As your midnight companion for savory treats and your morning go-to when you’re craving that first sip of OJ, your refrigerator is, no doubt, a treasured kitchen appliance in your household. And like all faithful companions, you’d never think of leaving it behind during a move. Even if you’re placing your refrigerator into personal storage for the time being, you’ll need to know how to move a fridge. 

Luckily, all that’s required when learning how to move a fridge without movers is some brains, a smidgen of brawn, and a dash of ambition. To make this move as efficient as your energy-saver fridge, read on for our how-to guide on all there is to know about how to move a refrigerator by yourself.

Step 1: Clean It Out

The first step to moving your refrigerator is to make it as spick and span as the day you bought it. This will make it easier to manage during your move, plus you’ll have a squeaky clean refrigerator to match your new home. 

To give your fridge a deep clean, do the following:

  • Remove all food and drink – From fresh produce to milk cartons to the leftover takeout you ordered last night, everything has to go. Anything that’s past or nearing its expiration date should be thrown away. You can use a cooler (or a few coolers) to store whatever you decide to keep during the move.
  • Remove parts – Any refrigerator parts that can be removed, such as drawers, shelves, and door components, should be.
  • Defrost freezer – If necessary, defrost your freezer. Doing so is as simple as unplugging the refrigerator and waiting for the ice to melt. Be sure to place towels around the bottom of the fridge to protect the floor.
  • Scrub it down – Using a rag or sponge, wipe the inside surfaces with hot, soapy water, then rinse. Dry the interior with a towel. You can also wash any drawers or shelves that you removed. 

Step 2: Disconnect Everything

If you did any defrosting, you should have already unplugged the refrigerator. However, before you move the fridge, you’ll also need to disconnect:

  • The water line – Disconnecting your fridge’s water line is the best way to avoid causing leaks or water damage before you move it. A plumber can help with this step.
  • Other wiring – If your fridge has smart features like interactive screens or other features like ice makers, there may be additional wiring that you’ll need to disconnect before moving it. 

Step 3: Remove The Doors

Depending on the size of your refrigerator—and the amount of space you have for moving it out of your home—it may be beneficial to remove the doors. Fortunately, doing so isn’t a difficult task:

  • Remove top hinge bracket – Using a screwdriver or socket wrench, remove the hinge bracket from the top of the refrigerator door. If your fridge has a French door design, do this for both doors.
  • Remove from bottom pivot – Next, lift the refrigerator door or doors from the bottom pivot point. Put them somewhere safe and out of the way until you’re ready to load them into the moving truck. 

Step 4: Take Protective Measures

When you arrive at your new home, the inside of your refrigerator will be sparkling clean. You can make sure the outsides match the insides by taking steps to protect your fridge from damage by using:

  • Moving blankets – Wrap your refrigerator in moving blankets. You can use moving straps, bungee cords, or packing tape to hold the moving blankets in place.
  • Shrink-wrap – Wrapping your refrigerator in protective shrink-wrap will keep it from incurring knicks and scratches during transport.

If you removed the doors, be sure to wrap those in either moving blankets or shrink-wrap as well. 

Step 5: Move The Refrigerator

Physically moving the refrigerator doesn’t take as much brute strength if you have the proper help and equipment. To make it easier, you should:  

  • Enlist help – If you’re wondering how to move a refrigerator by yourself, the answer is: don’t. Everything’s better with friends, so enlist one or two to give you a hand.
  • Use a dolly – There’s minimal heavy lifting involved when you use a dolly. Rent or purchase an appliance dolly that’s made for these kinds of heavy jobs to take some weight off your shoulders. A dolly could also protect you from floor damage that could occur during the moving process.

For added safety and protection, secure the fridge to the dolly using a moving strap.

Step 6: Load The Refrigerator Into The Truck

Once you’ve carefully loaded the refrigerator into the moving truck, you can remove it from the dolly. To keep it safe during transportation, remember to:

  • Secure it – Use a moving strap to secure the refrigerator to the truck walls so that it doesn’t roll around during your move.
  • Keep it upright – It’s okay to angle the fridge for a short time while you’re moving it but try to keep it in an upright position while it’s stationary. This will keep fluids from leaking out of the compressor. 

When you arrive at your destination, whether that’s your new home or a self storage unit, use the dolly to move the fridge from the truck to its new spot, but don’t fire it up right away. Your fridge needs to stay stationary for about two hours in its new spot for the fluids to level out. 

Find The Options You Need With Price Self Storage

Taking the right precautions will ensure that your refrigerator makes it safely to your destination so you can fill your new home with an endless array of delicious goodies for years to come.

If you plan on storing your refrigerator or any other large items like a pool table or piano between a move, you’ll need a storage unit that’s large enough to accommodate them. That’s where Price Self Storage comes in. View our storage size charts to see what storage options are right for you.

Our climate-controlled units rival your fridge—and take care of it, too. Plus, each of our units has keypad controlled access and is available on a month-to-month basis to store all of your large kitchen appliances—and even bigger ones, too, like vehicles, boats, and RVs. 

Live Uncluttered® with Price Self Storage.


Apartment Therapy. How to Move a Refrigerator Safely. 

Appliances Online. Seven Tips for Moving a Fridge.