When you’re getting ready to move out, there are things that you should be able to complete on your own pretty comfortably – for example, packing up your clothes, shoes, and books.
On the other hand, there are also things that you’re recommended to leave for experienced professionals – for example, disassembling, packing, and moving big and heavy furniture pieces.
A task that you should also consider leaving to professional movers is transporting your refrigerator from your current home to the new home. Unless it’s a small fridge, standard kitchen refrigerators tend to be huge and weigh around 180 pounds for newer models. Older refrigerators – the ones manufactured before the year 2000 – can weigh as much as 250 pounds.
However, you may have already decided to organize a DIY move in an attempt to lower your moving expenses when you’re moving locally – that is, only a short distance away. If you’re moving across the country, then you’re strongly advised to either hire the services of a long-distance moving company or leave the bulky fridge behind.
If you must take your fridge with you for some reason or another, follow the steps below to learn the best way to move a refrigerator by yourself – that is, without professional assistance of any kind.
Get the proper fridge moving equipment
First of all, you’re going to need the necessary packing materials to protect your fridge and the proper equipment pieces to move the bulky appliance out of the home and load it safely onto the vehicle.
These are the things you need to have before you can begin to prepare your fridge for moving:
- Furniture sliders. You will use them to prevent floor damage.
- An appliance dolly. You can rent a moving dolly from a local moving company or purchase one from a home improvement store.
- Furniture blankets. The padding blankets will protect the fridge on the road.
- Straps or rope. To secure the refrigerator, both on the moving dolly and inside the truck.
- Measuring tape. To ensure the fridge will pass freely through all doorways and corridors along the exit path.
- Packing tape. To secure the furniture blankets onto the body of the fridge.
- Work gloves. To improve your grip and to protect your hands and fingers.
- Good shoes. Make sure you wear your most comfortable pair of shoes, a closed-toe pair with rubber soles for maximum traction.
- Helpers. You must make sure you have at least two reliable people to help you move your fridge. In case you can’t find anyone to give you a hand, then you have no option but to either hire movers for the job or leave behind the big electric appliance.
Create a good moving strategy
Before you even start to prepare your refrigerator for moving, you need to have a good plan about how exactly you and your helpers will take the appliance out of the home. This is a critical step that will determine just how successful the whole fridge moving operation gets to be in the end.
- Inspect the intended exit path with your friends and make sure it’s free of any obstacles. Also, there should not be any slippery spots along the route from your home to the moving vehicle outside.
- Measure the dimensions of your fridge (unless you already know them), then measure the doorways and hallways along the exit route. In most cases, the measurements should tell you that there won’t be a problem fitting the large kitchen appliance through the smaller openings.
- Discuss all moving details with your helpers. Bear in mind that safety should be your top priority when moving a refrigerator to another home.
Prepare your refrigerator for moving
The next step is to prepare your fridge to be moved safely. Don’t even think about skipping this step – instead, make sure you take care of the task at least 24 hours prior to the move-out day.
Here’s how to prepare a fridge for a move:
- Remove all the food and drinks from the fridge and make a decision about what you’re going to do with them. By then you should have used most of your food supplies anyway.
- Unplug your refrigerator from the power supply.
- Defrost your fridge by either using the defrost function or leaving the door open for several hours. In case you choose the second option, place suitable containers to catch water from the melting ice.
- Clean the refrigerator inside using a soft sponge and a mixture of water and baking soda. Also, take out and clean up removable fridge components such as shelves, drawers, lids, and so on.
- Let the fridge door open so that it can dry up completely. If you happen to smell any bad odors coming from the inside of the kitchen appliance, then leave inside it a small container with baking soda for the night.
Pack your fridge for moving
Before you can take the fridge out of the home, you have to protect it properly. How do you pack a refrigerator for moving? It all comes down to wrapping it completely in thick padding blankets.
- Place furniture sliders under the front legs of the fridge and slide it away from the wall so that you can have access to the back of the appliance as well.
- Close the door of the refrigerator and wrap several furniture blankets over the entire body of the large kitchen appliance. Use pieces of packing tape to secure those pads.
- Wrap a strap or a piece of rope over the door so that it cannot open during transport.
- Fold up the power cord of the electric appliance, secure it with a zip tie, and tape it securely at the back of the fridge. This way, it no longer will be a tripping hazard during the actual transportation.
Move your refrigerator safely with a dolly
Here comes the toughest and riskiest step when moving a refrigerator to a new home – the actual transportation of the bulky appliance to the vehicle outside. Follow these steps closely in order to avoid any type of property damage or personal injuries of any sort.
- Get the appliance dolly close to the front of the fridge, get your helpers to tip the big appliance slightly backward, and then slide the dolly underneath.
- Tilt back the dolly while your friends are holding the refrigerator securely until you get it balanced perfectly on the L-shaped lever.
- Secure the fridge onto the dolly using either the straps that come with the moving dolly or using strong rope for this purpose.
- Start wheeling the heavy appliance out of the kitchen while your two helpers are holding the fridge for extra balance. Go slowly and carefully, especially when going through smaller doorways and narrower hallways.
- Keep the refrigerator tilted at roughly 45 degrees for maximum stability, control, and maneuverability.
- Use the loading ramp of the truck to pull up the fridge safely inside it. Once inside the vehicle, secure the refrigerator to the side using straps and keep it in an upright position at all times.
Moving a refrigerator by yourself is risky – not only is the kitchen appliance big and heavy, but it’s also rather delicate. Bear in mind that you should not lay down a refrigerator on its side because the oil from the cooling mechanism could flow into the cooling lines and damage the refrigerating unit as a result. Also, when you reach the new home, you have to wait at least 3 hours before you plug in your fridge.
If you have made up your mind to take your fridge with you when moving to another home, then your safest bet is to hire experienced movers to handle the task for you. Get a free quote from Nation Capital Movers or call us at (800) 850-6353.