How To Move A Refrigerator Without Breaking Your Back

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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At some point in your life, you have to move houses for one reason or the other. You have to take into account that you have to move some heavy appliances you own. One very important and expensive appliance is a refrigerator. Refrigerators weigh about 300 to 350 pounds. Therefore, it is essential to have a solid plan on how to move a refrigerator safely.

What Do You Require To Move A Refrigerator?

A refrigerator is an appliance that has the function of keeping food cool for the purpose of keeping it fresh for longer. Unfortunately, there are a variety of things that can go wrong when moving your fridge to a new location. For example, your fridge can either break, get an irreparable leak or even form deadly mold.

Thus preparing really well is something you should do. It would help if you had a couple of supplies to ensure your fridge's safety. First, you need cleaning supplies such as; baking soda, water and paper towels. There is also a need to have moving supplies such as; moving straps, ratchet straps, bungee cords, an appliance dolly, moving blankets and a truck bed.

After obtaining these essential items, you have to prepare your fridge for the move. We, however, recommend getting professional movers who are conversant with moving heavy appliances such as fridges. However, if this is not in your budget, worry not. We will give you a step-by-step guide to help you move a refrigerator to your new house.

One very important tip you need to know is to always have your fridge in an upright position. However, before we discuss how to move a refrigerator safely, check out article on how to move a peloton safely.

How To Prepare To move A refrigerator

How To Move A Refrigerator

The process of moving a refrigerator from one location to your new house can be pretty cumbersome. However, this process can be made easier if you create an in-depth plan from how to clean it to the actual moving process. The following steps on how to prepare for a successful move for your refrigerator will be of great help.

1) Turn Off The Refrigerator

Recent refrigerator models are technically advanced. Most fridges have incredible features such as an ice dispenser and in-door screens. You, therefore, have to be careful and ensure that you carefully unplug the refrigerator, paying attention to the waterline. Disconnect the electrical power cord from the wall socket according to the user manual.

Remove the refrigerator doors from their hinges. Alternatively, secure the fridge doors using bungee cords. Taping bubble wrap all around the fridge will secure the fridge as well. If these components are not cared for, they could get damaged. Ensure to keep all the screws together. Take extra precautions by removing the refrigerator doors and shelves to keep them protected.

2) Cleaning

Cleaning your fridge thoroughly before moving it is very important. Perishable foods need to be cared for to avoid them going bad. It is thus advised to start eating all the food inside the fridge. Additionally, find storage for the food that you can't finish. Ideally, a cooler box. After all, food has been removed from the fridge.

Finally, it is pertinent to clean the interior of the refrigerator. First, you need to defrost the fridge to ensure that all the frost build-up melts away. You could use a hairdryer and afterward clean the water with paper towels. After that, clean the fridge thoroughly using dawn dish soap. Sprinkling baking soda will help to get rid of all the awful smells.

Ensure to remove any ice cube trays shelves and turn off the ice maker before cleaning.

3) Protect The Fridge

When you are moving the fridge within the same room, you have to be gentle with the floors and wall. You do not want to bump any built-in furniture as well as other furniture. It is also advised to put mats on the floor to avoid making scratches. Neither do you want to bump your fridge on the wall and cause dents on both it and the wall.

Since most refrigerators require heavy lifting, furniture sliders are of great use when protecting your floors. As we said earlier, it's important to protect the fridge from getting dents and scratches. Therefore covering the entire fridge with shrink-wrap will protect it from all types of scratches and dents.

4) Create A Moving Plan

Before moving your refrigerator from the kitchen, you need to have a plan on how you will move it through tight angles. First, you need to take all measurements of the dimensions of the fridge. This includes the length, width and height. You also need to take measurements of all the hallways and doorways.

Finally, the entire movie has to be smooth so that you move the fridge gently. Thereafter, work out a plan of how you will move the fridge through each doorway and hallway. For example, you might have to remove the doors off their hinges. Additionally, you might as well be required to remove the fridge doors to ensure they fit through the openings.

Finally, of course, you will have to take these measurements using a measuring tape.

How To Move A Refrigerator

After carrying out all the measurements and creating a plan to move the refrigerator, now comes the practical part. You have already cleaned and prepped the fridge for moving as well as taking out all the food that was in the fridge. An important tip to know is to use the refrigerator dimensions to estimate the moving truck size or pickup truck.

a) Protect The Fridge’s Interior

Before you close the doors of the fridge and secure them, finally, put activated charcoal inside the fridge. Activated charcoal in the fridge's interior will help to absorb any moisture. This means it will keep the fridge completely dry. It is will also prevent odors from building up as well as any mold that may form.

If you, however, do not have activated carbon, you can use bicarbonate of soda which is a deliquescent substance. This means it has drying properties. It will work really well to keep your fridge dry during the move. You should also ensure that you move any furniture that might be in the way. This will make your work easier so that you can move the fridge quickly.

b) Place The Refrigerator Onto the Dolly

An appliance dolly is a tool that is used for moving heavy, large appliances such as a refrigerator, dishwasher and ovens. It is therefore ideal for this moving situation. It is able to handle the weight of the average refrigerator and provide ease of moving. Better yet, it is perfect for moving downstairs.

Renting a dolly is simple enough. Additionally, it works better than a hand truck. Two movers are ideal for this process. One person tilts the fridge slightly onto its side while the other slides the dolly underneath. The dolly straps have to be strong enough to move a refrigerator. If you had not tied the door handles together, now would be your last chance.

c) Secure The Fridge

Secure the fridge using the dolly straps and ensure that they are tightly secured. The moving dolly should have the refrigerator be in an upright position. The reason it is so essential to use a dolly to move your refrigerator is that it has a loading capacity of 600 lbs. Additionally, the height-weight range is necessary for heavy refrigerators.

Unlike the hand truck, which has a lower loading capacity which will ultimately drop your fridge. Moreover, it could injure the user. Appliance dollies have rub rails on the bottom that protect your floor finishes. In addition, the cargo straps they have securely hold the refrigerator. These straps also work better than ratchet straps, bungee cords and strong rope.

d) Tilt The Dolly

You have to be really careful because you are lifting a 300lb appliance. Using the dolly's handles, gently tilt the dolly backward. This is done to balance the weight of the refrigerator on the fulcrum of the appliance dolly. This, of course, is done when the fridge is tightly secured by the cargo straps. You wouldn't want the fridge to fall and break. Even worse, causing injury.

After you have tilted the fridge backward to balance the fridge's weight, the fulcrum is the hinge over the wheels. You should, however, never do this alone. You never know what could go wrong. It is therefore advised to have a helping hand. Remember, fridges nowadays are really heavy, especially with the recent models.

e) Move the Fridge

After having successfully moved the refrigerator onto the dolly underneath, it is now time to start working out how to move the refrigerator through each door. However, it is important that the base of the dolly is large enough to keep the fridge straight. In addition, you want to avoid causing any mechanical damage to the internal components of the refrigerator.

As such, do not have the front or back of the refrigerator against the dolly. Additionally, minimize lifting the fridge too much. Make sure the fridge is always upright. An important tip to know is to never lay your fridge on its side. This will cause the compressor oil to flow into the cooling tubes, which will mess with the cooling system, causing a really big problem.

f) Load Up The Fridge

By now, you have successfully managed to move the refrigerator through the hallways and doors. Ideally, a moving truck should have a ramp. Next, move the fridge to the bed and place the dolly between the truck bed and fridge. Having people help in this part is very important. Lift the fridge at once while being gentle, of course.

Pull the refrigerator upwards with the straps while two other people lift it from the base to push it up into the bed. This is to make sure the fridge does not fall due to gravity. That would be very unfortunate and frustrating. Next, secure the fridge up into the moving truck or moving van.

It is better to leave the fridge on the dolly to add stability and ease when offloading the refrigerator.

How To Set Up A Refrigerator After Transportation

Following a couple of instructions thoroughly, you should have your fridge up to speed in no time. Moving a refrigerator can have a couple of issues, such as being moved up and down in the truck because of bumpy roads. However, after the transportation is over, there are a couple of things to do. First, moving the fridge to its new position should be simple enough.

Firstly, you need to unpack the fridge and remove the tightly secured cargo straps that hold the fridge. After that, remove all the protective materials that protected the refrigerator. These could be the shrink-wrap and the moving blankets. Finally, make sure you use a tape measure to know exactly how your fridge will fit in its new position.

Reconnect all the wiring and waterline. However, do not turn on the fridge yet. Return the drawers, lids and shelves back to their places. Clean the refrigerator one more time to ensure that it is extremely clean. Why? You ask. Any little bacteria that was previously in the fridge can multiply and cause food poisoning. Switch on the fridge but do not fill it up just yet.

It will take a few days to become fully cold and reach optimal temperature. You should also leave the doors open for a few hours to let in the air. After the fridge and freezer have become cold enough and form ice, it is safe to put back in all your food. The ice dispenser should also be working at optimal temperatures.


Just like moving a pool table, moving your refrigerator to a new home does not have to be hectic. If done with a game plan in mind, everything should go well. You, however, need to take care during this entire process. Ensure that the fridge and the movers are protected to avoid injuries. The most important steps are to empty the fridge, clean it and turn off the power. Use a measuring tape and plan carefully.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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