How to Lift Heavy Appliances Safely (While Moving)

One of the most daunting parts of a house move is getting those heavy and awkward white goods from your home (where they may have stood for decades!) into the moving truck and back out at the other end.

Assuming you are not willing to pay extra for a full moving service, there is no getting away from it: those appliances will need to move and someone is going to have to work out how.

There is some good news though: providing you follow some simple precautions and invest in some good quality moving equipment, moving these heavy items can be a lot less hassle than you might have thought.

 

STOCK UP ON MOVING EQUIPMENT

The first thing you need to do is get all of the moving equipment and supplies you need on order. For moving appliances, you will need:

FOLLOW SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

Regardless of what equipment you use to move your appliances, you should follow common sense safety precautions to avoid injury or damage to your appliances or property:

  • Have a professional disconnect and cap of the gas supply to your stove before moving it.
  • Clear the entrance and exit of all obstacles (e.g. shoes, bags, coats, etc.) and secure all doors open where possible.
  • Lay down a floor protector and use furniture skates. If you haven’t got these, polyethylene sheeting is usually OK as a plan B. Thick cardboard can also be used in low traffic areas.
  • Cover all exposed corners and edges with corner/edge protectors. Bubble wrap can work as an alternative.
  • Never bend your back when lifting. Wheeled dollies and shoulder dollies are designed to minimize bending.
  • Enlist as much help as possible. Even those people who can’t lift can act as spotters or look after children and pets (i.e. keep them out of harm’s way!)

DO YOU REALLY NEED TO MOVE IT?

You’re almost set to move but there is one thing you should consider first: do you need to move the appliance at all? Even if you are not being charged by weight, heavy appliances will increase fuel consumption. If your appliances are old and/or you aren’t pleased with the way they work, it might be more economical to replace them at the other end.

Some movers have even carted appliances across states only to find that either there were already better versions in their new home or the old appliances didn’t fit or look right.

MOVING THREE COMMON HEAVY APPLIANCES

You’ve got all of your moving supplies and equipment, you’ve followed the safety guidelines and you have decided your appliances have to come with you to your new home.

Here is a basic process for moving a fridge freezer, stove and washing machine. Consult your user manuals for more specific advice: 

The fridge freezer

  • Use up as much frozen and perishable food as possible in the week leading up to the move.
  • No sooner than 24 hours before moving, unplug the fridge freezer and use up or donate all remaining frozen food.
  • Take out and pack any removable parts, wrapping anything fragile (e.g. glass shelves) in bubble wrap.
  • Thoroughly clean the inside of the appliance and allow to dry naturally.
  • Use plenty of tape to hold the door shut and tape the power cord to the back of the appliance.
  • Wrap in stretch wrap (optional).
  • Wrap in a moving blanket and secure with tape.
  • Use a wheeled or shoulder dolly to move the fridge freezer to the moving truck, taking care to keep it upright to minimize the risk of oil leakage.
  • When you get to your new home, leave the fridge freezer for three hours before plugging it back in. This will allow the oil to stabilize.
fridge freezer

The stove

  • Have a professional disconnect and cap of the gas supply.
  • Tape the power cord to the back of the appliance.
  • Take out and pack any removable parts, wrapping and covering anything fragile in bubble wrap.
  • Wrap in stretch wrap (optional).
  • Wrap in a moving blanket and secure with tape.
  • Use a wheeled or shoulder dolly to move the stove to the moving truck.
  • Arrange reconnection to the gas supply at the other end.
stove

The washing machine

  • Turn off the water supply and disconnect hoses.
  • Drain all water from the hoses and inside the machine.
  • Tape the power cord and hoses to the back of the appliance.
  • Clean the inside of the appliance with a soft, dry cloth.
  • If your machine has a filter, clean this.
  • Reinstall the moving rods/bolts that came with the machine. These stabilize the drum and protect it from damage during the move.
  • Wrap in stretch wrap (optional).
  • Wrap in a moving blanket and secure with tape.
  • Use a wheeled or shoulder dolly to move the washing machine to the moving truck.
washing-machine