Self Storage for Everyone

Home improvement

How to Move a Refrigerator (Safely)

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

  1. What tools you’ll need
  2. Step 1: Prepping the fridge for moving
  3. Step 2: Disconnecting the fridge freezer
  4. Step 3: How to move a fridge freezer
  5. Moving plan
  6. Getting the fridge freezer on the dolly
  7. How to move a fridge downstairs
  8. How to move a fridge without a dolly
  9. Step 4: How to transport a fridge freezer
  10. Step 5: After moving your fridge freezer
  11. Final thoughts

There’s no denying that moving a refrigerator yourself is challenging. They’re large and heavy items that you need to prepare properly for moving. We’ve put together a guide for you to ensure you have everything you need to safely transport your refrigerator without damaging it (or yourself) in the process.

What tools you’ll need

When moving a fridge freezer yourself without a professional service to help, it’s important you are fully equipped for the job. Fridge freezers are heavy items that can cause serious injury if not moved carefully. For that reason, the vital equipment we recommend you have include:

  • A minimum of two people
  • Measuring tape
  • Furniture sliders
  • Rope
  • Dolly (with straps)
  • Screwdriver
  • Blankets
  • Plank (or tail lift)
  • Tape (optional)

how to move a fridge freezer

Step 1: Prepping the fridge for moving

You need to prepare your fridge freezer a few days before you try and move it. The refrigerator needs to be completely empty for the move so in the lead up to moving day, make sure you empty the contents; you can either store your goods in an alternative place for the duration of the move or ensure that you have consumed everything before. If storing your food elsewhere, be sure that it can be there for a few days as you won’t be able to use your refrigerator immediately after moving.

Once your fridge freezer is empty, you will need to thoroughly clean it. Before you begin cleaning, make sure you have removed all the remaining ice; you can speed up this process by using a hairdryer and removing the excess water. Once the surfaces are clean, the best way to clean it is to use a combination of water and baking soda.

Most importantly, remember to turn your fridge freezer off at least a few hours before you move it.

cleaning a fridge freezer

Step 2: Disconnecting the fridge freezer

It’s always best to consult the user manual to know the precise way to disconnect your refrigerator as this can be different depending on the model. 

If your fridge freezer has a built in water cooler and ice machine, ensure you have also disconnected these (following the guidance in the manual) as these need to be disconnected separately to the main unit. If you forget, it may cause leakage during transit.

We recommend taping the refrigerator cord to the back of the fridge using tape and using rope to tie the door shut. Alternatively, you can remove the door and keep the screws together in one place. If transporting it a long distance you may want to remove the shelves (particularly if they are made of glass), however, you can tape them down.

Use the blankets to wrap the exterior of the fridge to protect it from scratches during the move.

disconnecting a fridge freezer

Step 3: How to move a fridge freezer

Moving plan

It’s best to create a moving plan before you actually begin moving your fridge freezer. The most important part of this is measuring your refrigerator and your doorways. Your moving plan will largely depend on the dimensions of your fridge freezer.

You may have to remove your doors or railings depending on the route you need to take and whether it can fit through the doors – it’s best to do these steps first including moving any other obstacles like furniture on the route so there is a smooth route to the vehicle. You can also consider an outdoor route if available.

Getting the fridge freezer on the dolly

getting a dolly to move a fridge

This is where it is very important to have a minimum of two people. To move a fridge onto a dolly, you need to tilt the fridge forward slightly and place furniture sliders beneath the back of the fridge where it’s raised.

Then, from the front of the fridge, push it side to side whilst guiding it forward. Be very carefully during this process and ensure that you are lifting safely to prevent injury.

Once it’s been moved forward slightly, have someone lift one side slightly and another slide the dolly beneath the other side of the fridge. 

It’s vital that you only put the fridge onto the dolly on its side

Once safely on the dolly, strap it on securely. Make sure the weight on the dolly is balanced before moving it.

How to move a fridge downstairs

To move the fridge once on the dolly down the stairs, tilt the fridge back on the dolly (no more than 45 degrees) with one person behind guiding it and the other beneath. This way is much better than attempting to push it down the stairs.


How to move a fridge without a dolly

If you don’t have a dolly then using furniture sliders will help you to get the fridge freezer in motion and then you will need to work together to shift it forward the whole way to the van using the side to side motion and gradually easing it forward.

Step 4: How to transport a fridge freezer

When you have successfully navigated the fridge freezer outside to the van, you will need to use a plank to lift it from the ground into the back of the van. Alternatively, if you are using a moving van such as a 3.5 tonne luton van it may have a built in tail lift which you can use to elevate it into the van.

Keep the fridge on the dolly whilst in the van as this will make it easier when you reach your destination to move it from the van into your new place. Use ropes to secure it once inside the van so its attached to the sides of the van and make sure you keep the fridge upright and not on its side.

Step 5: After moving your fridge freezer

food in fridge

When you have transported your fridge freezer in the van, follow the same instructions for moving it from the van into your new home. You need to wait a few hours after moving before you can turn it back on and a further 24-72 hours before putting food back in (this varies depending on which model of fridge you have – check your manual).

If at any point you stored your fridge freezer on its side during transport, ensure you keep it upright for double the length of time it was on its side before you plug it back in.

Final thoughts

Be prepared for the manual labour involved when moving your fridge freezer and make sure you have the equipment necessary. If there is at any point a risk of injury, then it’s best to leave it to the professionals to move it for you.

Whether you’re decluttering or decorating, storage units help to keep your space clean and tidy.

At Ready Steady Store, we have storage facilities across the UK including Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, Doncaster, Great Yarmouth, Eastleigh, Wokingham & Bournemouth. We offer security and peace of mind for all of our customers with 24-hour CCTV at all of our stores and all our stores offer parking, trolley and lifts to make moving your fridge into your unit easier.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Self Storage for Everyone