Updated at: 02-11-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

There are times when you need to relocate a refrigerator, whether you’re moving into a new house or remodeling your kitchen. Erroneous handling of a fridge, weighing in at anywhere from 150 to 350 pounds, can result in physical harm, scarred floors, or even a broken appliance.

No matter how big or little your refrigerator is, you’ll need a buddy to help you move it. Rent an appliance dolly (around $15 a day at a hardware store) and put on your work gloves once you’ve enlisted a helper. Refrigerators with freezers on the bottom can be moved in the same way as upright and French door types. Whatever your personality type, here’s how to move without wasting food, injuring muscles, or losing your temper.


  • Cooler or ice chest
  • knots with a zip
  • Tape for painting
  • Cloth cleaning
  • Cords of bungee
  • Wrapping paper in plastic
  • Dishwasher sling

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How to move a fridge and freezer safely | CHOICE

STEP 1: Measure your fridge and your home’s doorways.

Take a tape measure to your refrigerator and note its width, height, and depth. It’s important to keep in mind that an open door may protrude into the clearance space you need to pass through, so be careful to measure and record that information. It’s possible that you’ll have to remove some of your home’s internal doors or the doors on your refrigerator. In some cases, the door hinges on your house may even need to be removed.

Plan the route you’ll take to bring the fridge outdoors and make sure there’s adequate space on all sides for the appliance, the dolly, and the movers to be moved securely together.. Take into account how big the fridge will be while it is tilted on the dolly and make sure there is enough clearance.

STEP 2: Empty the refrigerator and stow its contents in ice chests.

Prepare as much as you can ahead of time, and you’ll have an easier time moving a refrigerator. The last thing you want when moving a refrigerator is for the drink cans and pickle jars to jiggle around and crack open when you move it from one location to another. When it comes to avoiding rotting, you’ll want to keep food in an unplugged refrigerator. Keep perishables in an ice chest or two, along with ice or frozen bottles of water, before relocating a refrigerator. Be sure to take away anything that could move “mid-flight,” such as ice cube trays and adjustable shelves, as well as any magnets or other ornamental features from the outside.

STEP 3: Unplug the refrigerator.

Disconnect the refrigerator’s electrical cord. Disconnect the fridge’s water supply as well if it has a built-in icemaker. Secure the cables with a zip tie or a couple loops of painter’s tape after coiling them up (masking tape is also an option but may leave adhesive residue). Defrost the interior for at least six to eight hours; if you don’t, you could end up with a fridge that grows mold or leaks all over the moving truck.

In order to ensure that everything goes well when you get up, unplug the appliance the night before. Wipe out the freezer drawer’s melted frost with a towel once the interior has warmed to room temperature.

STEP 4: Secure the refrigerator doors.

Bungee cords can be used as moving straps to keep the doors closed when moving a refrigerator. For those without bungee cords, two long rolls of plastic wrap wrapped firmly around the fridge will work almost as well; make sure the fit is close and tape the ends to strengthen the hold. The door knobs should also be tied together if feasible to ensure a secure shipment.

STEP 5: Strategically position the dolly.

Dolly rolls up and tow blade is centered beneath fridge’s bottom, approaching from side with doors at 90-degree angle from back of dolly. Keep in mind that moving a fridge should never be done by laying it on its back or side because doing so could result in a coolant leak, leaving you with nothing but a large, broken metal box. With an appliance dolly, you’ll be able to tilt the fridge slightly sideways so that you may transfer it without leaning it excessively over.

The fridge will be placed on a dolly, and one person will stand behind it with their hands on the handles to keep it in place. Without any effort, the appliance should slip right beneath the tow blade. In order to keep the refrigerator in place, the helper utilizes the dolly’s straps to fix it in place by surrounding it like a belt. Use the dolly’s ratchet mechanism (located on the back) to tighten the strap and keep the fridge firmly attached to the dolly while it’s being moved about the house. The steel ribs that run between the dolly’s handles should be tied to with a tight double knot if there is no ratchet.

How To Move A Fridge | 7 Tips For Moving Fridge Safely | Optimove

STEP 6: Tilt and move the refrigerator.

When moving the fridge, make sure that one person is behind the dolly, holding both handles, and the other is standing in front of the doors, ready to respond swiftly if anything goes wrong and the fridge slides or the doors open while you’re moving it.

In order to go forward or backward, the person holding the dolly’s handles should gently push or pull the dolly, depending on whether you need to travel forward or backward. Together, tilt the fridge and dolly back between 20 and 45 degrees. Slowly make your way to the moving truck (or out of the way if you’re renovating) once you and the fridge are stable. Maintain a 45-degree angle for the whole voyage and use caution when entering or exiting entrances, going up or down ramps of any kind, or around corners.

Remember to Remind Yourself! In order to move a refrigerator, you should never put it on its back or side. As a result, the appliance will not perform its intended function when it is plugged back in. In addition, you should avoid moving refrigerators when they are still cooling down and loaded with moisture, which creates a breeding ground for mold and germs in their interiors. Be thorough in your planning, take your time, and use a large enough dolly to accomplish the task without incident. You’ll be cooling in your new kitchen in no time if you follow these simple instructions for moving a fridge.

How long should a fridge be off before moving it?

Depending on the size, a refrigerator can defrost in as little as a few hours, but you’ll want to be prepared so that it doesn’t leak into the vehicle and harm your belongings. Allow the fridge to sit for 48 hours with the doors propped open and the contents filled with old towels. Towels should be replaced as needed to absorb up all the water.

Can you lay a fridge down to move it?

Although technically possible, moving a refrigerator on its side is not recommended.

It’s possible for fluids in the compressor to move to unintended locations if the fridge is tilted or lay flat for an extended period of time, according to Pulkkinen. You can accomplish it. It’s not that you can’t.” You should, however, not plug it in right away. That’s a surefire way to ruin the compressor.”

FAQs About the Easiest Way to Move a Fridge

Are you all set to board the moving truck and set out on a whole new journey? Wait! To be sure you have all the information you need, take a look at these last commonly asked questions about relocating a refrigerator.

Q: Can you move a fridge straight after turning it off?

You may be able to, but you may end up destroying the device’s internal workings. If you’ve temporarily relocated your fridge to the living room during renovation, it may leak all over the moving truck or the hardwood floors. It’s possible for mold and germs to grow inside the fridge if it’s turned off and relocated without drying out first.

Q: Can a refrigerator be transported on its side?

Keep your refrigerator upright when moving it. This can lead to a coolant leak, causing the appliance to fail.

Q: Can you transport a refrigerator laying down?

Nope. Once again, carrying a refrigerator on its side or back puts it at risk of a coolant leak.

Q: How long after unplugging a fridge  can you move it?

The night before a move, unplug and clean out your refrigerator. Before moving the item, check sure it is entirely dry by wiping it down the next morning.

Q: Do modern fridges need to settle before turning on again?

After moving a refrigerator, it is recommended that the appliance be left upright for at least two to four hours to allow the compressor oil to settle back in. If you’re certain it was shipped on its side, give it 24 hours and cross your fingers that it arrives in one piece.

How to Move A Refrigerator Using a Dolly - YouTube

Final Thoughts

Moving a fridge may need more steps than you anticipated, but it’s still a simple task, so there’s no excuse to leave it behind. Unplug the refrigerator and remove all of its contents. Use a tape measure to measure the appliance and entrances before moving it.

If you’re buying a new fridge for the kitchen, you’ll need a helper to secure the fridge, load it onto the dolly, and transport it to the van, across the room, or even out to the garage.