How to move a fridge: A guide for your next move

person opening refrigerator door

Getting ready to move house? A big part of any move is figuring out how to transfer your large appliances. Moving the fridge, in particular, can be an interesting challenge. First-time mover? Or maybe you’ve done it before? Either way, our tips are here to make your fridge move as easy as possible.

Our expert guide lets you discover how to move a fridge, ensuring a smooth journey to its next home. 

Preparing to move a fridge

Prep work: When should a fridge be turned off before moving? Ideally, you want to unplug your fridge at least 24 hours before the move. This allows it to defrost, reducing the risk of water damage and mould growth. Disconnect the water and ice dispenser by turning off the water supply and draining the hoses to prevent leaks and water damage during the move. Once your fridge reaches room temperature, remove its internal components like shelves and drawers and wrap to prevent breakage during the move.

Cleaning matters: Seize the moment to give your fridge a good scrub. Getting it sparkling clean makes setting it up in your new place more satisfying and keeps those pesky odours and leftovers from tagging along to your new home.

Protect the exterior: Use a cover specifically designed for moving fridges or use thick blankets (tip: you can pick up unwanted blankets from your local marketplace or thrift store). This will protect the exterior of your fridge from scratches and dents during transport.

Measurement is key: Measure your fridge and assess the route it will need to make to exit your home. Measure doorways, hallways and any narrow spaces it needs to pass through. Consider any obstacles such as stairs, tight corners or uneven surfaces. Clear the path of any potential trip hazards to avoid any accidents on moving day.

Smart fridges: If you have a smart fridge or one with digital settings, take a moment to note down your preferred settings or back them up if the feature is available. This will make it easier to reset your fridge when you plug it back in.

Lighten the load: Donate, responsibly dispose of, or make an ‘everything in your fridge stir-fry’ for dinner the night before your move rather than transport your unused perishable items. This lightens your moving load and gives you a fresh start for stocking up in your new home.

Techniques and tips for moving a refrigerator

Gather the right equipment: A hand truck or dolly is indispensable for safely transporting your fridge. Use strong moving straps to secure the fridge to the hand truck, and use protective blankets to avoid scratches and dents. You can also use furniture sliders (like a blanket) placed under the fridge to glide it across hard surfaces smoothly. This also helps to minimise any floor damage.

It’s all about the technique: Keep the fridge as upright as possible during the move. This is important as tilting it on its side may cause the compressor oil to flow into the cooling tubes, potentially damaging the fridge. Sometimes, a slight tilt when moving the fridge is necessary, so do this cautiously and minimally to maintain the integrity of the fridge’s internal mechanisms.

Dealing with staircases: Use a stair-rolling technique with the hand truck. This method involves a controlled roll down each step, rather than carrying the weight of the fridge over the stairs, which can be dangerous. Regularly pause to assess your surroundings and the fridge’s position to prevent accidents.

Consider removing doors: In tighter spaces, removing the doors of internal rooms in your house can provide some extra clearance. Be sure to keep track of all screws and hardware and protect the door frames to prevent damage.

Teamwork makes the dream work: Don’t attempt to move a fridge alone. Having a moving buddy (or a team of them!) ensures your safety and allows better maneuvering and control.

Lifting and loading: Once at the moving truck, use a loading ramp to move the fridge onto the truck. Ensure the fridge is securely fastened using strong straps to anchor it. Always position it against a wall of the vehicle to minimise movement during transit.

Person holding tray of eggs with refrigerator door open

Settling your fridge into your new home

Positioning and levelling: Carefully position your fridge in its designated spot once in your new space. Use a leveller on the top of the fridge to check your fridge is level. Adjust the feet or use shims to achieve the right balance if necessary. Avoid plugging it in immediately; let it stand for a few hours to allow the internal fluids to settle.

Reconnection and settings: If your fridge has these features, reconnect the ice maker or dispenser’s water supply. Refer to your notes or the manufacturer’s guide to reset digital settings or the preferences you noted earlier in the move process. This will quickly restore your fridge to its functionality, making your new kitchen feel like home sooner.

Final checks: After resting, plug in the fridge and monitor it for a few hours to ensure it functions correctly. A successful move is not just about the physical transport but also ensuring everything works well in your new home.

Your fridge moving journey made simpler

A successful fridge move involves a little preparation, the right equipment and helpful (and willing!) moving buddies. While this guide covers the essentials of moving a fridge, Happly is here for the bigger picture of your relocation. You can tailor your entire moving process, where every step is handled with expertise and care. Access high-quality service providers and easily book multiple services in one platform with Happly.

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