Hack for Moving Refrigerators 

  1. Safety First
  2. Refrigerators are Challenging to Move
  3. Let All of Your Food Thaw, Then Clean & Secure the Refrigerator
  4. Transport on Side or Back
  5. Be Prepared for Unexpected Surprises

1. Safety First

Moving poses a lot of questions that you might have not otherwise considered. For instance, you may never have realized that your door frame is less than three feet wide and your bed frame is four feet wide. Moving requires a lot of work and maybe even the disassembly of quite a few appliances. Don’t be the person that strikes an electrical cord while digging a hole in the backyard; be smart, do your research, and keep yourself safe.

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2. Refrigerators are Challenging to Move

One of the most difficult things to move, and perhaps one of the most damageable, is your refrigerator. Luckily, companies like GE Appliances and certain retailers will help you move and install these appliances for a small labor fee. If you’re going to do it yourself, make sure you follow these tips to ensure your safety, as well as the safety of your refrigerator. Before you move your refrigerator, take all the food out of it. Refrain from grocery shopping for a week or so before you move to keep waste to a minimum.

3. Let All of Your Food Thaw, Then Clean & Secure the Refrigerator

All your food will defrost and your refrigerator will cool to room temperature within a few hours. Once the ice box is completely defrosted, unplug it. Leave it unplugged for at least 24 hours before you move. There’s a chance that water might have accumulated as your fridge cooled and this can pose a safety hazard. Letting the fridge sit is a good way to let the water evaporate. When the refrigerator is completely dry, secure loose items like shelving and humidity drawers with tape, as well as the doors. You don’t want anything flying open during the move and breaking.

4. Transport on Side or Back

Secure the refrigerator on wheels for maximum mobility and always handle with extreme care. Refrigerators are heavy and awkward and one fall could do serious damage or injury. For extra padding, cover the refrigerator with a blanket or a mat that can be rented from your local movers. Refrigerators should be transported on their back or side while in the moving truck so as to prevent it from falling and breaking other objects. Do not lay it on the side where the hinges are located, this could crush them and then you won’t be able to open your fridge at your new place. If you must place it on its side and not flat on the ground, make sure the doors are secure.

how to move a refrigerator

5. Be Prepared for Unexpected Surprises

Placing the refrigerator on its back is optimal when transporting it because the doors have a lower change of opening or being crushed. Even when we take precautions, we can’t account for the unexpected, and there are a lot of unexpected speed bumps while moving (literally and figuratively). With two people, slowly lower the fridge on an angle, letting it down gently. Use the muscles in your legs for support, rather than in your back to avoid unnecessary injury. Remember that if you lay the refrigerator on its back or side, to leave it standing stationary for the same amount of time. Toxic oils form the compressor may leak into the refrigeration system during transportation, letting the ice box sit will settle the oils in the system and prevent blockage. Don’t try this alone, always have help and always take all necessary precautions, your safety is worth it. Don't forget to take a look at the general purpose guide describing how to plan a move that fits your budget. It helps to be prepared and on point.


Roy Bolshovik

4 years, 9 months ago


I appreciate this guide greatly, it has given me ideas on how I should proceed, however I was interested in knowing whether I should hire professionals for this, specifically if they can dismantle the refrigerator, maybe take it's doors off in some way? do movers have the tools for this, or how would you recommend to proceed.


Ashley Richmond

4 years, 8 months ago

Hello Roy. I would totally hire a moving company if you do not already know how to dismantle a fridge. A moving company has the proper tools and in the end it will cost you less money if you attempt to do it yourself and damage your fridge. Also you may need to buy new tools for this process that can be expensive and you might not have use for them other than this one task. You can place your info in the box above on the right to get an accurate quote to hire movers. Wish you luck with your move!

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