When you own a reliable fridge, you don’t want to let it go because you’re relocating to a new place. Moving a fridge from one location to the next isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. 

Whether you’ve hired a professional moving company or are doing it yourself, we have shared a step-by-step approach for moving a fridge so you two don’t have to part ways.

1. Measure the Refrigerator

Since refrigerator sizes differ between models and brands, you should note the measurements of your fridge so you can communicate its size to the moving company you hired. A refrigerator size chart may help identify the style of your fridge.

Use measuring tape against the appliance’s surface to measure its height (from floor to top), width (across the front), and depth (from the back to the front). Write your results on paper or record them on your phone for future reference.

Knowing the size of the fridge will help ensure there’s enough room for it and everything else on the truck and also that it fits into the new space.

2. Remove Food and Shelves

Remove every item from the fridge and freezer, including the ice. Put the ice into a large thermal container or cooler and transfer some of the items you want for short-term storage until you can get them into a suitable fridge. The fridge you are moving will be out of commission for at least a few days.

You can either dispose of the food, donate it, transport it safely, or refrigerate/freeze it as required.

Remove any shelves from the fridge and set them aside for cleaning later. Start soaking the shelves in warm, soapy water if there is caked-on grime.

3. Unplug and Defrost the Refrigerator

Unplug the refrigerator before cleaning the interior, or you will waste electricity by keeping the doors propped open. 

In addition to this, you must defrost the freezer. Here’s how to do that – 

  • Lay down towels or plastic to catch the water as it melts because the drip pan (more on that later) cannot catch all of the melting ice. 
  • Prop the door of the fridge and freezer open and allow the ice to melt.
  • Reaching the drainage line on the bottom of the fridge could direct it into a bucket for a more tidy defrosting process. 

A chest freezer may take several hours to defrost, and a freezer with thick ice buildup could take up to 24 hours. A newer freezer model may have an auto-defrost mode, which could help expedite the process.

4. Clean the Refrigerator

Use warm, soapy water and reusable clothes to clean the refrigerator inside and out, but don’t forget the top and bottom. 

If you can tip the fridge over safely, you can get under there. Underneath the fridge, you’ll find a spot you’ll want to clean before moving: the drip pan.

How to clean a refrigerator drip pan?

Your fridge’s drip pan catches moisture from defrosted ice, so it doesn’t create a puddle on the ground. You don’t have to wait to move before cleaning the drip pan. Housekeeping experts suggest cleaning the fridge drip pan every three months or as needed. 

Remember, not all drip pans are removable. For that information, refer to your owner’s guide. If yours has a drip pan but you can’t find it, shine a flashlight under the fridge, find the defrost drain line, and follow it to the drain opening where the pan resides.

5. Map Out a Path for Safe Fridge Moving

Map out the best path for moving the fridge from its original location to the outside. Then, you can load the refrigerator in a moving truck and relocate it to a new one. Follow these tips to map the path – 

  • Find the most direct route and avoid as many stairs, tight turns, or doorways as possible. In our experience as professional movers, a longer route with the fewest obstructions is better than a shorter one with significant hazards.
  • Ensure that the fridge will fit through the tightest places along the path. 
  • Pay attention to all doors, hallways, and stairwells the fridge must pass through. 
  • Be prepared to move furniture, rugs, and other obstacles to make the route passable and prevent damage. 
  • You may even need to remove a door from its hinges if the squeeze is too tight.

Now that the path is mapped, you can gather the tools to lift, move, and maneuver your fridge safely.

6. Gather Fridge Moving Tools and Equipment

Before you start moving your refrigerator, gathering the right tools and equipment is crucial to ensure a smooth and safe transition.

Here is the list of things you need to collect- 

Appliance Mover

An appliance mover is like a small, flat dolly that keeps the appliance upright, pivots on a dime, and practically floats through tight spaces.

Dolly & Moving Straps

You can use a dolly for smaller fridges, but tipping a large fridge onto a hand truck or dolly will require moving straps and bungee cords.


Gloves with a grippy material can help protect your hands and provide additional traction as you handle the fridge.

Once you feel prepared with all the necessary tools, it’s time to execute the tactical portion of the fridge move.

7. Pack & Move the Fridge

Packing and moving the fridge is the crucial part. So follow the steps below to safely load the refrigerator in the moving truck – 

  • Moving a fridge is a two-person job at minimum. Have a friend or professional movers assist you in moving the fridge to avoid injury or damage. Many moving companies provide moving and packing services together at affordable prices, so check for that as well. 
  • Use strong no-residue tape to secure the doors closed before moving.
  • Wrap the unit in protective moving blankets or towels to prevent damage to it or other parts of the home. Secure the blankets with packing tape or stretch wrap.
  • Slide the moving dolly under the fridge and secure it with straps or rope to keep it stable.
  • Now carefully tilt the dolly and move the fridge. Be mindful when you pass through doorways, corners, and stairs. You can use door stoppers to keep the doors open. 
  • When you load the fridge in a moving truck, ensure the fridge is upright and securely positioned to prevent tipping. Use additional straps to hold it in place during transit.

8. Plug the Fridge In and (Eventually) Refill It

Plug the fridge back in and wait for it to reach optimal temperature. Check to see if the internal thermostat hasn’t shifted during the move; otherwise, the optimal temperature should remain the same as when you unplugged the unit. before adding food. This process could take two hours to a full day to reach its optimal temperature.

How to Know If a Fridge Is Not Worth Moving?

If you’re renting your dwelling, your fridge likely stays with the rental unit as it belongs to your landlord. You’ll also leave the fridge behind if you’ve included significant appliances in the sale of your house or maybe if it doesn’t fit in the new space.

But there’s another critical reason to leave a fridge behind when you’re moving, and that’s when it’s just not worth it to move the refrigerator. It’s sad but true that fridges have a limited lifespan and eventually die. Here are some signs that a refrigerator isn’t worth moving-

  • Food is spoiling prematurely while inside.
  • Condensation regularly forms outside of the unit.
  • The fridge has structural cracks
  • Excessive frost buildup
  • It makes unusual noises
  • It’s over 10-15 years old

If your fridge is not worth moving, employ junk removal services to get rid of your old fridge.

Conclusion: Know When to Get Help Moving a Fridge

When moving a washer, dryer, or other large appliances, safety is paramount. We highly recommend hiring local movers to relocate these items.

Getting help moving a fridge is wise if you’re driving alone and don’t have any other help, if you’re pregnant, or if you have an injury or a condition that causes chronic pain.

Asking for help when moving to a new home is not something to be ashamed of. As we always say, work smarter, not harder.


Is my fridge worth moving?

There are a few reasons a fridge may not be worth moving. If it’s over ten years old and even slightly malfunctioning, it’s not worth moving. Nor is it worth moving if you are relocating long distance. Most people would leave a fridge in good condition behind and buy a new one closer to their destination.

How do I store a fridge?

Store your empty and unplugged fridge upright to prevent damage to the internal components or the coolant from leaking. Keep it in a dry, temperature-controlled environment, like a local storage facility, until it is ready to move into the new home.

How long should a fridge be unplugged before moving it?

Let a fridge and freezer defrost for at least 24 hours. Even if the unit melts faster than that, it’s best to unplug for at least a full day before moving. Remember to empty the food from the inside and use this opportunity to thoroughly clean it without wasting energy.

Can I lay a fridge down while transporting it?

Fridges should not be transported lying down, especially not on their front or back. This can damage Internal mechanisms or liquids can spill into areas they don’t belong. Instead, it’s ideal to use moving straps to secure the refrigerator to the side of the moving truck.