How To Move A Fridge Guide

As one of the heaviest appliances in your home, moving a fridge takes a little more care and prep than other pieces of equipment or furniture.

To help you out, we’ve put together this handy list of fridge moving tips to make transportation a little bit easier for everyone.

moving a fridgeSteps On How To Move a Refrigerator


While this may sound a little like a military operation, moving such a heavy and fragile piece of cargo takes a fair bit of planning. There are typically three stages to move a refrigerator properly, starting at preparation before going on to transportation and reinstallation.

Before we get into the actual tips, please bear in mind that overall prep time will take about a day, so please leave 24 hours to get everything in order before the big day. Now let us get into how to move a fridge. 


Stage 1 – Preparation

Emptying the fridge

When moving fridges, leaving food and perishables in the fridge during the move will only add to its weight, and potentially damage the inside as well. Empty your fridge before moving, including the freezer, drink compartments, salad draws and any other areas. 

Turn it off 24 hours before moving

Once the fridge has been emptied, turn it off from the wall. This will let the motor shut down completely, allowing the interior components to fully defrost and settle. This can take some time, so leave at least 24 hours before the move and leave the doors open while defrosting to speed up the process.

If your fridge has a water or ice dispensing function, make sure to disconnect the tubing to avoid any leakage along the way and leaving plenty of time to defrost. Also, remember to surround the fridge by some towels, in case defrosting produces a little extra water.

cleaning fridgeGive it a Good Clean

Once the fridge is unplugged, the interior temperature will, of course, start to rise. This kind of environment is a favourable breeding ground for mould and bacteria, so before you move your fridge and once it is empty, give it a thorough and deep clean using a sponge and a cleaning mixture of water and baking soda.

Pro tip: Adding a moisture absorbent such as activated charcoal inside the refrigerator helps prevent odours from building up during the move.


Prepare for Transportation

By now the water and baking soda will have done its job and your fridge is clean, dry and completely defrosted. To complete your prep prior to moving a refrigerator, use tape to fully secure all loose elements inside the fridge so that they don’t bounce around or shift when inside the vehicle. If you have the materials, it’s better to take them out entirely and move them separately in their own bubble wrap and containers. 

To finish the job, securely tape all doors shut using very strong tape, bungee cords or moving straps. 

For added protection to secure the refrigerator, use professional packing bubble wrap to provide the first layer of protection. After this, you should cover the fridge in good quality moving blankets and use packing tape to secure the blankets to the fridge.

Then, if you have it, wrap the fridge completely in a blanket or cardboard to protect the exterior from scratches and other superficial damage.

Stage 2: Transportation

Stay safe

Moving a refrigerator will most certainly take more than one person and can weigh up to 100kg (or more!) depending on its size. Always move with two or more people to evenly distribute the weight and reduce the overall workload. If possible, use appropriate equipment such as trolleys or a moving dolly to help move the fridge to the truck, remembering to tape the fridge doors shut to avoid them swinging open during transit.

dolly moving a fridgeLoad the fridge

Moving the fridge will be influenced by the type of property you’re moving it out of, and the type of property it’ll be moved into. Broadly, you’ll have two options:

1. Dolly – One of the easiest ways to move a heavy object, a moving dolly has wheels which can take a lot of the load. To get it on the dolly, tip your fridge just a little bit to slide the dolly underneath before securing the unit with moving straps or rope. If you have to deal with steps, ensure to back the wheels up against each step, lifting the fridge one step at a time. If there’s a ramp, always have one person in front of the dolly and one behind to make sure it doesn’t get out of control. 

2. Manual lifting – If you don’t have access to a dolly to move your fridge, you’ll need moving straps to carry the appliance or you’ll be putting a lot of weight on your fingertips, which can cause injury and pain. Remember to always lift with your legs (not your back) and take your time. 

Secure the fridge in the truck

Now that you’ve gotten your fridge to the moving truck, you’re going to want to make sure it’s completely secure. The best way to position the unit is to brace it against the corner of the inside which will prevent it from moving in two directions. Always ensure that you keep the fridge in an upright position to better protect its internal mechanisms.

If there are any interior railings or other furniture already in the truck, you can use these for extra stability around the unit.

While driving

It may be common sense, but when dealing with heavy and fragile cargo it pays to drive carefully. Avoid sudden acceleration or braking, take sharp turns with care, handle roundabouts with reasonable speed and slow down completely before any speedbumps. As mentioned before, make sure that the fridge is completely secure in place and has sufficient exterior protection to prevent scratches and scuffs.

Stage 3: Reinstallation

moving a fridgeUnloading and placing

You’re nearly there! To unload, simply do the steps already mentioned above. Use care, take your time and make sure that you have the manpower to do everything safely.

When you’ve finally gotten your fridge into its new location let it stand upright for an equal amount of time (especially with a fridge on its side) before plugging it in. If it was on its side for more than a day, leave standing for 24 hours before running.

Also, make sure that the surface is even, which will help avoid loud compressor noise or other mechanical issues.

Settling down

If your fridge was transported on its side to your new home, you should leave it standing upright for 24 hours so that all internal fluids and mechanics can return to their original position. Once this time has passed, you’re ready to switch it back on and get your food and drink back to their rightful place.

Making Moving To Your New Home Easier; The Right Way

So there you have it, moving tips for your fridge. In the meantime, why not read our guides on Moving During Covid-19 and tips on Avoiding Moving Stress.


Need Help Moving Your Fridge?

ZOOM Removals offers premium fridge removals in Sydney and Interstate. If moving a fridge you may also be interested in our removals insurance, use our free moving boxes and consider our movers and packers services.

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