How to Move a Refrigerator Without Breaking Your Back
Fridges are not only huge, but they usually weigh a lot. How heavy is a refrigerator? Fridges made from light materials can weigh around 170-180 lbs. Depending on your specific house moving situation, it may be better to leave the dangerous refrigerator moving task to the pros just because the risk of property damage or personal injury is very possible and cannot be justified in the end. But if you decide to do it yourself, you better follow the right steps to moving a refrigerator the right way.
Moving a fridge by yourself is not a trifle, so here is what you’ll need to complete the mission safely:
- Furniture sliders or plywood panels
- An appliance dolly with straps
- Furniture blankets
- Packing tape
- Measuring tape
- Comfortable shoes
- Work gloves for a better grip
- At least two reliable people to help you out
Do not start relocating the fridge unless you are ready with the required tools and supplies, and you made a decision that you can manage it. You need to plan each step carefully and patiently and remember that if things go wrong, it’s never too late to call the professional refrigerator movers.
Step 1: Prepare your fridge for moving
First of all, empty your fridge of its contents several days before the day of the move. Then decide what to do with all the food you just removed from your fridge. Turn off the fridge and disconnect it from the electricity. If your refrigerator has a water dispenser or an ice dispenser, then stop the water supply as well. Next, defrost the fridge. The defrosting time will depend on the room temperature and the amount of ice in the freezer. Gather the water from the defrosting process. Clean all surfaces inside the refrigerator using a non-abrasive sponge and a cleaning solution of water and baking soda. Then, use a soft cloth to dry up the inside of the fridge. Take out all removable elements like drawers, shelves, lids, and so on, and wrap them up if they seem fragile. Leave the fridge door open to prevent the growth of mildew or leave inside a container with baking soda to neutralize the bad smell.
Step 2: Plan your refrigerator moving route
Now that your refrigerator is ready for moving out of the house, it’s time to plan its move-out route so that you don’t get stuck in the middle of the fridge moving mission. Let’s start with measuring.
Measure the height and width of all the doors and hallways along the route, starting from the room where your fridge is located now (usually the kitchen) and ending with the front door of your house or the front entrance of your apartment building. Compare all measurements to see if your fridge will surely pass through the doorways and hallways along its moving path. Remove any problematic doors out of the way, if you definitely don’t want to get stuck in a doorway with the huge and heavy fridge already loaded onto the appliance dolly. After that, let’s move onto the task of protecting the floor. Clear the exit pathways by removing any obstacles that are standing in your way such as pieces of furniture, for example.
Step 3: How to protect the floor when moving a refrigerator
The first and most efficient method of protecting the floors from damage is to use an appliance dolly with rubber wheels for the actual transportation of your fridge. You can rent this piece of moving equipment from a local moving company, or purchase it from a home depot store. The clean rubber wheels of the appliance dolly will keep your floors perfectly safe when moving a fridge on your own. But, how to move a refrigerator out of a tight space without damaging the floor? Use furniture sliders – pieces of durable plastic and hard rubber that provide a low-friction type of across-the-room sliding for heavy items. Besides sliders, you can also choose to use a couple of quarter-inch plywood panels to provide the initial sliding. Don’t try to move the heavy kitchen appliance without providing some floor protecting manipulations first, it will most likely cause floor damage due to their extreme weight.
Step 4: How to pack a refrigerator for moving
Refrigerator packing is quite simple and the main idea here is to add extra protection for your heavy and expensive appliance. First, close the fridge door, wrap the entire length of the appliance with furniture blankets or ordinary household blankets, and then use pieces of tape. Fold up the power cord of the appliance; fix it in place using zip ties or strong rubber bands. Secure the refrigerator door with a piece of rope or strong cord to make sure it won’t open.
Step 5: How to move a refrigerator with a dolly
Moving a refrigerator with a dolly is the only way to complete this potentially dangerous task successfully. Experienced movers will also use an appliance dolly for wheeling a fridge and load it into the moving truck. Slide the refrigerator some distance away from the wall by either using furniture sliders or plywood boards. Wrap the refrigerator in moving blankets and secure its power cord. Have a helper tip the fridge slightly and then slide the appliance dolly underneath the huge kitchen appliance. Tilt the dolly back until the refrigerator gets well balanced on the wheels. Have somebody push the appliance towards you. Use the straps of the moving dolly to secure the load onto the two-wheeler. Consider using rope in addition to the straps for extra safety. Do not tilt the loaded and strapped fridge at an angle greater than 45 degrees or you’ll risk losing the right balance. To lay the fridge on its side is restricted. Start wheeling your fridge out of your home. Do this very slowly and very carefully. Lead to the rented vehicle and then start loading the refrigerator in the moving van using the loading ramp. Secure the loaded fridge to the side of the rental truck using ratchet straps or rope along the top and sides of the appliance.
Moving a refrigerator on your own can be a risky job. With a little planning and a little help, though, moving a refrigerator can be done safely and securely, protecting both you and your appliance.