Preparing Large Appliances For A Move

Man Cleaning OvenLarge appliances make our lives exponentially easier–until it’s time to move. Though things like your washing machine probably aren’t what you think of first when you start packing, it’s important to make plans for your appliances if you want to take them on your move. A moving company can help; however, if you’re doing it yourself, keep this information in mind:

General Tips

  • Your move will be easier and safer if you recruit a second person to help.
  • Looping electrical cords and attaching or tucking them into the backs of appliances can keep them out of the way.
  • A basic tool set along with a trolley with security straps will make moving appliances much easier.
  • Appliance dealers or owner’s manuals can give you more details for moving your specific appliances, but below are general overviews for different types of appliances.


Before you move your cooker, thoroughly clean it and remove all racks, stored utensils and pans, and drawers. If it’s a gas cooker, shut off the gas line, which is typically behind the cooker; it may be advisable to call your gas company for this step. For electric cookers, turn off power to the kitchen through your circuit breaker, and then unplug the oven.

Be careful when moving the cooker from the wall, as dragging it on the floor may damage the floor’s finish. One technique to prevent this is to use a crowbar to lift the cooker and place laminate barriers under each foot.

Once the cooker is ready to move safely, slide it away from the wall and team lift it onto a trolley. Secure it with straps and wheel it to where it needs to go.


Refrigerators take possibly the most prep work of all appliances. A day or two before you plan to move it, get all the food out of your fridge, disconnect the fridge, and clean it. If the freezer has lots of frost, open the freezer and let it defrost; placing towels around the bottom of the freezer can prevent water from dripping all over the place. Some fridges have water lines attached to them; you’ll need to disconnect these as well, making sure the water flow is shut off before you do so.

Once it’s dried out and clean, secure the doors shut with a strap. Now that the fridge is prepped, you can move it with a helper. Furniture sliders and a trolly may be of use here. Moving the fridge on its side or back is typically not the best for it, so keep it upright unless you find information on your specific model that says otherwise.


Like stoves, dishwashers are best moved when totally empty. You should also cut off power to the kitchen as well as the dishwasher’s water supply before attempting to move a dishwasher. Next, disconnect the dishwasher’s electrical and water lines; check your washer’s specific manual for help on how to do this step, or look at SFGate’s guide on the subject for in-depth detail. Have towels on hand to soak up any water that was left in the lines.

To get it out, you will need to disconnect the dishwasher from the counter it’s connected to. There should be two metal connections inside the dishwasher where it screws into the counter. Unscrew these to free the dishwasher. From there, you (preferably with a helper) can remove the dishwasher and load it onto a trolley.

Washers and Dryers

You’ll need to disconnect these appliances from the wall first. Aside from power cords, the dryer will have a large hose through which air passes, and the washer will have a water supply hose and a drain hose. Turn off the washer’s water supply. Next, turn on its warm water for 30 seconds to drain the supply hose and relieve pressure.

From there, it’s like most other large appliances: Unhook them from a wall, load them on a dolly, and cart them off.

Moving these objects may seem daunting, but with some help and planning, they’re not overwhelming. If you find yourself worried about moving any of these items, though, don’t hesitate to call a moving company or other expert for help.