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How to Move a Refrigerator

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There are a lot of things to consider before you move an item like a refrigerator, like gathering the right supplies and a team of people to move the refrigerator. Moving a large, heavy appliance like a refrigerator can be dangerous if you don't follow the correct safety procedures. This guide will walk you through the process of moving a refrigerator and give you all the information you need to successfully manage moving large appliances.

Just like all difficult-to-manage items, there are specialty movers available who specialize solely in moving large and heavy items for you, and if you can find one in your area that can assist you with your move, this would be the best way to go. But if you're pressed for time or money and you want to take on this moving task by yourself, there are some things that you need to know.

Get some help

Refrigerators are large and heavy, and moving it by yourself is close to impossible, unless you have superhuman strength. You're going to need a good deal of assistance to move the fridge, for the sake of your safety, the safety of your house and even your fridge. Ask around and try to have at least five or six of your most capable friends, family members or neighbors present to help you out with the move.

As you prepare for the best way to move your refrigerator, remember all of the factors that make large appliances so difficult to move, like their weight, size and overall cumbersome design. For example, a large refrigerator can sometimes weigh up to a few hundred pounds and can be at least six or seven feet in height--making it extremely difficult for just one or two people to attempt moving it on their own.

Getting some help for the move is especially necessary if there are stairs involved. Attempting to move a large appliance by yourself is never advisable and you can put yourself and others around you at risk of serious injury if you do move the fridge without the proper moving supplies and an adequate amount of assistance.

Preparing the refrigerator for the move

You'll need to prepare the refrigerator to make sure that it's ready to be transported. What this mostly involves is removing all of the contents from inside of the refrigerator. While your refrigerator is being moved, it's going to be unplugged, meaning that after a few short hours of sitting inside the back of the moving truck, the inside will no longer be cold. Shortly thereafter, the food that you were keeping in there will likely go bad. If you're moving in the middle of January and the outside temperature is below freezing, you might be able to get away with it, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Because even if it is cold enough outside to keep your food preserved, you're still going to want to make sure that the contents are removed so they won't be thrown around as you move the refrigerator. It will be hard enough to move as it is, but the last thing you need are gallons of milk and leftover pizza being thrown around as you try to maneuver the refrigerator onto the moving truck.

Before you remove the contents, make sure that you have a cold place to store the items temporarily, while the refrigerator is being moved. A good idea would be to cook the food you have, or give it away prior to the move so you don't have to worry about finding a place to keep it. Above all, it's important to empty the refrigerator before you move it simply because it will be much lighter and easier to move.

Moving the refrigerator

Before you begin, take some measurements of all of the dimensions of the refrigerator before you move it, to make sure that you'll be able to fit it through all of the doorways in your home and your new home that you'll need to get it through.
  • The first step to moving the refrigerator is to remove the refrigerator door. This will make it easier to maneuver, and also it will help it to fit through doorways and other openings that it may have trouble fitting through otherwise.
  • With the help of several people, maneuver the refrigerator onto the hand cart. To do this, figure out which side of the refrigerator is the most narrow and place that side farthest away from the cart. Then, have a few people grab the top of the refrigerator and slowly and carefully tilt it back to allow another person to slip the cart completely underneath the base of the refrigerator.
  • If the hand cart that you are using is equipped with moving straps, then you may use these straps to secure the refrigerator to the cart by tying them around the refrigerator. If there are no straps, you may use duct tape or rope to wrap around the refrigerator and secure it to the cart.
  • Once the refrigerator is on the hand cart and properly secured using whatever materials or supplies that you have been equipped with, have one or two people help to carefully tilt the refrigerator back towards the person who will be controlling the hand cart. Make sure to do this as slowly and gently as possible, as rushing it can cause the refrigerator to tip over and cause injury. Tilt the refrigerator until the weight of it is resting fully on the wheels of the hand cart. Then, make sure that the hand cart can move freely, without any obstructions or hindrances before you begin transporting it.
  • Using the hand cart, wheel the refrigerator wherever it needs to go, making sure to maneuver it slowly through doorways and over bumps and keeping at least three people holding it steady during the move. If there are any stairs involved in the move, you will need to pick up the refrigerator and the hand cart together, with at least two people at each end to provide the proper support and balance.

Photo by: Ambro (Freedigitalphotos.net)

Robert Moreschi  Posted by Robert Moreschi on April 9, 2013

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