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How to Move a Refrigerator

Almost every home has at least one refrigerator, but that appliance is also the toughest to move. When you upgrade to a new refrigerator or need to get rid of one that is no longer functional, trying to get it through the door can turn into a major challenge. Luckily, there are guidelines and shortcuts that you can use to make sure you have less trouble moving this bulky appliance. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind when it comes to moving a refrigerator.

Clean and Defrost

This seems like a minor step, but many people overlook it when they create their moving plan. By cleaning and defrosting your refrigerator before you move, you avoid the risk of loose ice or other debris coming out at the worst possible moment. This also keeps you from having to deal with water spills as melting ice from inside the refrigerator leaks out, creating a slip hazard. Cleaning and defrosting your unit regularly also helps for the long-term maintenance of your refrigerator.

Double-Check the Owner's Manual

It's probably been a while since you first got your refrigerator, or you might even have simply inherited it when you moved into your home. Make sure to check the owner's manual to make sure you have everything disconnected before you move anything. You obviously need to unplug the refrigerator, but units with ice makers or water filters have special disconnection procedures to go with them. If you don't have your owner's manual, check online – it's very likely you'll find a PDF version on the Internet.

Measure the Space and Remove Obstacles

Measure the refrigerator carefully, taking all three dimensions into account. Then measure the space of each door you have to go through as well as any tight nooks you may have to maneuver around. This will give you an idea as to the best path to move the refrigerator out of the room and then out of the building. Before you actually start the move, make sure to take the extra step of clearing out any potential obstacles in the path. This could include furniture, but it should also include potential slip hazards, such as throw rugs.

Use Moving Blankets and Assistance

Ideally, you should have two people working together in order to move your refrigerator. While most refrigerators have wheels on the bottom that help with short-distance moving, it's a good idea to tilt the refrigerator enough that you can slide moving blankets underneath it. You can then slide the unit without scratching your floors and can load it easily onto a moving dolly. The dolly is especially important should you need to move the refrigerator down stairs, as it gives you the leverage you need to avoid falls and injuries.

Moving a refrigerator the right way requires two people and a little bit of planning. However, if you take the time to get it right and make sure you use the tips outlined above, you should have no problem with this moving process.