Moving a fridge: How to do it right

Tips for relocating your refrigerator with ease

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Are you worried about property damage during a relocation job or thinking of rearranging the appliances in your kitchen for a new look? Seeking expert help is the usual route. However, learning how to move a fridge—and other skills like how to pack kitchen items and tableware—can save you both time and money. 

If you’re willing to do a DIY project, read this guide on how to move a fridge efficiently and safely.

How do you prepare to move a fridge?

Before moving a fridge on your own, you must have the right equipment and tools for the job, such as:

  • A measuring tape;

  • Floor protectors like cardboard or furniture sliders; 

  • Padding or blankets; 

  • Rope, straps, and tape; 

  • A pry bar or crowbar; and

  • A trolley.

a woman measuring the width of a fridge

Besides knowing what to use when transporting a fridge, you should also prep correctly by performing these steps:

  1. Measure the appliance’s width, length, and height, as well as the size of the doors it will pass through, to ensure it will fit them.

  2. Empty the unit to prevent spills and spoiled items. You can move a fridge with food in it, but it is not advisable to do so since storing perishable items in an unplugged refrigerator is a recipe for disaster.

  3. Remove the fridge’s drawers and shelves to prevent rattles and broken components.

  4. Turn off the fridge before moving, then unplug and secure its power cord and water line.

  5. Defrost the unit if necessary.

  6. Clean and dry it.

  7. Tape the fridge’s doors and wrap it in a moving blanket and rope.

Since your goal is to relocate a refrigerator—and not have an unplanned visit to the hospital—you also need to prepare for the physically demanding task by:

  • Performing strength-training exercises like squats and modified push-ups;

  • Reading up on guides on how to lift heavy objects without hurting your back; and

  • Stretching your muscles adequately right before moving the fridge to avoid injuries.

Other fridge transport tips to remember include:

  • Reading your refrigerator’s manual for specific instructions; and

  • Wearing comfy clothes that allow you to move freely.

How do you move a refrigerator by yourself?

Can one person move a refrigerator alone? Typically, no. Two or more people usually accomplish this task; you should not force yourself to move a refrigerator on your own, especially if you are not confident you can avoid accidents and do a fine job. However, if you can move a fridge by yourself, it is better to use a two- or four-wheel trolley to make the task more manageable.

Utilising one to move your fridge involves these steps:

  1. Put the trolley’s bottom plate under the refrigerator.

  2. Secure the unit by tightly binding it to the trolley using straps or cords.

  3. Tilt the trolley backward to begin moving it. Do it slowly, as the weight you’ll be bearing is quite substantial.

  4. If stairs or ramps are involved, make sure to do it carefully. Move backward one step at a time—whether upstairs or downstairs—with the fridge facing you. 

  5. Gently park the unit once it’s in the intended location.

a fridge ready to be moved

But what should you do if you have limited equipment and have to move a refrigerator without a trolley on your own? This is possible if you only have to move a fridge very short distances, like within a room or on the same floor. To do so, you need to:

  1. Lift the feet or corners of your fridge by tilting it or using a pry bar or crowbar;

  2. Place cardboard, furniture wheels, or slider pads under the corners for less friction and floor protection;

  3. Slide the refrigerator until it’s in its proper location; and

  4. Remove the floor protection you used by repeating the first step.

What’s the easiest way to transport a refrigerator?

Overall, the simplest way to move a refrigerator—especially if it involves long distances—is to leave the job to professional removalists. Hiring someone to move a fridge for you means paying for convenience and saved time, not just a service provider’s help and moving equipment.

Various factors come into play if you want to know how much it costs to relocate a refrigerator. Airtasker can connect you with removalists based on your budget, time availability, and circumstances.

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As much as possible, a fridge should be upright when being transported because it has parts that are not fixed in place and may budge during the process.

To avoid damaging your refrigerator, you should unplug it for at least 24 hours before relocating it.

Waiting four hours before turning a fridge on after relocating it is usually sufficient. However, to be sure, review the unit’s manual to find out how much time you exactly need.

Food that must be kept frozen or refrigerated should be put in a container that will maintain its ideal temperature, such as an insulated box filled with ice.

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