Last Updated on June 20, 2023 by Kari-Ann Ryan

Moving large appliances is neither easy nor inexpensive. But if an existing refrigerator must settle into a new home or apartment, preparing it for the move is essential. Bulky appliances, like refrigerators, can leak, scratch the walls, or dent the floor. Here’s how to prep a refrigerator for a relocation.

Refrigerators are cumbersome appliances to move, especially considering their massive size and weight. The potential for damage to the home or injury to those moving it is high when the appliance is handled improperly. Learning to correctly move the fridge, however, can make a relocation less painstaking.

The weight of a refrigerator varies. A standard refrigerator weighs about 250 pounds. Those featuring French doors weigh 305 pounds on average. Property owners moving a side-by-side refrigerator will be shifting 290 pounds of weight. Mini fridges are lighter, weighing 60 pounds on average.

The sheer size of moving a standard refrigerator makes it a task that’s best left to the professionals. Moving crews are experienced in shifting bulky appliances and possess the equipment necessary to safely lift, transport, and unload them into a new home or apartment.

When a relocation is a DIY task, ensure at least two people are involved in moving the refrigerator. Navigating a steep set of stairs up or down an apartment building can be tricky. Plus, it’s important to not exacerbate any existing injuries when moving the large appliance.

Step 1: Gather Equipment

Relocating an appliance weighing over 200 pounds demands using the right equipment, including an appliance dolly with straps, and moving blankets. Smaller pieces of equipment are also necessary, such as measuring tape, a screwdriver or drill as well as tape or a rope.

Step 2: Clean Out the Fridge

Empty the food contents into a cooler loaded with ice, so that they will properly chill. Plan ahead by consuming as much food as possible from the fridge. Then, using a solution of baking soda and water, wipe down the insides of the refrigerator and let it thoroughly dry.

Step 3: Unplug the Appliance

Unplug the refrigerator after pulling it away from the wall. Roll up the power cord so that it does not become damaged during the move and secure the wire with packing tape to the side of the fridge. If a water supply line is present, disconnect it. Defrost the freezer.

Step 4: Measure the Fridge

The refrigerator’s dimensions and the width of the doorways determine how the appliance is moved. Measure the fridge’s height, width, and depth. Do the same for the doorways. It may be necessary to remove the doors in the home and the fridge to ensure the appliance fits through.

Step 5: Protect the Flooring

Laying floor protectors or rubber mats helps protect the floor as the refrigerator is being moved. Spare laminate flooring panels are alternate floor protectors. Slide any of these floor protectors under the fridge as it is being tilted forward. Then slide the fridge out from its current location.

Step 6: Strap It to a Dolly

A padded dolly won’t scratch the fridge. Loading the refrigerator onto the dolly requires one person lifting it on one side. The second individual slides the padded dolly underneath. Most importantly, load the fridge onto the dolly on its side—not on its front or back. Secure the dolly straps.

Clean out the fridge before moving out

Step 7: Move the Fridge Down Steps

Extra precautions are critical if moving the refrigerator down a set of steps. One person should move the dolly forward, while the second individual guides the dolly down, one step at a time. Keep the fridge tilted at a 45-degree angle to maintain control of the dolly.

Step 8: Transport the Fridge Upright

Slowly maneuver the loaded dolly toward the truck. The refrigerator should be kept upright at all times. Tilting the fridge more than 45 degrees or laying it fully on its side damages the internal parts and fluids, such as the refrigerant and the oil inside the motor.

Step 9: Roll the Fridge onto the Truck

Lifting the refrigerator onto the truck is not advised. Rather, lay a plank or similarly slanted platform and guide the dolly into the moving vehicle. Secure the appliance to the wall of the truck using rope or ratchet straps so that it won’t roll during transport.

Step 10: Reassemble and Reconnect

At the destination, roll the fridge into the new home. Upon removing the dolly, lower the fridge slowly so that it does not slam against the floor. Wait a few hours before plugging in the appliance to allow fluids to settle. Restock with food after 24 to 72 hours.

Relocating a refrigerator is best left to experienced professionals, like those at Mid-West Moving & Storage. Our dedicated crews of movers possess the expertise and moving equipment necessary to shift large appliances, disassemble them, and reassemble them at the destination.

We offer a wide range of services, from decommissioning to warehousing, designed to accommodate commercial businesses that have a need to relocate, disassemble, install, or store large pieces of equipment, appliances, or furniture. As residential movers, we also help homeowners relocate.

Each move is assigned a moving professional who coordinates all aspects of the move from start to finish. Communication is provided regularly so that you know where your belongings are at every stage of the move. When using our convenient storage services, you receive a full inventory list.

Residential property owners and locally based commercial businesses place full trust in Mid-West Moving & Storage. We’ve successfully helped not only area homeowners, but commercial offices, government agencies, educational institutions, and businesses in the hospitality industry with all their relocation, renovation, or remodeling project needs.

Mid-West Moving & Storage has earned a stellar reputation for our commitment to excellence. Our appliance movers are licensed, bonded, and insured for maximum satisfaction. When you are ready to experience quality moving services to or from Chicago, Illinois, or the surrounding areas, contact our friendly move specialists.

Reviews from Our Clients

Review by Kristin Welsh
Moving Services
Rating 5 5 Star Moving Rating

"I had a great experience with Midwest. The movers arrived early, set up my entire home with protective pads and flooring, effectively moved all of my home items, and cleaned up afterward. I have actually used them twice. I had different employees each time, but both crews of men were equally prompt, professional, and efficient. I would highly recommend Midwest."
Review by Selene
Moving Services
Rating 5 5 Star Moving Rating

"The movers did an incredible job! Our second experience with your company is just as wonderful as our first. Your driver is an incredible leader. The rest of the crew was impressive as well. They all worked tirelessly through out the whole time. This move was stressful with the all the school closings and work changes but they made the whole experience much better."
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