is important to wait until your fridge reaches its safe cooling temperature to prevent food spoilage or bacteria growth.
Important Things to Know
How long does my fridge need to be off before moving it?
It is recommended that your refrigerator be turned off for about 24 hours before moving it. Allow your fridge time to defrost so that you may clean its interior to prevent mildew and mold growth during the move.
Can you lay a fridge down or on its side to move it?
It is best to move a fridge in an upright position so that the fluids inside do not leak out and cause damage to other parts of your fridge. When you lay a fridge down flat or on its side, oil can leave the compressor which could cause damage and a longer wait time to plug it back in after moving.
How long after moving my fridge can I plug it in?
Depending how you moved your fridge, it is best to wait at least 24 hours before plugging it in. If you moved your fridge lying down or on its side, it might be best to wait 24 – 48 hours to allow all the fluids to settle back.
How Should I Store My Fridge?
You should store your fridge in an upright position while moving to a new location. While moving, it is best not to tilt your fridge back more than a 45-degree angle to prevent damage to the internal components and coolant from leaking.
How Can I Protect My Back While Moving a Fridge?
When lifting heavy appliances, like a fridge, it is best to get a helping hand from a friend or family member. Remember to always test the object before lifting and plan the route you will take to move the appliance. Bend at your knees and lift with your legs. When moving a fridge, it is best to use a moving dolly to help with most of the heavy lifting.
Don’t Want to Go Through the Trouble of Moving Your Fridge?
Even if you are moving locally and handling the move yourself, you may want to hire a moving company for your large appliances. Moving a fridge and freezer yourself is not an easy task. At Chipman Relocations & Logistics, we have an experienced team of movers that can get your refrigerator and freezer on the road and to your new home. Get a free quote today to get your move started!