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How To Prepare Major Appliances for Your Move

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Moving companies will insist that all major appliances are prepared before they arrive and most offer a professional service that will prepare major appliances for you for a fee. While it may seem pretty simple to prepare your appliances for moving, if it isn't done correctly, you may find units not working when they arrive at the new destination. If you decide to prepare them yourself, follow this step-by-step guide so they're ready to go when you are.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: As required.

Here's How:

  1. For all major appliances, contact the dealer for specific move instructions or refer to the owner's manual if you have a copy. If you don't, go to Appliance411.com, a great place to find or order an owner's manual.

  2. The refrigerator should be unplugged at least 24 hours prior to the move. Dispose of all perishables. Once the freezer unit has defrosted, thoroughly clean and dry all surfaces and removable containers to prevent mildew and odors from forming. Remove all racks or secure them so they don't shift during the move. If your unit has an ice maker, disconnect the waterline and make sure it's completely drained.

  3. The stove should be thoroughly cleaned inside and out with the racks removed or securely fastened. If you have a gas stove, make sure the gas is turned off before you start disconnecting the line and be very careful. Gas lines can be fragile and need special handling. If you're unsure, call your gas company and ask for help. Tape down the knobs and elements to ensure no parts are lost during the move.

  4. Dishwasher units need to be emptied and the utensil holder/rack removed and packed separately. Tape the door closed.

  5. Washer and dryer units need special handling. It's a good idea to consult the owner's manual or contact the manufacturer. Remove all hoses and pack separately in a box. Fill the empty spaces in the box with packing popcorn or cushioning objects (towels/pillows). For the washer, you'll need to secure the drum. Again, consult the manual for thorough instructions.

  6. For all appliances, unplug each unit and secure the plug to the back using packing tape. Don't let cords dangle or come loose.

  7. For all appliances, if you choose, pack lightweight, unbreakable items in empty caverns, such as in the refrigerator crisper or the oven. Blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, chair cushions or clothing can be stored and moved this way. Simply protect the items by wrapping them in a plastic garbage bag.

  8. Tape all doors and lids shut.

What You Need

  • Hot water and household cleanser
  • Cleaning gloves
  • Packing Tape
Related Video
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