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How to Pack and Move a Freezer

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Freezers come in a variety of sizes, but the big ones can be very difficult to move--you may want to hire professional specialty movers to move them. Whether you do it yourself or hire movers, there are some things you need to know if you are planning on moving a freezer.

Remove all food inside of the freezer

Moving a large freezer is a lot like moving a large refrigerator. You should treat a freezer almost exactly the same as you would treat a refrigerator during a move. The main difference is what you can do with the contents of freezer differs from what you can do with refrigerated items.

  • Unplug your freezer and remove all the items. You can't move a filled or plugged in freezer. You need to remove the food so it doesn't spoil in the freezer or fly around during transport.
  • You can fill a cooler with ice to keep most of your refrigerated items cold for the duration of the move. However, doing the same with a freezer's contents will not keep the food cold enough to remain frozen. It will thaw to refrigerator level.
  • If you don't have a lot of food to move, transport the food that's able to thaw to refrigerator level in a cooler with ice. You are likely freezing these items because you don't want to eat them right away, so you should look up which foods can be thawed and refrozen without any damage to their taste or freezer life. There are several foods that should not be thawed and refrozen.
  • Everything that needs to remain frozen, like ice cream, simply cannot make the trip. If the move is under a few hours, perhaps your frozen solid items will not thaw in a cooler. Just keep in mind that it takes some time to unload and unpack freezers and that you will not have access to your freezer immediately after your move.
  • Items that need to be frozen should generally be eaten, thrown out, or given away before you move your freezer.


Start preparing your freezer at least three days before you plan on moving it.

  • Remove all food and unplug the freezer
  • Remove any loose shelves, drawers, and grates
  • Wash, dry, and pack the loose interior pieces separately
  • Don't bother scraping frost, you're going to leave the freezer unplugged for at least a day to defrost
  • Keep a towel around the freezer during defrosting to catch the water or defrost the freezer outside
  • Using food-safe cleaning chemicals, clean the interior and exterior of the freezer--any little bit of food could grow bacteria during a move
  • Air dry the freezer with the door open for another day, to be sure there is no moisture inside
  • If your freezer has an evaporator pan, you must clean and dry that, as well

Moving day

Smaller freezers can be carried by one or two people and should be relatively simple to move. Bigger freezers create more problems.

  • Measure the dimensions of the freezer to make sure that it can fit out the doorways and halls of your home.
  • If the measurements look tight, you may need to remove the door. You could attempt this yourself, but it is best to hire a mover to do it.
  • Tape the electrical cord to the freezer so it isn't dangling.
  • Wrap the freezer in a packing blanket to protect it from scratches and impacts.
  • Using a dolly and as many helpers as necessary, carefully transport the freezer to the moving truck.
  • Be sure the secure and store the freezer in an upright position for the move. Freezers are not designed to lay on their sides for long periods of time. The fluids inside the cooling system can move and permanently damage the compressor. If you have to lay the freezer down temporarily for loading and unloading, that is fine, but storing it on its side is quite risky.
If this all sounds too complicated, or the freezer is simply too heavy for you and your friends, it may be time to look at movers who can do the job for you. They will know how to handle your freezer and should have no problem removing the door if they need to.

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on September 16, 2014 - Moving Expert
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