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How to Move a Refrigerator Upstairs


Moving a refrigerator upstairs is not an easy job. As a matter of fact, depending on the size of the refrigerator, you may need two or three people to help you. To make the task easier, use a dolly and keep the refrigerator at an angle of 45-degrees from the ground while moving it upstairs. Do not rush and take one step at a time to avoid serious injuries.

It may seem like a daunting task to move a refrigerator upstairs due to its sheer size and weight. However, if you follow the steps we’ve laid out, you will be able to do so much more safely and effectively.


How to Prepare a Fridge for Moving

As mentioned, the fridge can be a very difficult appliance to shift, never mind up a flight of stairs. Therefore, you must take the necessary precautions to save yourself, or your fridge from any unnecessary damage in the process.

Here are a few factors for you to consider before thinking of moving your appliance.

Measure The Route

Firstly, you need to determine the dimensions of the route your refrigerator is going to take; this not only means measuring the doorway of your kitchen. Instead, you must figure out the dimensions of the route that your refrigerator will take to move to its new location. Therefore, walk the route and measure each doorway and hallway that comes in the way and compare it to your appliances specifications,

Always measure the doorways with the doors wide open and use a measuring tape, don’t make any assumptions.

Once you have compared the route measurements, you will know at exactly what angle you need to lay the fridge so that you can move it as easily as possible. This will also allow you to determine whether or not you need to take an alternate route.

Defrost your Fridge 24 Hours before Moving

Unlike other kitchen appliances, you cannot simply unplug your fridge and move it upstairs by yourself. As an old refrigerator can weigh around 250lbs, whereas a newer fridge can weigh anywhere between 170-180lbs. Now imagine how heavy it will become with all the food and other contents.

So, first you should empty your fridge before moving it. After this, the next step is to defrost the fridge to rid it of any excess build up of ice and frost. Also, don’t forget to unplug the fridge before cleaning it.

Once you have emptied your refrigerator, go ahead and clean all its surfaces. Now defrost the fridge; make sure to leave the doors open for at least 24 hours as it will cause any remaining moisture to evaporate.

Pack your Refrigerator Correctly

Packing your refrigerator the right way is an important step before moving; otherwise, it may cause things to slide inside it, and could also result in the doors to open on transit. For instance, coil the power cords of the fridge and secure them to it using packing tape. You can also tape the cords directly and wrap them in plastic wraps.

Do not forget to seal and shut the doors of your fridge. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; I’d suggest using bubble wrap, blankets, or any other material to cover the fridge up before moving it.

Planning your Moving Route

When the fridge is ready for the move, it’s time to follow a few more steps to make the process easier. You have to map the route, so you don’t get stuck anywhere in the middle of your operation. Aim for a “clear path.”

Measure your Fridge

Find out the correct measurements of your fridge, including its height and width. It will help you determine the right angle to move the fridge. If you don’t take note of the measurements, you may be setting yourself up for a fail.

Measure the Route (doors, hallways, stairs)

As we’ve highlighted previously, taking measurements of the route are highly important when moving your fridge upstairs. You must measure the hallways, doorways, and stairs to determine the best route of travel.

Compare these measurements to your fridge; which you’re likely to find within the fridge manual or via the manufacturers website.

Clear the Route

You should consider moving the obstacles in the way to make the move as easy as possible and to prevent colliding with something and damaging your fridge. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to clear the entire route from point A to point B to make the process easier.

Use a Dolly

The final step is to consider using a dolly whether that’s renting one or getting someone to do it for you. It’s much easier than trying to carry or slide your fridge on a piece of carpet or along a wood floor.

An easy way to do this is to ask someone to tip the fridge slightly while you slide the dolly underneath one side of the fridge. However, make sure not to push the dolly onto the back or front side of the refrigerator and ensure the straps are tight, keeping the fridge in the right position before attempting to move it.

How to Protect your Floor Whilst Moving your Refrigerator

Refrigerators are of course tall and very heavy appliances, and they can easily damage the floor during the moving process. A common mistake people make while moving furniture is to push it to the desired location without providing proper floor protection. To avoid this, consider using the following appliances to protect your floors.

Use a dolly

As mentuined, using an appliance dolly will keep your floor safe, as well as make it possible for one person to move, as a dolly has rubber wheels that run on the floor. You can rent an appliance dolly or buy one yourself from a home appliance store.

Furniture sliders

Furniture sliders are very useful when moving furniture.

All you have to do is tilt the fridge to one side and place the sliders under the castors. Now pull the refrigerator slowly to avoid scratching the floor during the moving process.


Q1. Can you lay a refrigerator down when moving it?

No! If you were to lay the refrigerator down during the moving process, its cooling mechanism may get damaged due to the weight of the fridge.

However, it can also cause the oil in the compressor unit to enter the cooling coils. However, if you can’t avoid this allow for the refrigerant to flow back into the compressor unit before switching it back on. Otherwise, it will cause damage to the cooling mechanism.

Q2. How long do you let a refrigerator sit after moving?

It is important to let the refrigerator settle before plugging it or turning it on just after moving it upstairs. It also depends on how you transported the fridge.

When you place the fridge to its new place in the upright position, the oil will need at least 3 hours to make its way back into the compressor. So, be sure not to turn your refrigerator on immediately.

Final Thoughts

Moving a fridge is a tough job and requires you to follow some steps to ensure you do so safely and effectively. Therefore I hope I’ve provided you with enough information in order for you to do so.

However, if you still not sure how to move your refrigerator or you’re simply unable to, I’d suggest hiring a professional mover. They have experience in dealing with large, heavy appliances.

How to Move a Refrigerator Upstairs 1

Daniel Laney

Daniel Laney spent fourteen years working on appliances, such as refrigerators, and created Refrigerator Planet to give you an applicable, working knowledge on how to purchase, repair, and maintain your refrigerator.

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