tips for moving in winter weather

How To Prepare Your Large Appliances For A Move

Reputable moving crews are protected by insurance policies, which often place restrictions on what workers can do during a move. For this reason, some professional moving companies require homeowners to clean, disassemble, or unplug large appliances prior to moving day. Call the moving company to determine whether it has any specific large-appliance procedures for you to follow. If not, use the basic guidelines below to prepare your large appliances for moving day. 

Washing Machine

Thoroughly clean the interior and exterior of your washing machine with a hot, soapy towel a few days before your move. Unplug the machine, and remove all of its hoses. Store the hoses in a separate box, labeling each one with a piece of heavy-duty tape so you remember what goes where. Tape the washing machine's door shut, and remove or tape down any knobs or slide-out trays on the appliance.

You must also remove the drum prior to moving day. A washing machine relies on a drum, typically made of metal, to agitate clothing during the wash cycle and drain excess water. If this drum becomes dislodged during a move, your washing machine will no longer work. The location and removal instructions are different for each washing machine model, so consult your instruction guide or contact the manufacturer to learn the correct way to remove and store the drum.


The preparation process for a dryer is similar to that of a washing machine. Clean the interior and exterior of the machine with a damp cloth, and remove the lint filter and tray. Unplug your dryer, then carefully remove the hose from the back and store it in a box with the lint tray and filter. Tape down the dryer's knobs and door.

If your dryer runs on natural gas, you may need help turning off the gas line that runs to the dryer. Contact your gas company for assistance with this process.


A refrigerator needs time to thoroughly defrost prior to a move, so unplug it at least 24 hours before your moving crew arrives. Wipe down shelves and compartments with a hot, damp towel and a few squirts of dish soap. Make sure to wait until your refrigerator is defrosted prior to cleaning, as your damp cloth may freeze due to the cold interior temperature if you attempt to clean prior to unplugging the appliance.

Disconnect and drain the waterline for your ice maker according to the instructions in the refrigerator's instruction manual. Remove all shelves and compartments, and tape the door shut. Use heavy-duty tape to secure the plug to the side or bottom of the refrigerator.

Do not attempt to transport large appliances from your home to a moving truck without assistance from an insured moving team, as heavy items may topple over and injure you or a loved one. For additional tips on pre-move appliance preparation or to schedule a move-out date, contact an experienced moving company today. For more information, consider sites like