4-door refrigerator in a modern kitchen

How to move a refrigerator

Do you need to relocate your fridge or get behind it? Or maybe you’re moving and love it too much to leave it behind. Whatever your reason for moving a refrigerator, these steps will help you and a partner accomplish the task safely and effectively. However, keep in mind that refrigerators can weigh up to around 400 pounds, so you may choose to hire movers or upgrade to a new model instead. Read on to learn more about how to move and transport a refrigerator.

Side-by-side stainless steel refrigerator in a cutout Side-by-side stainless steel refrigerator in a cutout

Can I move my fridge by myself?

No. Refrigerators are heavy and should never be moved alone. You’ll need another person as well as a dolly and straps to move and transport it safely. If you are simply moving it away from the wall or to another room, it’s still recommended to have assistance. See detailed, step-by-step instructions for moving your fridge below.

Moving a refrigerator: a step by step guide

Before you begin, check your refrigerator’s owner’s manual for model-specific instructions on how to move your refrigerator.

Tools and supplies
  • Measuring tape
  • Cardboard or hardboard
  • Tape, plastic wrap or bungee cords
  • Moving blankets (optional)
  • Screwdriver (optional)
  • Crowbar (optional)
  • Ratchet straps
  • Dolly
Measuring tape icon

Step 1: Map out a path

If you’re moving your fridge to a new home or a different room, make sure it will fit through all the hallways and doorways. Measure the height, width and depth of your refrigerator and compare that with the path it will take to its final destination. Cover the floors of the path with cardboard or hardboard to protect them. If your fridge is too big, consult the Owner’s Manual for how to remove the doors. 

Fruits and vegetables icon

Step 2: Remove food and clean

Store food you plan to keep in a cooler for the move, then give your fridge a thorough clean to keep stuck-on foods from causing unpleasant odors while the fridge is unplugged. 

Refrigerator drawer icon

Step 3: Remove shelving

Take out any removable shelves and bins, then wrap and pack them separately to avoid damage during transport. 

Weight panel warning that cautions against moving heavy objects without assistance Weight panel warning that cautions against moving heavy objects without assistance
Plug icon

Step 4: Disconnect and defrost

Gently slide the refrigerator forward to unplug the unit and disconnect any water lines. Follow the instructions for disconnection from your refrigerator’s manual closely, and use a towel to soak up as much water as you can to avoid leaking from the unit during the move. Then secure the power cord to the unit with tape.
Tape icon

Step 5: Slide out and cover

With the help of another person, tilt the fridge backward slightly to apply furniture sliders underneath the feet, or gently rock the fridge side-to-side to “walk” it forward.


Use stretch tape to secure the refrigerator and freezer doors closed, then cover the fridge with a moving blanket and wrap it with tape or rope. This helps to prevent damage to the unit and the walls on its way out.

Weight panel warning that cautions against moving heavy objects without assistance Weight panel warning that cautions against moving heavy objects without assistance
Fridge icon with arrows on the sides

Step 6: Load

With two or more people, tilt the fridge slightly to the side and slide a hand truck underneath (do not tilt the fridge forward onto a dolly or hand truck to prevent damage).

45 degree arrows

Step 7: Secure and transport

Use straps to secure the refrigerator tightly to the hand truck, then tip the hand truck back to no more than a 45-degree angle. Be sure to enlist help when moving around corners, through doorways, and up or down stairs.

Tilting fridge icon

Step 8: Lay down and wait

If you need to lay down the refrigerator, make sure it is on its side, not the front or back. If the unit has to be laid down (not upright) for an extended period of time, wait 8 hours before restarting to allow the system to reset.

Mother and daughter cooking at the dining table in a large kitchen Mother and daughter cooking at the dining table in a large kitchen

Can you lay a refrigerator down to transport it?

Never lay a refrigerator on its front or back as it could cause damage. It is advised to strap it standing upright to the side of a moving truck or other tall truck. If the refrigerator must be laid down, only do so on the left or right side. Once the product is uprighted after transporting it, make sure to wait at least 8 hours before restarting and operating it. This will give time for the system to reset.

How do you move a refrigerator without a dolly?

You should never move a refrigerator without a dolly, unless you are simply moving it out from its cutout. A dolly is necessary to get proper leverage and control over this very heavy appliance. Since you likely already need a moving truck to transport the refrigerator, make sure they include a dolly with the rental.

4-door refrigerator in a bright white kitchen 4-door refrigerator in a bright white kitchen

Can you transport a refrigerator in a pickup truck?

A taller truck that allows you to strap the fridge upright to the side is your best option for keeping the fridge intact throughout its journey.

Is it time for a new refrigerator?

Refrigerators play a big part in our day-to-day routines. If you’re moving homes, consider starting fresh in your new place. Upgrading can help you take advantage of the latest features or pick the ideal size, style and finish for your new kitchen. Will you need more storage space for your new chapter? Maybe your family can benefit from new fingerprint resistant technology or a convenient French door layout. Plus, leaving behind your old fridge could help add resale value to the home.

Explore Whirlpool® refrigerators to find out what type of features are available to best match your home’s layout and your family’s needs. Or let Whirlpool brand guide you to the right fridge for your family. Refrigerators are heavy and moving is stressful, so you may want to weigh all your options when deciding if moving a refrigerator is worth it. Learn more tips for moving heavy appliances.

 Shop Whirlpool® refrigerators

Select Whirlpool® refrigerators offer purposeful organization spaces like Tiered Freezer Storage and Adjustable Gallon Door Bins as well as convenient innovations like LED lighting, Dual Cooling and In-Door-Ice® Storage. Browse these models or use the refrigerator finder to narrow down your options.

Get more refrigerator know-how

Gold home heartbeat logo over image of a tablet with Whirlpool blog page displayed in the background Gold home heartbeat logo over image of a tablet with Whirlpool blog page displayed in the background

home heartbeat

Ready for more tips, home hacks and appliance guides?

Was this article helpful? Pass it on