How to Prepare Large Appliances for Your Move

If you’ve spent money on valuable appliances, you shouldn’t have to leave them behind when you move. Luckily, as long as you learn the proper way to prepare appliances for relocation, nothing can stop you from enjoying their use in your new location.

Below, you’ll find the necessary steps to prepare any large household appliance for travel. Whether you plan to store the appliance or immediately transfer it to your new home, use these tips to successfully relocate your washing machine, dryer, or refrigerator.

Washing Machine

Before you do anything, clean your appliance inside and out. Use a cloth and all-purpose cleaner to wipe off the exterior of the machine. Next, gently clean out the drum and lint filter with warm water. Leave the lid open to let any moisture evaporate.

Many moving companies offer safe loading, storage, and transit of large items like a clothes washer. A moving company won’t accept responsibility for water damage that may occur while disconnecting an old appliance, so you should disconnect it before the company arrives.

Older appliances may have corroded shutoff valves that won’t turn off completely. This corrosion often leads to flooding. Keep your appliances up-to-date, and store the owner’s manual in a safe and accessible place.

If you find damage, read your owner’s manual to find out how to fix the drum or tub. Repairs will keep your machine from having problems upon reinstallation. Make sure to turn off the water, release pressure from the hoses, and drain out any liquids. Once disconnected and unplugged, you can proceed to packing and loading.


Remove any debris from inside the machine, including emptying the lint trap and lint hose. Use a gentle cleanser to wipe out the inside and exterior, ensuring a smooth and clean surface.

If your dryer runs off of natural gas, make sure to get the gas shut off the day before you move. A professional should handle this step in the process. Next, unplug your dryer. Make sure to disconnect and remove any hoses. If your dryer has a moveable drum, secure it. Your dryer is now ready to move.


Although you might think it’s easier to transport all your food items in the fridge, this strategy can cause major problems. No moving company can guarantee that all your food items will stay at the proper temperature while in transit.

Furthermore, refrigerator units aren’t designed as shipping containers. When moved and stored at different angles, the storage shelves may crack and break, causing food to spill if stored inside. Remove all food from your refrigerator and freezer unit to avoid mold, odor, and other types of damage.

After you’ve removed all food items, clean the inside with a light detergent and soft rag. Make sure to mop up any spills and remove all food bits from the entire surface.

Depending on whether you have a water dispenser, you’ll likely need to disconnect the water line. Turn off any water sources and empty the ice maker/water taps. Make sure to also empty and clean out the water reservoir.

Older models may require further securing with the motor or compressor. Luckily, most modern units keep the compressor in a sealed compartment.

Packing and Loading

After you clean and service everything, you still need a way to safely move your appliances. Tools such as furniture sliders, bungee cords, and a dolly are all useful. Make sure you have people to assist you when you move any of the above appliances as well.

As for loading, don’t take any chances. Use only an industry-approved truck ramp. If you’re uncomfortable with any or all the above tips, contact Wheaton Moving & Storage today at 317-842-8111 and we’ll be happy to arrange these services for you!