Moving furniture tends to be fairly straightforward, and packing up books and clothes present no real problems. When it comes to moving appliances, however, there is a little prep work that goes into the process. Because appliances are large and unwieldy, have water and electrical components, and tend to be fairly expensive, it’s always a good idea to know what approach to take during packing.
After emptying out the contents (including any ice in the icemaker), you’ll want to give the appliance time to reach room temperature. For a refrigerator, this means unplugging it at least 24 hours before the move; for a freezer, it’s typically best to unplug and defrost it around a week ahead of time. (If you have an icemaker or water feature, make sure you also disconnect any water lines at this time.)
Once the machine has had some time to rest, you’ll want to thoroughly clean and dry all the interior surfaces using a cleaner that will kill mildew and mold (baking soda is a good choice). On the exterior, make sure you dust and/or vacuum the coils in the back. You’ll also want to check for a defrost pan underneath and remove it at this time. Cleaner is always better, as this will prevent possible growth during transit.
Using a non-residue tape, you should also tape down all shelves and drawers (you can also remove these items and move them separately, should you wish it. Although some people tape the door shut, you may want to place a rolled-up towel in the door and tape it so that there is some room left for ventilation. This will help keep bacteria from growing in a contained atmosphere.
Like most other appliances, you’ll want to give your stove a good, deep clean before you move it. This may mean running the clean cycle or getting in there with cleanser and some elbow grease—either way, make sure that everything on top and inside sparkles like new.
If your oven is gas-powered, you may want to hire a third-party serviceperson to disconnect the line. If yours is electric, you should be able to simply unplug the appliance and make sure it’s no longer anchored to the wall.
All removable parts (including shelves, grates, drawers, and/or coils) should be either secured or taken out to be moved separately. Non-residue tape can be used to secure the door, or you can wrap the stove in a moving blanket or plastic wrap before transit.
Preparing Washing Machines/Dryers
Washing machines and dryers require different steps for moving, so make sure you read the owner’s manual before you do any disconnecting.
Before you unplug your washing machine, give it a thorough cleaning and run an empty load to clean out any lingering dirt. From there, you should disconnect it from the water line and allow all the water to fully drain. (We also suggest you open the washer door and let it air out for a bit before you move it.) Secure any loose parts, including the electrical cord, washer drum, and any trays that need to be removed. Like with your fridge, you may want to prevent mildew by propping the door open with a towel before you tape it down.
For the dryer, you may need to hire someone to disconnect the machine, especially if there is a gas connection or you don’t know how to handle the air vent connection. If you do DIY the process, always remove the vent hose and secure the door and any loose parts.