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How To Pack and Move a Refrigerator

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If you are moving anywhere, the kitchen presents several challenges, especially the refrigerator. Refrigerators are expensive, so you may not want to leave yours in your old home, especially if your new home doesn't have one. However, sometimes moving one is so difficult that you may consider leaving it behind anyway.

It doesn't have to be that way. Moving a refrigerator is quite possible if you plan it out appropriately.

Consider hiring specialty movers

Refrigerators are big machines. A typical fridge can be six feet tall, three feet wide, and three feet deep. That same fridge could weigh close to 300 pounds. These numbers are just averages, meaning that your fridge could very well be larger! This makes refrigerators exceptionally difficult to move. If a refrigerator falls on you, it could feasibly kill you.

The average refrigerator also costs about $1,000, so you don't want to damage it. Despite their often metallic finish, it is quite easy to dent or scratch a refrigerator. The bulky appliance is sturdy enough to scratch, dent, or even put holes in your floors and walls, however.

Moving a refrigerator by yourself assumes a great deal of risk to yourself, your home, and your refrigerator. This is why you should consider hiring specialty movers to do the job. If you need to move the fridge up or down a flight of stairs, hiring movers is practically a necessity. These movers specialize in moving large or difficult items and should have the expertise and equipment necessary to move your fridge safely--for a price.

DIY fridge moving procedure

If you do choose to do it without movers, you shouldn't attempt to do it alone. Here's what you need to do:
  • You should have two to four able-bodied people moving a full sized fridge. You better have someone like this in your group of friends or family. Doing it alone is probably impossible.
  • Measure the fridge's dimensions (if you don't have that information on hand) and measure the door's dimensions. Measure the halls' dimensions that you'll be hauling the fridge through. Try to leave some breathing room for the people carrying the fridge, and the dolly you will be using. If the numbers don't check out, you may have to remove the door.
  • Rent or buy a large appliance dolly. Find one with straps that can hold the refrigerator horizontally while you and your helpers push it wherever it needs to go.
  • Lifting the refrigerator off of the dolly and into the van may require the most help. Don't be a hero, ask for as much help as you can get. Be mindful that the door may open if it is still attached. Be careful, especially if you need to lift the fridge overhead. People really have been crushed by refrigerators. Don't become a statistic.
  • The moving van should have some straps to hold the fridge in place during transit. Using a moving blanket is also recommended to prevent scratching.

Preparing your fridge for moving

No matter who ends up physically moving your fridge, you need to prepare it before moving day.
  • Remove all the food and drinks from your refrigerator about a day before moving day. You can't move your food in your refrigerator. First of all, the food will spoil since the fridge will be unplugged during the move. Secondly, even if it was still cold, the movement during transport would throw food and drink all over the place inside of your fridge.
  • Use a cooler stocked with ice to keep your refrigerated items cool for moving day. Coolers can keep food cool for a limited time, but they should work for a couple days. Frozen items may not last as long. Adding fresh ice can help keep your food cold for more extended time periods.
  • Remove all removable drawers and shelves. Most shelves and drawers in refrigerators are removable. If you try to move a refrigerator while they are still inside, they may slide out of place or even push the door open. These are sometimes made of glass, so it is important to remove them and pack them separately to avoid damage.
  • Clean your fridge thoroughly, including defrosting the ice in the freezer. Clean your fridge before moving it because any food particles that remain in the refrigerator can create a lot of bacteria and odour that is normally minimized when the refrigerator is actually on. Defrosting the fridge's freezer section is important because you don't want melting ice to drip out of the machine as the unplugged appliance is being transported. You could potentially damage other items with that water.


Mini-fridges do not need all the help or precautions of full-sized fridges. One to two fit people could feasibly carry a mini-fridge a short distance. However, all the preparation should be the same. If you are moving to university, take note of the cleaning details especially.

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on August 28, 2014 - Moving Expert
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