Moving to a new home is always exciting. So many new experiences to look forward to and the possibility of a whole new life is always intriguing. However tiring it may seem, you always are somehow invigorated by the idea of a new life. A crucial and one of the most important decisions is considering whether or not to take your kitchen appliances. Do you want to leave behind your trusty tried and tested helpers in your kitchen, or are you looking to trade you to a better one for the new home?
If you are reading this article, you are choosing, or at least considering, moving your refrigerator by yourself to soften the monetary impact on your move. Making this decision may have been easy enough, however executing it is not as easy as it may seem. Refrigerators are bulky and big. Depending on your model this may change, with older refrigerators easily weighing 250 lbs and more modern ones weighing around 180 lbs.
This does not change the fact that the weight adds a lot of risk in moving the appliance. The most notable risk is the possibilities in damaging the refrigerator or even hurting yourself for that matter. But it doesn’t have to be that big a deal if you tackle the task well. That’s what we’re here for. So read our guide on how to move a refrigerator if you can’t bear the thought of leaving it behind.
Preparation For Moving Your Refrigerator
Before you start hacking away at your refrigerator, you need to be prepared, both yourself and the refrigerator, well in advance. This part may be a bit lengthy, but stick with us, as this will significantly impact the ease of the actual move.
When the time comes for you to finally look to move the refrigerator from your kitchen to your truck, you want to be ready for a smooth transition.
- First thing you need to do is clear or make a path. You do this by taking measurements. Grab a tape and get the measurements of the refrigerator. Make sure you note down the height, length and width of the appliance.
- Next, do the same for all the doorways and hallways on the route you plan to take, from the kitchen to the truck to load the refrigerator.
- Compare the measurements to make sure that you have enough space for you to move your refrigerator. Most likely it will, because the fridge didn’t just materialize itself in the kitchen, it was brought in at the time of purchase.
- On the off chance that you realize the refrigerator is too big to pass through a doorway, you may have to take the doors off their hinges to make space. If this is the situation you find yourself in, then make sure you do this well in advance of your move and not on the day.
- There should be no obstruction in your path when you are bringing your refrigerator out to the truck.
Prepare The Refrigerator
- You will first want to empty it at least a couple days in advance. Give into your deepest desires and hog all the perishables in the fridge, or in the spirit of being starting anew, donate and give away the perishables. That which you can’t just give away or can’t be consumed, you will have to discard it. Most of the time these are what’s stored in your freezer. Our advice, plan your move days in advance so that you can work your way through consuming what’s in the freezer, without having to end up throwing away most of it at the last minute.
- Once you have emptied your refrigerator of all that was inside, you need to get to work cleaning up whatever mess that’s been made in it. Let’s face it, unless you clean your fridge regularly, there is always some spill or mess that will need to be cleaned. Make sure you are thorough. You do not want to reach your new home and have to deal with anything rotting giving life to bacteria or fungus in your fridge.
- Your next course of action is to defrost your fridge. This is the main reason we suggested that you begin your preparations a couple days in advance, to give you time for the defrosting. If you have your owner’s manual, have a look at it for instructions on how to go about this process. If you don’t have this, then look up online, the way to defrost the make and model of your fridge.
- Usually defrosting the fridge is a simple process of disconnecting the fridge from the power and water lines and leaving the door open. Make sure you do have some towels handy to clean up the puddles that may form around the base of the fridge.
- Make sure you wipe the refrigerator dry after the defrosting process. You don’t want mold starting to grow in the fridge during the move
Supplies Needed To Pack A Refrigerator For A Move
- Helpers: You will need a few extra pairs of hands to deal with moving this massive appliance. So make sure you have people to help you with the move, whether that be your friends, family or neighbors. Although, it’s important to make sure you don’t have more people than required, because that can quickly turn into chaos.
- Packing tape
- Furniture blankets/Moving Blankets
You can also use old bed sheets or blankets.
- Rope, moving straps and zip ties
- Measuring tape
- Cardboard sheets (optional)
- Saran wrap (optional)
- Appliance dolly
- Truck with a loading ramp or a liftgate
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How To Pack A Refrigerator For A Move
Now that you have prepped the refrigerator, let’s get it all packed up for transport. Proper and secure packing can prevent injury to you or anyone involved in the move, as well as be a deterrent to any damage that could destroy your refrigerator or other belongings.
- First bundle up the power cord and water lines together with the rope or zip ties. It’s best to secure them to the back of the fridge with duct tape, to prevent someone from tripping on the cord and ending up with a missing tooth.
- Secure the door in place with the help of the rope. Loop and tie the rope around the fridge with the door closed. Do this for the freezer too. If your fridge door has a handle that you can run the rope through, then make sure to do it. This adds an extra layer of security in preventing the door from opening or the rope from slipping off.
- Next, wrap the entire refrigerator in the blankets or sheets. This will prevent the appliance from getting damaged during the inevitable bumps and nudges that come with transport. It will also help pad this mammoth of an appliance from damaging other items in the truck.
- You can secure the blankets in place with the help of the ropes or the moving straps. Optionally, you can also wrap it in one layer of saran wrap and hold that in place with duct tape. This will actually prevent any dirt or moisture from accumulating in or on the refrigerator, protecting it from mold.
Also See: How To Move A Washing Machine
Transporting The Refrigerator
We have hinted time and time again about how cumbersome and big these refrigerators can be. This is the reason you need to get an appliance dolly. Additionally, you may want to use the cardboard sheets we mentioned in the tool sheets (or even furniture sliders if you can get your hands on them) to prevent any damage to your floor. If by some miracle, you managed to pull off all the steps up till now by your lonesome, then kudos to you. However, you will definitely need all those extra pairs of hands now to help you with the next steps
- Step 1: You need to get your refrigerator onto the appliance dolly, before you can start wheeling it out to your moving tuck. With the help of the reinforcement (could be a friend or family member), tilt the refrigerator back slightly and slide cardboard sheets or a furniture slider under the base.
- Step 2: Now with the people whose help you have demanded, slide or shimmy the refrigerator out into the open area where it will be easy for you to load its massive body onto the appliance dolly. It is imperative that you use a slider or cardboard as this will prevent unnecessary damage to the underside of your fridge. In fact, it can mitigate any damage that may be caused to the floor by sliding the huge appliance across it.
- Step 3: Now that you have the refrigerator out in the open, you need to get it on the dolly. Once again, this requires all the help you can get. Get one or two people to slowly tilt the refrigerator backwards and slide the front of the dolly under the front edge of the refrigerator. It’s best to make sure you are loading the refrigerator with its front at the back of the dolly.
- Step 4: Next, using the front of the dolly as leverage, tilt the fridge forward so that it’s off the floor and level again, with its front edge on the dolly. Gently push or slide the refrigerator forward, so that it is completely on the dolly.
- Step 5: Strap the refrigerator in place with help of the moving straps or the rope as securely as possible. At this point, you can take a break after that nerve wracking experience. Be extra vigilant when getting the refrigerator onto the dolly, so that you do not accidentally snag the moving blanket or sheets onto the edge of the dolly.
- Step 6: Once you have calmed your nerves and recovered your strength, double check to make sure everything is secure and begin wheeling your trusty refrigerator out to your moving truck. Like we mentioned earlier, it’s best that you make sure that you have cleared this path beforehand.
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Loading the Refrigerator Onto The Truck
This first part may be tricky depending on the type of truck you have rented. If you have a truck that has a liftgate, then just roll the dolly onto the liftgate and whistle a jolly tune as the refrigerator is elevated to the same level as the truck bed. Now you just need to wheel the dolly and refrigerator off the lift gate into the truck.
However, if you have rented a truck with a loading ramp, you will need some extra help in getting this massive refrigerator onto the truck. Make sure you have extra help to push the dolly up the ramp, but that you also have someone ahead of you to make sure that the dolly and fridge don’t tip over sideways.
Once you have the dolly finally in the truck, wheel it to where you plan on having the refrigerator for the move. Our recommendation is that you place it against the wall of the truck, or preferably against the corner so that the refrigerator can have the truck wall on 2 sides.
With the extra help, slide or push the fridge back past the edge of the dolly and slowly let the back end tilt off the dolly and rest on the truck bed. Then holding the fridge in place, carefully pull the dolly away from under the refrigerator and then proceed to gently lower the front of the fridge down onto the truck bed.
Once again, be vigilant to make sure that the moving blankets don’t get caught on anything.
Related: How To Pack Your Kitchen For Moving
Securing The Refrigerator
Once on the truck, secure the refrigerator against the truck walls. Use the rope or the moving straps to immobilize the fridge. Use the zip ties too if you feel you need to. The idea is to make sure the fridge is absolutely secured and immovable. You do not want your trusty refrigerator to turn into a 180-250 lbs wrecking ball when you are on the move. It will destroy itself and whatever else you have on that truck if you give it the freedom to move.
No matter what, secure the refrigerator in the upright position and never on its side as this can and will damage the mechanism inside.
If you do want to save a few extra steps at your new place, you can also choose to leave the fridge on the dolly and secure both to the truck. This is assuming you are renting the appliance dolly for the entire duration of the move. If not, then you would have to return the dolly once you use it to load the refrigerator onto the truck.
Unloading The Refrigerator
So you finally made it to your new home and are unloading everything from your truck. You may assume that it may be easier to unload the refrigerator compared to the struggle of loading it. But it does have its own set of challenges. If you kept the refrigerator on the dolly and secured both to the truck, then you would not have to bother with the extra effort of hoisting massive appliances back onto a dolly and re-securing it in place.
With the fridge on the dolly, your immediate challenge is to get it off the truck. This is easy enough if you have rented a truck with a liftgate. Just whistle along as the game brings the refrigerator to level ground. If you have the truck with the ramp, then you will need to be extra careful with the unloading process. Make sure you have extra help when wheeling the dolly down the ramp to keep gravity from snatching it away from you.
Also make sure you have an extra man in front to provide that little bit of extra resistance and to make sure the dolly and fridge don’t tip over the side. Once inside, it’s always best to consult an owner’s manual when installing the refrigerator in your new home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I move a refrigerator by myself?
It’s not necessarily an easy feat, but you certainly can. If you own a smaller refrigerator which doesn’t weigh much, you can do it all by yourself. But for a bigger one, you will definitely need a couple of helping hands. In case your refrigerator Ideally, it’s wise to seek help if your fridge weighs 150 lbs or more.
How long do you need to turn a fridge off before moving it?
You could turn off and unplug your refrigerator a day before the move, but only if everything else is taken care of. By everything else we mean the whole defrosting, emptying and cleaning process which should be done a couple of days before the move.
Before you decide to carry your refrigerator with you, do the research to see if it really is more efficient and feasible. Oftentimes, it may just be best to shell out some cash and purchase a newer model. It may sound easy to move your refrigerator by yourself, but it does come with its own set of complications.
There’s no denying that it’s a task which is doable. But the heavy appliance has to be carefully and delicately handled to avoid any possible damage to it or to anything or anyone else. Honestly, if you can afford to rent professional help or labor for the day to help with the move, it is definitely worth the extra coin.
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