When it comes to packing and moving appliances, your refrigerator is a special case, as there are many more steps you need to do to get it ready. Not to mention that you have to avoid wasting any food.
Like other appliances, you may need professional help to disconnect your fridge. For example, if it has an ice maker, that means there’s a water supply connected to your plumbing.
We recommend calling a professional to help and ensuring the water supply is shut off before you start. Also, don’t forget to arrange for reconnection at your new home and ensure you have the right kind of hookup.
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Moving a refrigerator safely can be tricky. Due to that fact, we recommend hiring professional movers.
If you aren’t hiring local and long-distance professional movers and your fridge is coming along to your new home or the new office you’re moving to, here is a step-by-step guide to help make it all go smoothly.
1. Create A Moving Game Plan
Planning before you start packing should always be your first step. That way you can weed out any potential issues along the way.
The rest of the steps should answer any questions you have about moving and packing refrigerators.
2. Plan To Eat Everything Up
Plan grocery shopping and meals leading up to your big day, and make sure you buy so that you don’t end up throwing out good food. If needed, make arrangements with a neighbour to help polish off any leftovers.
You may not be able to go through all the food, but try to waste as little as possible. It may be helpful to live on take out for the last few days or plan pantry-only meals if you want to save money.
3. Avoid a Meltdown
Defrost your refrigerator a few days before you move – if you don’t, you’ll risk making a mess when it defrosts in transit. It may be that the first person to open the freezer compartment will get a tsunami as a reward.
While you’re defrosting, it’s a good time to unplug the refrigerator entirely. Move your fridge away from the wall carefully (here’s how to do it without scratching your floors- Spoiler: it involves a floor protector and an appliance dolly) to access the plug.
While you’re back there, vacuum up any dust that’s collected on the evaporator coils, as it reduces your furnace’s efficiency. Wipe down the sides of the fridge as well.
As mentioned above, if your fridge has cold water or an ice dispenser, have a professional shut off its water supply and disconnect any hoses. Allow the hoses to dry out and pack them separately. Ensure that the water reservoir is empty.
Allow the freezer to defrost. You can help speed up the process by removing chunks of ice once they’ve softened up.
Most modern frost-free fridges have an evaporator pan at the bottom. Empty it, give it a clean and allow it to dry.
4. Fresh and Clean
Make the time to clean the fridge thoroughly before you move. It’s so much better to start fresh with a clean fridge in your new home. Do you want to see that dried-up juice spill that’s been on the refrigerator door for months when you’re setting up in your new kitchen?
Clean the interior of your fridge entirely, using soapy water or other cleaners recommended in your owner’s manual.
Once you’re done, pack up all the removable bins and racks separately – you don’t want them moving around on you in the moving truck.
5. Protect the Power Supply
Before you move the fridge back, take extra precaution to coil the power cord and tape it safely out of the way to make sure it doesn’t get mangled. At this point, you may want to use a dolly to help you place furniture sliders under the feet- it will take less effort to move a refrigerator when moving day comes.
6. Dry It Out
Let it stand with the refrigerator doors open for at least 48 hours. This will allow it to dry out thoroughly. If you’re going to be storing your refrigerator for any length of time, let it dry for a week. It may sound silly, but doing this will help prevent mould and mildew from building up.
Another tip for long-term storage is to use a spacer to keep the door open just about an inch: this will allow air to circulate. Finally, to keep the fridge door from flopping around, use a bungee cord or moving strap to keep it closed in transit.
7. Protect the Look
Does your fridge have a special finish that won’t look better with scratches? To keep your fridge looking perfect, especially if it’s stainless steel that will show everything, consider wrapping it with a protective layer.
A professional moving pad is your best bet. If you’re moving the fridge yourself, use moving blankets and heavy plastic to help it arrive looking as good as it did when you left. Then, test it out to ensure it won’t come off once people start moving the fridge. Some use packing tape as an extra measure to keep the doors closed and parts in place.
8. Protect the Working Parts
If your refrigerator has an ice and water dispenser or other special electronics that need to be protected during the move, consult the manual to see if there are special procedures or equipment required for this.
In particular, it may have a compressor motor that needs to be bolted down. Also, check the owner’s manual for any guides on moving a refrigerator as there may be extra parts, amenities, or energy-efficient properties that have their own safety tips to keep in mind when moving your refrigerator.
Should You Leave Your Refrigerator Behind?
If you’re moving overseas, make the time to research what the power requirements are. For example, if your new home’s electrical voltage is 220 instead of 110, you may want to sell your current fridge and buy a new one when you arrive – plus your other electrical equipment as well.
Special adaptors can be purchased for important items if you want to take it with you; however, consider the cost of moving your fridge or appliances vs the cost of buying a new (more energy efficient) refrigerator. You can often recuperate some expenses by selling it used online, plus you save the headache of hoping it arrives safely.
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Moving DIY can be stressful and costly, whether it’s local or long distance. At Cassidy’s, we provide the people of Ottawa with movers they can trust. Request a quote for a local or long distance move today!