How to Move a Refrigerator

Whether you find yourself moving to a new location or you’re just rearranging your home, the most difficult task you face is moving heavy appliances. With the right planning and proper help, moving a refrigerator can be done seamlessly.

We are going to break it down into two easy parts prepping the fridge and actually moving the fridge.

Part 1: Preparing the Fridge to Move

  1. EMPTY the refrigerator of food & magnets. Make sure the entire fridge and freezer is free of food or anything that could challenge your move. You also want to remove items placed on the outside of the fridge, like magnets, report cards, take-out menus, and whatever else you have on your fridge. If you’re about to embark on a long distance move, it is best to get rid of food you can’t finish now. If you’re just moving the fridge a short distance, set all items on the counters so that it’s safer to move and you won’t risk getting hurt.
  2. REMOVE the shelving. Remove all removable units from inside of the fridge, such as trays and organizers. Wrap the shelves in packing paper or towels for protection, then label and set them aside. To avoid cluttering your move, you can also secure the shelves inside the fridge with tape.
  3. UNPLUG the refrigerator. Secure the power cord in a tight bundle to make sure it won’t get in the way of your move. If your refrigerator has an ice maker, make sure you properly disconnect it from the source.
  4. DEFROST the freezer . Make sure all frost inside the freezer is cleared in order to proceed with the move. Defrosting your freezer could take up to 8 hours to complete, so make sure you plan this ahead of your move. Typically it’s best to do this the night before the move and wipe the inside of the fridge in the morning. Also, this would be a great opportunity to clean your fridge before you move it to your new location.
  5. CLOSE and secure the doors. Secure the refrigerator and freezer doors shut using rope or bungee cord. If your fridge has a double-door, tie the door handles together. Try not to secure the doors too tightly to prevent the doors from being pulled out of alignment If the move is estimated to take longer than a day, you should keep the doors somewhat open to allow air flow, and to prevent any mold or mildew from developing inside.
  6. FIND some help. Moving a refrigerator is a job for two. The dolly makes moving a fridge much easier, but it’s still safer to handle a heavy appliance with help. Don’t forget to try and keep it in an upright position, meaning don’t lean it on its side too much.


Part 2: Moving the Fridge

  1. USE a moving dolly. In order to move your refrigerator properly, it is best to use a dolly which can handle the weight of a fridge and provide ease during the move. Any dolly with straps is good, but make sure that the base is big enough to sit the fridge on and the straps are big enough to secure the fridge. It is essential that the base of the dolly be big enough to maintain the fridge in an upright position to avoid leaking coolant. If you do not own a dolly, you can rent one from a moving company.
  2. MOVE the refrigerator by securing it to the dolly. This is done by sliding the dolly underneath the fridge, lifting the fridge slowly, and secure the fridge with the straps. Always keep the fridge in its upright position and never move the fridge on its side or back to prevent any internal damage to the fridge. If you must lay the refrigerator on its side, make sure it’s at an upright angle by placing a box or furniture underneath the top half of fridge.
  3. TILT the fridge carefully. Once the fridge is secured on the dolly, push forward slowly towards the moving truck. Always move opposite of the tilt to maintain a steady balance. Have someone on the other side guiding you towards the truck. If you’re moving the refrigerator down stairs, move it down one step at a time, with someone on the other side guiding you down each step. It’s best to have two helpers at the front of the dolly holding the handles and letting it down slowly. Make sure to communicate loudly and don’t rush the move.
  4. LOAD the fridge into the truck. You’ll be able to roll the fridge up the truck ramp easily. If the moving truck doesn’t have a ramp, you’ll have to get into the bed of the truck and have at least two people on the ground. Adjust and lift at the same time, pulling straight up from the dolly handles while the helpers lift from the base and push the dolly back into the bed. It would be best if you had someone behind you as you lift to make sure the fridge doesn’t harm you. Secure the fridge upright in the truck. You could leave it strapped to the dolly or you can also attach it to other furniture or moving equipment to prevent it from shifting around.
  5. MOVE the fridge into its new home. Allow the refrigerator to sit for 3 hours minimum before hooking it back up. This will allow for the oil and fluid to flow normally and also will prevent any internal damage. It could take up to 3 days for the fridge to return to its original state.


Hopefully we have helped your move with these quick and easy steps. For more information on moving and storage, feel free to look at some of our other blog posts such as: