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How to Prepare Your Refrigerator for A Move

A few simple steps will help you save time and money

Appliances are not cheap, and your refrigerator is probably one of the more expensive appliances you own. If you prepare for a move and bring your refrigerator, you can complete a few easy steps to ensure it arrives ready to use in your new location.

1-3 Weeks Before Move

A few weeks before your moving day, begin to assess everything in your refrigerator and freezer. Plan your meals around the ingredients you find, and try not to add more than the essentials when you grocery shop. This will make it easier to clean out your refrigerator as moving day approaches.

1-2 Days Before Move

A day or two before you move, empty your refrigerator. Whether you’re moving across town or the country, you don’t want anything rattling around in there. Additionally, small amounts of food particles can grow moldy very quickly when sealed in an unplugged fridge. Clean every nook and cranny thoroughly with warm, soapy water to avoid being greeted by a smelly mess when you arrive in your new home. You can store unused food items in an insulated cooler with some ice or frozen water bottles. While you’re in the process of cleaning your refrigerator, remove the shelves and other accessories such as ice trays that could shift in transit. Alternatively, you could securely tape all drawers and loose parts, but you will run the risk of breakage or sticky residue from the tape.

The Day Before Your Move

Unplug your empty refrigerator the day before your move, and disconnect the water source for the ice-maker or water dispenser. Use some tape or zip ties to bundle all the cords and hoses together, so none get lost or disconnected during transport. It would help if you unplugged well in advance to allow time for the interior to defrost thoroughly, a process that could take as long as 8 hours. Wipe away all moisture and remove any ice build-up in the freezer. A dry interior will prevent leaking or mold growth during the move. If your transit lasts more than a day, consider taping a small bag of activated charcoal, like the kind used in fish tanks, inside your refrigerator. This would help eliminate any odors if you missed a spot in the cleaning process.

The Advantage of Moving Companies

A reliable moving company will guide you in preparing your refrigerator for transport to ensure it arrives at your new destination as good as new. Professionals know the proper way to move a refrigerator and load it securely on the truck. The configuration of your refrigerator, whether the freezer is on the side, top, or bottom, will dictate the best position for the trip. If it is necessary to move a refrigerator on its side, you must stand it upright for several hours before plugging it in at your new location. This prevents damage by allowing the refrigerant oil to flow back up into the compressor. It may take a few days for your refrigerator to return to its usable temperature.

Consider whether you may want to leave your refrigerator behind, especially if it’s an older model. Newer appliances are more energy-efficient, and installation is typically included when you make your purchase. One major deciding factor might be whether or not your refrigerator will fit through the doorways of your new home! Whatever you decide, the entire process will be more straightforward with the help of professional movers.