Organizing Your Storage Unit

Tips For A Successful Move: Cleaning Out, Defrosting And Moving The Refrigerator

Americans are constantly on the move. 14.19% of Americans move annually whether it be to a different country, state, city or even down the block. If you are planning on moving to a new location that is over a 30-minute drive away from where you are currently residing, you will need to defrost your refrigerator if you plan on bringing it with you. Defrosting a refrigerator will prevent water leakages on other items during the move, which can result in water damage. Most experts recommend starting early to prevent any stress-induced mania on the day of the move. 

Eat or Dump All The Food Starting a Week Before the Move

According to data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household spends approximately $6,443 for groceries annually. That's why most refrigerators are almost always stocked. To prevent having to dump everything that's in the fridge, stop buying groceries a week or two before the move and start trying to eat all of the leftovers or other junk that is sitting in the fridge. 

All food items should be removed prior to the trip, as they may spoil, especially if the temperature rises above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Once food has been exposed to those temperatures for over 2 hours, it either needs to be eaten, cooked or dumped. Food items should also be removed because they may carry condensation or water that can easily leak out during the move. Once the food is cleared of all items, you can take the time to clean it if you want. There's nothing better than having a clean refrigerator when you move into your new place.

Defrost the Refrigerator a Day Prior

Defrost the refrigerator a day prior by unplugging it approximately 24 hours before the move. This will give the ice in the refrigerator and the freezer ample time to thaw. This can take some time depending on numerous factors. Once your refrigerator and freezer is defrosted, you should consider wiping it dry with a towel to prevent any excess water from pooling and causing a water leak during the move.

If you had no idea that you had to defrost the refrigerator and don't have a lot of time left, you can expedite the entire process by unplugging the refrigerator and placing a huge bowl of hot water inside. The hot water will increase the internal temperature within the refrigerator and freezer causing any ice to melt off even quicker. Although you may be tempted to grab a tool and chip off the ice yourself, avoid doing so at all costs, as a wrong move can easily damage the inside of the refrigerator. You're better off waiting for all of the ice to melt.

Tips for the Moving Day

Last but not least, when it's finally the moving day, you want to make sure that you move the refrigerator last. In addition, place towels underneath and around the refrigerator in order to make sure that any water leakages that do happen will be absorbed by the towel, and will not likely leak to the surrounding area. You also want to make sure that the refrigerator is moved in a standing up, or vertical, position. Although it is tempting, do not lay the refrigerator flat, or in a horizontal position. This can result in engine oil leakage, and can also cause damage to the circuits. 

Once you have successfully moved into your new place, you want to wait for a couple hours before you reconnect the refrigerator. By waiting for a few hours, the gas and fluids within the refrigerator will have time to stabilize. 


Your refrigerator is probably one of the most important household appliances that you have in your kitchen, so it is important that you make an effort to keep it in the best condition possible. Make sure that you hire a professional moving company that have the right equipment and sufficient manpower to move your refrigerator without damaging it.