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How to Prepare Appliances for a Move

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Moving is made even more complicated by trying to move large, expensive, and fragile items. Unfortunately, appliances fall into all three of these categories. If your new home isn't stocked with all of the appliances you need, you may need to move your old ones with you. There are a few simple strategies to prepare your appliances for moving.

Clean your appliances

Whether you plan on moving an entire stove-top oven or a mixer, you must clean it thoroughly before moving. Leaving dirt or food in any appliance could lead to the bacteria growth or even damage to some of your items.
  • Thoroughly wash all of the food particles out of refrigerators, ovens, toasters, and any other food appliance. Food can quickly spoil and create odours and bacteria during a move.
  • Ovens should be heated and scraped.
  • Fridges should be thawed out at least 24-hours before the move.
  • Remove any small parts and wash them as needed. Some smaller appliances will just need a wipe-down.
  • Washing machines need to be empty. Make sure there is no residue of soap or water in dish washers or clothes washers. Take out the lint from your dryer, as well.

Take apart what you can

Larger appliances have a lot of loose interior components that can shift around during transport. If you can, you should remove them and move them separately.

  • Remove grates from toasters and larger ovens. These can slide out of place during the moving process.
  • Remove all shelves and drawers from refrigerators and dishwashers.
  • Take off loose dials and knobs from any large appliance.
  • Take small, easily lost parts off of appliances (like mixer pieces) and keep them in bags during the move.
Some appliances need additional attention during the preparation process.


After racks are removed and the interior and exterior cleaned, the stove needs to be disconnected. If it is a gas stove, this could be difficult. You may consider hiring specialty movers for this dangerous job. Make sure the gas is off before you do anything. Disconnecting the line is dangerous because the line itself can be fragile. If you are unsure what to do, contact your gas company to get some more information on safe disconnecting procedures.

After the racks are out, the stove is cleaned, and the gas is disconnected, you should tape the door shut and put tape over the knobs. This will limit movement and damage during the move. Make sure you use packing tape since other tape may leave behind residue.


Start by defrosting the freezer section. After you have cleaned out all of the food, unplug the fridge for a full day and let the ice melt. Be sure to have something to catch the water that drips out when it is defrosting.

Once everything is melted, dry the interior and give the fridge one last good cleaning. Make sure it is as empty as possible with all the shelves and drawers removed and packed separately.

Now you need to physically prepare the refrigerator for transport. If you can't fit it out of your old home, you may need to take the door off to make more space. Only do this is a last resort because the process can get complicated. You may ask your movers to handle it if they have experience with disassembling refrigerators. If you keep the door, tape it shut.


There is a complex network of hoses that make washing machines and dryers particularly hard to move. Again, you may want to hire movers for this job.

Make sure the water is turned off first. Consult any manuals you have about the installation of the washer. You should pack the hoses separately using ample cushioning because they can be fragile. Remember that dryers have an exhaust system that leads outside.

A few more appliance moving tips

  • All easily opened doors should be taped shut.
  • Unplug all appliances before cleaning them.
  • Tape the power cods to the appliances. Dangling cords could be dangerous during the moving process.
  • If  you want to save space, you could pack smaller items in the open spaces inside refrigerators and ovens. Light unbreakable things like blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals can be moved in appliances in plastic bags.

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on September 8, 2014 - Moving Expert
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