Moving kitchen appliances can be a painstaking process – especially when they’re as large as a fridge.

People often leave expensive bulky items like this to moving professionals to ensure they don’t get damaged. However, if you’re keen to do-it-yourself and save money, then our guide on how to move a fridge will tell you the best way to tackle this heavy and awkward household object.

With patience and the right tools, moving your fridge will be a breeze.

Prep Your Fridge

First off, you need to prepare your fridge for moving. Start by consuming all your perishables in the weeks leading up to the move. After that, empty all contents from your fridge and discard or store them in a cooler.

Once everything has been removed, clean all surfaces thoroughly. A handy cocktail for this is a natural mixture of baking soda, lemon, and water. On top of that, it will reduce any leftover odors.

If there’s any remaining ice in the freezer compartment, melt it by turning it down to its lowest setting and let it thaw. To push the thawing process along, you can use a hairdryer. Melting these surfaces in advance will prevent accidental water leaks during the move.

If you need some general help with preparing for your move, then check out our preparing to move checklist

Unplug For Moving Day

It’s now your moving day! Unplug your fridge and don’t forget to disconnect the ice maker and water filter (if applicable). Following this, roll up and tape the power cord to the back of the unit. 

To ensure safe transportation, you’ll need to remove any refrigerator drawers and glass shelves. Furthermore, when it comes to the fridge doors, you can either remove them as per the user instruction manual or secure them shut with ropes. Finally, wrap the exterior of the fridge in blankets or some other type of cushioning to avoid damage. Your fridge is now ready to be transported. 

PRO TIP: If you’re disassembling your fridge door, don’t forget to place all screws and parts together in one place. We recommend a zip-lock bag and taping them inside. This will ensure you don’t lose anything when you get to your new home.

Measure Your Fridge & Make a Plan

The question of how to move a fridge through a door is best answered with a tape measure. In other words, get accurate measurements of your fridge, determining the height, width, and depth. In addition, measure the height and width of your doorways and hallways.

It will save you a lot of time and energy knowing which doorways your fridge will fit through and help you map out your route. Moreover, it will help you know if you need to remove any doors in your house.

Clear a Path 

Now that you have a more accurate idea of how your fridge is going to leave the house, clear a path and remove anything that may get in the way.

When working out the logistics of moving a fridge, people often wonder if you can move a fridge on its side or lying down. To be blunt, it’s not recommended. Moving a fridge on its side or laying down may damage its cooling mechanism. While refrigerators look  indestructible, their internal systems are sensitive. 

If a fridge is placed on its side or tipped over too much, the oil in the compressor unit will go into the cooling lines, and that alone could damage the cooling mechanism of your unit. Therefore, it’s best to keep your fridge in an upright position during the move.

Getting Your Fridge Prepped For Moving Equipment

Moving a fridge without scratching the floor is easy. You simply need two people and an appliance dolly or two-wheeled hand truck. A rubber-wheeled dolly will protect your floors from damage. It can be purchased from a Home Depot store or hired from a local moving company such as U-Haul

In order to get your fridge onto the moving dolly, you’re going to have to move the fridge out of its current tight space. The best way to do this without damaging the floor is by using furniture sliders. These handy tools are pieces of durable plastic and hard rubber that provide a low-friction surface, handy for across-the-room sliding of heavy items. These can also be rented or purchased.

Have one of your helpers gently tilt the fridge to one side, place a slider under each foot of your fridge, and then slowly pull the fridge. It will start to slide effortlessly towards you without causing any damage to the floor.

Loading onto the Moving Dolly

Follow this easy step guide to load your fridge onto an appliance dolly:

  • Step 1: Have a friend tip the fridge slightly and then slide the appliance dolly underneath it.
  • Step 2: Tilt the dolly back until the fridge is well-balanced on the wheels. Have the other person push the appliance towards you as you’re tilting back the dolly.
  • Step 3: Use the straps of the moving dolly to secure the load onto the two-wheeler. Consider using rope in addition to the straps for extra immobilization and increased safety.
  • Step 4: Do NOT tilt the loaded fridge at an angle greater than 45 degrees or you’ll risk losing balance, which could end in disaster!
  • Step 5: Start wheeling your fridge out of your home slowly and carefully. It’s easier to pull the loaded moving dolly along the predetermined exit pathway, rather than pushing it.

What’s the best way to move a fridge upstairs or downstairs? Tilt the dolly so that the fridge is resting at a 45-degree angle toward the person in the back, then very slowly go up or down the stairs one step at a time, with the person in front serving as a guide and helping distribute some of the weight. Don’t try to lift the dolly—instead, push or pull it carefully and gently!

Loading Your Fridge Onto a Pickup Truck

When it’s time to start loading your truck, this is how you load your fridge onto a big four-wheeler: make sure the pickup truck has a loading ramp and slowly pull the kitchen appliance up the ramp while your helper pushes the load from behind.

After that, secure the loaded fridge to the side of the truck using straps or rope along the top and sides of the appliance, making sure it stays in an upright position. It’s easiest to keep the fridge on the dolly so you can use it again securely in place once it reaches its final destination.

As you can see, moving bulky items doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive. With the right know-how you can save money and move your fridge safely, and maybe without even breaking a sweat!

Can’t take your fridge with you right now? Invest in affordable self-storage with Stache.