Inspiring Ideas for Modern Home

How to Move a Refrigerator Without Hurting Yourself (Or the Fridge)

Moving a refrigerator is never an easy task. It's a heavy, bulky appliance that requires careful planning and execution to make it to your new location unscathed.

How to Move a Refrigerator 1

Unfortunately, without proper preparation and technique, it's too easy to injure yourself or damage the fridge.

In this article, we'll provide tips and tricks for moving your fridge safely and effectively without causing any harm to both you and the appliance.

Whether moving across town or rearranging your kitchen, these guidelines will help you plan and navigate the process easily and confidently.

So, let's start moving a refrigerator without hurting you and the refrigerator.

12 Safety Tips for Moving a Refrigerator Safely

Safety Tips for Moving a Refrigerator Safely
© Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt

The average refrigerator weighs about 300 pounds, so moving requires special caution.

Whether transferring to a new house or remodeling your kitchen, moving a fridge is a tough operation that demands time, effort, and careful planning.

Moving a refrigerator can be daunting but can be done safely and efficiently with the right preparation and technique.

1. Unplug and Drain Your Refrigerator

Unplug and Drain Your Refrigerator

Source: homelyville

Disconnecting and draining water lines is important when moving a refrigerator, especially if it has a built-in ice dispenser or ice maker.

Failure to properly disconnect and drain these cooling lines can result in leaks or damage to the fridge's cooling system and water dispenser.

Before disconnecting any water lines, turn off the water supply to your fridge. This will prevent any water from continuing to flow into the lines while you work.

Once the water supply is turned off, you can disconnect the water lines. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully or hire professional movers to do it for you.

After the water lines are disconnected, you must drain any remaining water from the lines. This can be done by allowing the lines to drain naturally into a bucket or container.

Once the cooling mechanism is drained, you should secure them to the back of the fridge to prevent them from getting damaged during the move. Packing tape should be suitable for this.

You should also properly strap the power cord to the back of the fridge. You wouldn't want someone tripping on a loose power cord while moving the refrigerator.

2. Empty Your Refrigerator

Empty Your Refrigerator

Source: istockphoto

If you disconnect and drain the water line, moisture or condensation may still be inside these heavy appliances.

If items are inside the fridge, they may shift or spill during the entire move, resulting in a mess that can be difficult to clean up.

This is also a safety measure as it can be dangerous when the doors open and food spills out in bulk.

Additionally, depending on how long the move takes, food left inside the refrigerator can spoil or become unsafe to eat and may even affect the overall quality and taste of the food.

Keep your food and other items in the refrigerator in suitable containers. Getting a great mini freezer will do wonders in this situation!

Refrigerators are large appliances that are difficult to move, especially when fully stocked with food and beverages.

Emptying the fridge will reduce weight and make moving a refrigerator through a tight space easier.

3. Let the Refrigerator Defrost Completely

The ice in the refrigerator. Defrosting the refrigerator. Let the Refrigerator Defrost Completely.

When moving your fridge, it is important to let it defrost. This is because a fridge contains refrigerant, a gas circulated through the fridge's cooling system.

When the kitchen appliance is in use, this gas constantly circulates and absorbs heat around the refrigerator's interior, having complete control over keeping the contents cool.

However, when the fridge is turned off, the refrigerant stops circulating, and the cold air begins to warm up.

This can cause condensation on the fridge's interior surfaces, including the evaporator coils, the walls, the fridge doors, and the shelves. If your ice packs melt, you can get the best ice pack for coolers here!

If the fridge is moved while it is still frosty or wet, this moisture can freeze and cause damage to the interior components of the fridge, such as the evaporator coils or the compressor.

The quickest approach to defrost any freezer is to use hot water or a hair dryer to melt the ice and then blot the residual water with towels.

4. Clean the Refrigerator

Clean the Refrigerator


Cleaning your fridge before moving is important to ensure it is transported safely and remains in good condition.

Over time, spills and food residues can accumulate in your fridge. If not cleaned out before moving, they can smell and attract pests during transportation.

If your fridge has been turned off for a while, mold, and mildew can accumulate. This can happen in areas where moisture has accumulated, such as the fridge door.

Use cleaning supplies like baking soda to clean the interior of this kitchen appliance. A cleaning mixture of baking soda and water should be enough.

Make sure the heavy fridge is completely dry before moving. Moisture can make mold and mildew growth within the fridge interior, making cleaning useless.

5. Remove Any Loose Fridge Parts

Remove Any Loose Fridge Parts

Source: Samsung

Removing any loose parts when moving your refrigerator is important because they can become damaged or cause damage during the move.

Loose parts such as shelves, drawers, and bins can shift and slide inside the refrigerator during transportation, potentially causing scratches, dents, or other damage.

Additionally, if these loose parts are not secured properly, they can fall out and break while moving a refrigerator.

Furthermore, if the loose parts are not removed, they can also affect the stability of the refrigerator during transportation.

The shifting weight of loose items within the kitchen appliance can make the fridge tilted, which can be dangerous for the people moving it and the moving vehicle.

6. Assemble Your Moving Equipment

Side view of movers carrying refrigerator while climbing steps at home. Assemble Your Moving Equipment.

Source: istockphoto

Moving a fridge can be challenging, but having the right equipment can make it much easier and safer. Here are some essential items you'll need when moving a refrigerator:

  • Moving Dolly: A moving dolly or an appliance dolly is a handy tool that can be used to move a refrigerator in an upright position. Just slide the dolly underneath the fridge.
  • Furniture Straps: Furniture straps, also known as ratchet straps or moving straps, are used to secure your fridge while moving it. You can also use bungee cords.
  • Moving Blankets: Moving blankets or furniture blankets can be used to protect your fridge during transport. Make sure it is pressed tightly to the refrigerator.
  • Other Lighter Materials: You can also use other materials to protect it, like packing paper or bubble wrap. Make sure to wrap the fridge front to back.
  • Gloves: Wearing gloves will help protect your hands and improve your grip on the fridge and other moving equipment.
  • Cleaning Supplies: Once you've moved your fridge to its new location, you must clean it before plugging it back in. So, make sure you have some cleaning supplies handy.

You can help ensure your fridge is moved safely and securely by assembling these items.

7. Plan Ahead

Delivering new refrigerator. Plan Ahead

Source: istockphoto

Trying to move a refrigerator can be dangerous if not done properly. Planning the trip and ensuring the fridge is properly secured can help prevent accidents and injuries.

Moving a fridge can damage the bulky appliance if not done properly. Planning the trip, measuring the fridge, and using bubble wrap can help prevent scratches and dents.

Planning the route can also help you avoid traffic congestion, narrow roads, steep hills, or other obstacles that could slow the process.

Moving Downstairs

When you move a refrigerator downstairs, planning your trip can help make the process smoother and safer. Here are some tips:

  1. Measure the dimensions: Before moving it, measure its dimensions to make sure the entire length of the fridge will fit through any doorways, hallways, or stairwells.
  2. Plan the route: Plan your route to ensure no obstacles or hazards that could make it difficult to move the fridge downstairs.
  3. Clear the path: Clear the path of any obstacles or items that could interfere. This includes removing furniture, rugs, or other items that could make it difficult.
  4. Use proper equipment: An appliance dolly would be useful if you have an elevator. If there are stairs, you may want to enlist furniture straps instead.
  5. Enlist help: Moving a fridge Downstairs can be difficult and potentially dangerous, so enlisting help from others is important. Consider hiring professional movers.

By planning your trip and taking these steps, you can help ensure that your fridge is moved safely and securely downstairs without causing any damage or injuries.

If you want to know more ways to organize your refs, you can try doing any of these refrigerator organization ideas!

8. Lock the Refrigerator Doors by the Door Handles

The door of the refrigerator equipped with padlocks. Lock the Refrigerator Doors by the Door Handles

Source: istockphoto

Locking the refrigerator doors is crucial when trying to move a refrigerator.

Without proper locking, the doors can swing open during transport, causing damage to the appliance or surrounding area.

First, check the owner's manual for specific instructions on how to secure the doors. Most fridges have built-in locks or other mechanisms that can be used to secure the doors.

If your fridge does not have built-in locks, use locking straps or ropes to secure the doors. These straps can be looped around the handles and tightened to keep the doors in place.

Ensure the straps are tight enough to keep the doors closed but not so tight that they cause damage to the seals. A strapped fridge is easier to move than an unstrapped one.

9. Protect the Floor

Soft protective stickers for furniture legs. Chair leg sticker to prevent flooring from scratching. Protect the Floor.

Source: istockphoto

Trying to move a refrigerator can be a heavy task, and taking steps to prevent floor damage during the process is important.

First, prepare the area around the appliance by clearing away any obstacles or debris that could cause tripping hazards or damage to your floors.

Cover the floors with cardboard, blankets, or other protective materials to create a buffer between the fridge and the surface of your floors.

Next, use an appliance dolly or hand truck to move the fridge instead of dragging it across the floor. Make sure the wheels of the appliance dolly or hand truck are clean and free from debris.

If you need to pivot the fridge slightly during the move, place furniture sliders under it. Furniture sliders reduce the risk of damaging your floors.

10. Slide the Appliance Dolly Underneath the Refrigerator

Slide the Appliance Dolly Underneath the Refrigerator

Source: trailerhirehub

Using an appliance dolly can make moving a refrigerator easier and safer.

First, position the appliance dolly next to the refrigerator to parallel the two. The bottom of the refrigerator is touching the top of the dolly.

Now, tilt the refrigerator slightly and lift it off the ground. At the same time, slide the moving dolly underneath the fridge, ensuring the fridge rests on top of the dolly.

Once the fridge is securely on the dolly, use moving straps to secure it in place. Ensure the straps are tight enough to keep the fridge from shifting during transport.

When using a loaded moving dolly, make sure to keep the refrigerator balanced on the rubber wheels of the refrigerator dolly. The main idea is to avoid tilting the fridge forward.

11. Bring It to the Moving Truck

Ensure you have a clear path from the refrigerator to the pickup truck. Remove any obstacles or furniture that could get in the way or cause damage during the move.

Carefully maneuver the fridge on the dolly towards the truck. Hiring movers from your local moving company can help as they are professionals at moving appliances to the rental truck

When you reach the truck, position the dolly so that it is parallel to the truck's loading ramp. Tilt the fridge back and push it up the ramp, using your legs to lift it and your arms to guide it.

Once the refrigerator is on the moving truck, use straps or rope to secure it. Keep the fridge straight so it cannot shift or slide during transport.

Finally, cover the refrigerator with a protective blanket or tarp to prevent damage during transport. Secure the cover with tape or straps to keep it in place.

12. Be Patient

Moving a fridge can be a time-consuming and physically demanding task. It's important to be patient and take time to ensure the move goes smoothly and safely.

Give yourself plenty of time to prepare for the move. Make a plan, gather the necessary tools and supplies, and enlist the help of friends or professional movers if necessary.

Next, take breaks when you need them. Moving a refrigerator can be tiring, and caring for yourself is important to avoid injury or exhaustion.

If you encounter any obstacles or challenges during the move, take a deep breath and stay calm. Consider your options, and don't hesitate to ask for help or take a different approach.

Finally, be patient with yourself and others involved in the move. Moving a fridge can be stressful, but staying patient and positive can help make the process smoother.

However, if you believe it is time to change refrigerators, you can check out the best refrigerators to get!

How To Move A Refrigerator Related FAQs

  • Do you have more questions on how to move your refrigerator? Here are our most frequently asked questions!

  • Do Modern Fridges Need to Settle Before Turning on Again?

    Let a recently moved refrigerator stay upright for 2-4 hours before plugging it on to allow the compressor oil to return to its proper place.

    If you know the unit was moved on its side, give it 24 hours and then cross your fingers.

  • Does the Fridge Need to Be in an Upright Position When Moving?

    Yes, it is important to keep the refrigerator in an upright position when in the moving truck. This is because the fridge contains delicate components, which can be easily damaged.

    Additionally, moving the kitchen appliance upright makes it easier to load and unload, reduces the risk of injury, and prevents damage to floors and walls.

  • How Long Will the Defrosting Process Take?

    The defrosting process for a fridge can vary depending on the size and model and the level of frost buildup inside.

    In general, defrosting a refrigerator can take anywhere from several hours to a full day. Turning off the fridge and unplugging it before defrosting is important to prevent damage.

    To speed up defrosting, you can place towels or a tray under the refrigerator to collect water, use a hair dryer on low heat to melt the ice or place bowls of hot water inside the refrigerator.

    Once the defrosting process is complete, wipe down the interior with a clean, damp cloth and allow the fridge to dry completely before moving it.

  • How to Move a Refrigerator Conclusion
    © Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt


    In conclusion, trying to move a refrigerator can be challenging, but it can be done safely and efficiently with proper planning, the right tools, and patience.

    It is important to follow the steps to ensure that the fridge is protected during the move, including locking the doors, protecting the floors, and using a dolly to move the fridge.

    It is also essential to keep the fridge upright to prevent damage to its internal components.

    Following these tips, you can transport your refrigerator to its new location without any issues and ensure it remains in good working condition.