Sometimes, we don’t have all the tools we need to carry through on an important task. However, we still have to find some way to get it done. Thankfully, if you need to move a fridge but don’t have a dolly, there is more than one way to do so.
You can move a fridge without a dolly by either walking it forward, having others help you carry it, or by placing it on a piece of cardboard and pulling it across the floor. These methods have various pros and cons, but they all work as long as you’re patient.
In this article, I will explain the above three methods of moving a fridge. I’ll also go over how to prepare your fridge for moving, why you shouldn’t move it lying down, and whether you should unplug it ahead of time. Keep reading.
The most common way of moving a fridge is with a dolly — sometimes known as a hand-truck or trundler. A dolly comes in many shapes, but most often, it resembles an L-shaped platform with handles on the back that you can use to lift something onto a set of attached wheels.
However, you don’t need a dolly to move a fridge. If your dolly breaks or you just plain don’t have one, you can:
- walk your fridge forward
- have others help you carry it
- place it on a piece of cardboard and pull it across the floor
Let’s explore each option further.
Moving a Fridge by Walking It Forward
Walking your fridge forward is probably the easiest out of all these methods. It doesn’t require much in the way of strength, nor does it require you to enlist friends and family to help you. However, it also won’t do if you’re moving your fridge downstairs or if the destination is far away.
To walk your fridge forward:
- Tip it gently to one side and move the side currently lifted forward.
- Alternate sides and repeat the same process until you and your fridge reach its intended destination.
As I said, walking a fridge works best if you only move it a short distance. Prime examples of good situations to walk a fridge include moving it in the same room, a directly adjacent room, or transporting it to a door for loading into a vehicle.
Moving a Fridge With Others’ Help
Many people ask for help from others when moving furniture, and if you have people in your life who are willing to help, asking them might be a good idea. Not only does asking for help give you access to more potential solutions if you get into a jam, but you won’t have only your own strength at your disposal if the fridge starts to fall on you.
When you’re ready to move your fridge, have your helpers lift up the fridge so that you can carry it over a longer distance — that’s all there is to it.
However, before you begin, always ensure you and those helping you stretch and warm up first. Don’t try to move a fridge if you have a recent injury or if you aren’t strong enough to handle the weight you’ll be asked to carry. If the latter is the case, you can also offset the required weight per person by recruiting more people to help you.
Moving a Fridge Using Cardboard
Flat surfaces such as cardboard have less friction than the legs of a refrigerator. If you use them right, you may be able to slide your fridge without damaging your floors. This method is most useful when you only have to move your fridge a short way, and will quickly go awry if you try to drag your fridge over uneven ground or carpeting.
To use cardboard to move a fridge:
- Simply lift or walk your fridge onto the cardboard.
- Pull on the cardboard to slide it forward.
Not all fridges are light enough to be moved with cardboard, and if there are edges, hanging parts, or other uncommon extras on your fridge, dragging them may also damage your floors. In addition, if you pull too hard and your fridge tips, it might fall on you. So always be patient and careful when using this method to avoid accidents and injuries.
How to Prepare Your Fridge For the Move
Regardless of the method you’ll use to move your fridge, there are some things you need to do beforehand to prepare it for the process. You need to:
- Remove or tuck in any detachable parts
- Unplug and clean or otherwise drain the refrigerator
- Secure the door, so it doesn’t swing out and hit you or cause the refrigerator to get stuck while you’re moving it
Let’s take a deeper look at each step.
Some fridges have extra parts, such as water nozzles or ice makers. To move your fridge safely, you should detach or secure these extras so they don’t get underfoot, get damaged, or cause damage to the walls or floors of your home during the moving process.
For water nozzles or other tubes or cords, you can secure them by tucking them into the hole in the refrigerator they come from. Alternatively, curl them up and tie them loosely with twist ties or stretch cords.
If your fridge has an ice maker tray or other detachable plastic parts, either remove them or secure them inside the unit with tape, twist ties, or a stretch cord. This will prevent them from moving around inside the machine or falling out.
The last thing you want when trying to move a fridge is for the cord to jerk tight because it’s still attached to the wall. Or for liquids or old food to fall out of the fridge as you move it. To avoid this you need to unplug your refrigerator and remove everything from the inside.
This is a pretty straightforward process that hardly needs explaining. However, once you’re done mopping up any spills on the side and removing leftovers, ensure you wipe down the inside of your fridge. Use a Lysol wipe or paper towel with some soap. This will ensure the fridge is ready for set up and usage at its destination without any extra work.
It’s important to secure your fridge’s door before you move it. If the door swings open during the process, it could hurt someone. And if it manages to get the fridge stuck while you’re lifting it, it can result in you dropping the refrigerator or having it drop on you.
You can use tape, stretch cords, or even a bed sheet to secure your fridge door. It doesn’t have to be a perfect fit — just tie it around your fridge so that the door cannot open more than an inch. This will help prevent accidents and keep any detachable shelves or trays within the fridge from falling out.
Some people would prefer to move a fridge on its side or laying down; however, it’s not a good idea. Some fridges aren’t set up for this kind of movement; the compressor oil can flow into the cooling tubes on the back of the fridge, breaking it. In addition, the fridge’s parts may not be manufactured to absorb pressure in certain directions, thereby breaking them.
If you want to move your fridge while it’s on its side or laying down, make sure that it is set up for it, so you don’t wind up breaking it before you can use it in its new location. You can typically find these types of warnings either in your fridge’s physical manual or online. The manufacturer’s website is a good place to start.
If, on the other hand, your fridge was delivered to you on its side, it’s important to wait 24 hours with the fridge upright and unplugged so that the compressor oil can settle back. Once this time has elapsed, you may plug it back in and continue to use it.
Either way, whether you’re moving your fridge or receiving a new one from a store, never lay or allow the movers to lay your refrigerator on its back. Its own body weight can damage its parts, rendering it ineffectual, or sometimes, even completely useless.
If you don’t have a dolly, move your fridge by walking it, carrying it with others’ help, or sliding it atop cardboard.
To prepare it, tuck in detachable parts, unplug and drain it, and secure its door. Additionally, never transport it on its side, lying down, or on its back. You may also unplug it the night before.