how to prepare large appliances for a move

How To Prepare Large Appliances For A Move

Prepare your appliances for moving day

cross country movers

How To Prepare Large Appliances For A Move

Once moving day arrives, any large appliances that you plan to move must be ready to be loaded onto the truck!

In order for appliances to be ready, they need to be prepared and cleaned. This way your appliances have a far greater chance of enduring the time that they are in transit, and working, once they arrive at your new home.

If you plan on hiring a moving company to transport your appliances, please note that no representative of that company can help you disconnect or reinstall your appliances. Many appliances have high voltage connections, and gas supplies that need to be handled by a specialist.

Product Manuals

Having the original product manual for all appliances can be a great source of information. It details how to disconnect the appliance, how to clean it, and how to protect the appliance during a move. If you have the originals, make sure they are kept safely where they can be accessed easily, both prior to moving day and once the items are ready for installation in the new home. Not to worry if you don’t have the owner’s manual, a simple online search will, in most cases provide the same information. Consider printing the documentation for future reference. Alternatively, contact the manufacturer and request a new product manual.

Prepare The Appliances

Unplug any appliances ahead of time. If you’re going to be moving any appliance that requires time to disconnect, such as a washing machine, dryer, dishwasher etc. give yourself enough time to detach all the parts. Refrigerators and freezers will need a few days to defrost, so make sure these get unplugged at least a few days before moving day.

Washers and dryers

  • Disconnect - The supply of all utility services must be shut off before you move the washer and dryer. Shut off the gas supply valve behind a gas dryer. On electric washers and dryers, switch off the breakers. Having a professional disconnect your appliances, and then install them at your new home is recommended.
  • Clean and dry – Before wrapping your appliances for the move, clean the housing of the appliance to remove any soap residue or lint dust. Leave the door of the washer and dryer open for at least 24 hours, allowing any moisture to dry and prevent mold from building up on the appliances while in transit.
  • Secure the drum – A lot of washers and dryer’s come with transit bolts, so that while the appliance is being moved and during transit, the drum is stationary and secure.


  • Disconnect – In some cases, simply unplugging the dishwasher unit from the wall outlet is all it will take. If however, you need to shut off the appliances circuit breaker at the electrical panel, consider hiring a professional technician to assist you. Before moving the dishwasher, shut off the supply valves. Once the water is off, drain the supply hoses and disconnect.
  • Clean and dry – Any remaining water in the dishwasher should be removed and dried completely. Wipe the unit of any residues, both inside and on the exterior. Leave the door open to dry for at least 24 hours to prevent mold from building up while the appliance is in transit. Wrap the hoses and then place them inside the dishwasher.

Stoves and ranges

  • Disconnect – For a gas range, it must be disconnected prior to moving day. Once the gas range arrives at its new destination, a qualified gas installer must check the gas supply and connect it to the gas line. If there are any openings, the technician should make sure they are sealed.
  • Clean and dry – Clean both the interior and exterior of your stove or range. Refer to the product manual for any special instructions. Make sure the appliance is completely dry before wrapping for the move. Anything that is detachable, such as knobs, grates, oven racks, etc. store in a separate box.

Refrigerators and freezers

  • Disconnect – A lot of modern freezers have a mechanism that can remove frost without you having to do anything. If however, you do not have a fridge with this mechanism, the best way to defrost the freezer, is to unplug it. Once you have emptied the contents of the refrigerator and freezer, begin defrosting. Remove any ice and excess moisture. At the bottom of the unit, there is a drain hose, before you begin defrosting, make sure you know where it is. If there is a lot of water overflowing, you might need to find an alternative way to channel the excess water.
  • Clean and dry – Before packing your fridge, you’ll want to give it a thorough clean. Glass shelves, and drawers should be soaked in warm water, this way any residue will be removed. The exterior of the unit should be wiped with a damp cloth. Leave the door open for at least 24 hours, so that it can dry.
  • Secure loose pieces – The glass shelves and any other loose or removable pieces should not stay in the fridge/freezer while in transit. Pack these separately.

With these simple tips to prepare your appliances, it’ll be like having new appliances all over again.

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Shannon L.
Shannon L.
Jan 5, 2024

Movers who packed my things up in NY were great. I was also very impressed with how clear everything was, how fast the move coordinator Eric was with getting back to me. Read more testimonials

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Feb 11, 2024

Terrific experience with Andres and his team. They were quick, efficient and very knowledgeable. Read more testimonials

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Ria B.
Jan 10, 2024

Everything went smoothly with CA-NY Express Movers. They packed up my apt in NYC in no time, put it into storage for me while we found our new house. Read more testimonials

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