If unprepared, refrigerators are one of the most challenging items to move. They’re often huge, bulky, and expensive. Also, moving them can cause scratches on your walls and floors. Unlike other appliances or furniture, you need to be extra careful with refrigerators. If you’re moving it yourself without prior experience or knowledge, the risk of making mistakes is high.
So how do you make sure your refrigerator remains undamaged while moving? How do you protect your home from scratches while you move and unload it? In this section, we’re going to teach you how to move a refrigerator the safest way.
Step 1 – Preparation
Empty, deep clean, and defrost your refrigerator. Do this 24 hours before the actual move. This gives your unit time to defrost which reduces the risk of damage.
Make sure that there is no food inside when you defrost your unit. Move food into a cooler and keep them chilled for the duration of your move. It’s wiser to plan ahead by consuming all perishables weeks before your moving day. Avoid grocery shopping a day or two before your move. If you do, make sure that you find storage for things you can’t refrigerate during your move. You can leave them at a friend’s house or pack them in a cooler.
Once all the food has been removed, clean your fridge inside and out. Cold temperatures are the perfect breeding ground for mould and bacteria, so it’s essential to clean your fridge regularly. When cleaning the fridge freezer, thaw out the ice first. If you can, remove the interior shelves so you can clean them better. Don’t put them back, instead pack separately with packing paper to prevent breakage during transit.w
You can use one tablespoon of liquid bleach in 1 gallon of water for sanitising your unit. Then use a solution of baking soda and water to clean all surfaces thoroughly. Don’t forget to check the unit’s user manual for model-specific tips on how to properly clean it.
Then, gather items you’ll need for moving your fridge. You’ll need:
- a rope or cargo straps
- a measuring tape
- a screwdriver
- a hand truck or appliance dolly
- at least two strong persons
Step 2 – Plan the exit path
The challenges of moving a fridge come down to how narrow your doorways are and the pathways in and out of your home. Sometimes, people have to remove their doors so that the refrigerator can fit through.
To successfully move your fridge without causing wreak and havoc in your home, you’ll need to measure everything. First, measure the height, width, and depth of your fridge. The size of your unit matters as it will tell you the best path to take to get your appliance out of your home.
Then, measure the height, width of all the pathways and doorways your fridge needs to pass through to get into the moving van. Plan accordingly. Map out the route where your fridge has to be moved. Note all obstacles including stairs, corners, and narrow hallways.
Decide where your fridge can fit and create smart solutions so that you don’t break your appliance. You may need to tilt your fridge or remove the doors to create space and get it through tight angles. Sometimes, you will need to remove doors from their hinges. Oftentimes you have to move furniture out of the way. Be as careful and precise when you do lifting to prevent any damage.
If you live in a rental, you’ll also want to put rubber mats on the floor to prevent scratches. You should also wrap the fridge to avoid scratches on it, in case it bumps on the walls of your apartment or house.
Step 3 – Strap the fridge onto the dolly
You can move your fridge easily if you have an appliance dolly. These are basically hand trucks for moving appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, or stoves.
First, pad the dolly so it doesn’t scratch your fridge. Then, start loading into the dolly by sliding the fridge forward. Since most fridge has wheels, sliding them to get them into a position you want shouldn’t be that difficult. Strap the fridge onto the dolly so it’ll be secure when you start moving it into the moving truck.
If you don’t have a dolly and will simply try to move the fridge with your bare hands and the help of at least two of your strong friends, you’ll have to be extra careful. Since most fridges have wheels, you can simply roll it out. Most units also have a removable refrigerator door which helps with lightening the load.
However, if yours don’t have any wheels, you’ll absolutely need to protect the floors to prevent damage. You may also want to wrap your unit with bubble wrap to prevent scratches on the walls. We also highly recommend using moving straps to prevent placing the weight of the refrigerator on just your fingertips.
Step 4 – Guiding the fridge into moving truck
If you have stairs in your apartment or house, you need extra care when climbing down with the fridge. One person should be holding the fridge with the dolly while the other should be below guiding the dolly down the steps one at a time.
Don’t push the stairs down the steps, instead keep the fridge at a tilted angle and pull the dolly back toward you. The important thing to remember is you should have full control of the dolly at all times. The person below should keep the fridge tilted so it doesn’t suddenly leap forward. Work as a team while using the moving dolly. Lift the fridge carefully each step to prevent losing balance.
After the stairs, the next challenging thing is moving the fridge into the truck. For this, you will need a plank or platform so that it’s easier to simply slide the fridge into the truck.
Step 5 – Secure the fridge for the move
Don’t lay the refrigerator on its side during the move. Keep it in its upright position for maximum safety. There are fluids in the compressor of the unit which can leak to other parts where they’re not supposed to be. Secure it by adding additional ropes or ratchet straps on the sides and top of the appliance. The fridge door should also be securely shut so that it doesn’t accidentally open and damage itself during transit. Most people would simply leave the fridge on the dolly to keep it easier to unload and move to the new location.
Important Reminders on How To Move a Fridge!
- Do the cleaning at least 24 hours before your move. This is enough time to allow your unit to dry completely and reduce the risk of mould and mildew growth.
- Wrap your refrigerator in moving blankets or packing wraps to protect it. This will prevent any dent, bumps, or scratches from affecting your appliance during the move.
- Put the fridge upright position in the truck. Don’t forget to remove the fridge’s removable parts such as shelves, ice makers, and organisers.
- Always have at least two people to help you move huge appliances. The size and weight of refrigerators make them dangerous to move on your own.
- You can use a hairdryer to get rid of stubborn patches of ice stuck in the freezer.
- Let the refrigerator sit for a couple of hours before plugging it on at your new place.
- Be careful and slow when moving the unit. Fridges are heavy and bulky—one needs patience in moving these kinds of items.
- If you can, invest in a refrigerator dolly to make these tasks 10x easier.
- Use good floor protection when moving your fridge. This will prevent any costly floor damage.
- After moving the fridge into your new home, let it stand unplugged for at least 4 hours. This allows its compressor oil to settle.
- To experience a hassle-free moving day, hire local removalist experts to do these jobs for you.
Should You Not or Should You Ask Help From Professionals?
There are instances where moving a fridge yourself is nearly impossible. It could be that the refrigerator is too big and you don’t have the right tools to move it. It could also be that you live on the top floor of a building or a place where moving huge items require some expertise. For these cases, it’s better to hire removal experts for the job. This will ensure that your fridge will be safely moved to the moving truck and then to your new location.
Herbert Removals Sydney is the best choice for professional removal teams. For more than a decade we have been helping move bulky items such as refrigerators. We can help you with any removal task. Our reliable team of experienced removalists will make sure your items are handled properly. Rest assured that when you hire us, your valuables will be transported safely to your new destination. Call us at 0408 269 817 to learn more about our removal and packing services in Sydney’s Inner West, Eastern Suburbs, Northern Beaches or Western Sydney.