One of the most challenging aspects of packing up your home for moving is ensuring that your fridge is safe for transport. How do you pack your fridge so it won’t get damaged on the move?
Here are seven steps to packing a fridge for moving:
- Plan what to do with the food
- Clear out, clean, and defrost the fridge
- Remove any loose parts
- Secure the doors shut
- Tape up the cord and plug
- Protect the fridge with packaging material
- Move it with a dolly and transport it upright
After reading this article, you’ll understand that packing a fridge for moving involves several steps, but it is not complicated. Read on to get your fridge safely to its new home
1. Plan What to Do With the Food
Packing a fridge for moving involves preparation, starting with what to do with the perishable items inside it.
Instead of wasting your fridge’s contents, try and use them up as much as you can in the run-up to moving day. Some people like to make a list of what remains in the fridge, and then find recipes to use up the food.
If you have not been able to use up everything, you have a few options:
- Transport them to the new house in a cooler box.
- Give them to neighbors or friends.
- Donate them to a food bank.
- Throw them out (this should be your last resort).
Now is also an excellent time to think about how you’ll keep essential, perishable items (like milk) cool on your moving day. Cooler boxes are always a great option.
2. Clear Out, Clean, and Defrost the Fridge
If you have some free time a day or two before moving, unplug your fridge, clear it out completely, defrost it, and give it a good clean. If your fridge has an ice maker, you will need to disconnect it from the waterline.
Turning your fridge off at least 24 hours before moving it is crucial. It allows the evaporator to defrost thoroughly, helping prevent damage during transit. It also gives the fridge’s fluids time to settle down.
Most modern fridges have a self-defrost function and won’t have a significant ice build-up. In such cases, you can unplug it, place a few old towels around it, and allow any excess ice to melt overnight.
If your fridge is older, however, you’ll need to defrost it manually:
- Unplug the fridge and remove the contents.
- Fill a few containers or pots with boiling water and place them in your fridge.
- Shut the door, and let the boiling water work its magic on the built-up ice for ten minutes. If you have a significant ice build-up, you might need to repeat this process.
- Open the door, remove the boiling water containers, and gently wipe or scrape off the remaining ice.
After defrosting your fridge, seize the opportunity to give it a good clean:
- Fill a plastic pail or large container with hot and soapy water.
- Rinse a soft cloth in the water and wipe down the interior, making sure you don’t forget the door seals.
- Remove the soap by wiping the interior with a wet cloth.
- Sanitize the fridge’s interior with a bleach solution. Combine two tablespoons of bleach for every quart of hot water, and immerse some paper towels into the solution. Wipe down the fridge interior and allow it to dry.
It’s not worth cleaning your fridge’s exterior because the packaging material and moving process will likely make it a little dirty.
3. Remove Any Loose Parts
Now that your fridge is clean and ice-free, you can start securing it for the move.
Remove any loose parts (such as glass shelves, racks, and removable containers), wrap them in bubble wrap and pack them separately. If you’re worried about finding them quickly when you arrive at the new house, place them back into the fridge after you’ve protected them. To prevent them from moving around, fill the fridge with styrofoam or crumpled-up paper.
Remember to remove any magnets on your fridge as these could get damaged in the move.
If your fridge has removable doors, it can be tempting to remove them to make your fridge lighter. However, you should avoid doing — the doors are an excellent protective shield against damage to the fridge’s interior. That being said, you may not have any choice but to remove them if your fridge doesn’t fit through the doorway.
You might feel like removing the loose parts because give you too much work for you when you arrive at your new home. In that case, leave them in place but secure them with tape, bubble wrap, and heavy styrofoam.
4. Secure the Doors Shut
When moving your fridge, the last thing you need is for the doors to swing open during transit.
If your fridge has a lock and you still have the key, lock the doors to keep them closed and store the key in a safe place.
For added peace of mind, secure the fridge doors closed. Below are some excellent ideas for keeping your fridge door closed during transit:
- Industrial velcro strips: These Velcro Brand Cinch Straps from Amazon are reusable, and you can use them for a wide range of things after moving.
- Buckled packing straps: Buckled packing straps, such as MAGARROW Utility Straps, come in a pack of four, are reusable, and you can adjust the length to suit your fridge.
- Heavy-duty packing tape: If you have some heavy-duty packing tape lying around, you could use it to keep your fridge doors shut. It would be best if you only used packing tape as a last resort. It can leave sticky residue on your fridge, which is challenging to remove.
5. Tape Up the Cord and Plug
It’s essential to tape up your fridge’s power cord and plug when moving as they can quickly get damaged. A loose power cord or plug is also a safety hazard and can cause the mover to trip.
You can do this using regular packaging tape and ensuring that the power cord and plug are securely taped against the back of the fridge. To avoid sticky residue on the power cord and plug, you might consider wrapping them with a soft foam sheet and then taping them in place.
6. Protect the Fridge With Packaging Material
Now that you’ve secured the power cord and plug, you can start wrapping the fridge with protective packaging material. This will prevent it from getting scratched or dented during the move and soften any blows.
You can do this in a few ways:
- Bubble wrap: Bubble wrap does an excellent job of protecting appliances. All you need to do is wrap a layer tightly around your fridge and tape the edges.
- Moving blankets: Moving companies use moving blankets to protect furniture and appliances, but you could use a thick blanket that you already have. After wrapping your fridge with the blanket, secure it with packing tape or packing straps.
- Newspaper and cardboard: If you have lots of old newspapers lying around, now is your chance to get rid of them. After wrapping the fridge with newspaper, create a more solid protective outer layer with some cardboard.
- Shrinkwrap: Although shrinkwrap won’t protect your fridge against heavy blows, it will protect it from unsightly scratches. If you use shrinkwrap, place some newspaper or cardboard underneath it.
- Styrofoam: Styrofoam is bulky but has excellent protective properties. If you think your fridge will fit through the door after being covered with styrofoam, consider using it.
7. Move It With a Dolly and Transport It Upright
It’s essential to transport a fridge upright at all times. The compressor contains cooling refrigerant, which needs to be kept in place.
Fridges are heavy, so moving them with a dolly is the easiest method. If you don’t have a dolly, you can rent one from a moving company. Try to rent a model that comes with a packing strap.
Here’s how to load your fridge onto a dolly:
- Enlist the help of a friend.
- Gently grab your fridge on both sides, and tilt it slightly toward you.
- Ask your friend to slide the dolly underneath the fridge.
- Gently lower the fridge onto the dolly and secure it in place with a packing strap.
- Press down on the bottom of the dolly with your foot to tilt it toward you.
- Slowly guide the dolly and the fridge to the moving truck. Avoid any sudden or jerking movements that could damage the fridge’s internal parts.
When your fridge arrives at the new house, let it rest for a few hours before plugging it in, as this allows any shifted fluids to settle in the correct place.
Packing a fridge securely for moving is time-consuming but ensures it arrives at your new house in one piece and scratch-free. Simply follow these steps:
Once you’ve cleared out your fridge and protected it with something like a blanket or bubble wrap, enlisting the help of a friend will make things much faster. Transporting it by hand is difficult and risky, so use a dolly if you can.