Sometimes a refrigerator needs to come out because a replacement is needed.
Other times, it is essential to remove a refrigerator because it needs to be repaired.
Many refrigerators are built into very tight spaces, and it can be difficult to get them out.
Typically, with a bit of knowledge and understanding, you can learn what it takes to move a refrigerator out of a tight space.
We have put together a step-by-step guide to help you in this process.
Remember that the needs of every home are going to be a bit different.
You cannot expect that the process of removing a refrigerator from a tight space is always going to work for you, but it is certainly worth a shot.
How To Move A Refrigerator Out Of A Tight Space (Step-By-Step)
To ensure that you are able to move your refrigerator out of a tight space, you will need to collect some supplies and prepare for this process.
If you have an extra set of hands to help you get this project done, you will be much better off.
If you are working on this project alone, you may struggle with the overall weight and size of the refrigerator.
Always remember that safety is a major consideration with a project like this.
If you are not careful, you can end up hurting yourself or doing damage in your kitchen.
Pay close attention to any of the safety tips we give throughout our guide.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
Before you start trying to get your refrigerator out of a tight spot, you should gather the supplies that you are going to need.
In order to move the refrigerator, you are going to need to think about the overall weight of the refrigerator, the type, and the way that it is positioned in the kitchen.
One of the most essential supplies that you will need is a large moving dolly.
With the moving dolly, you need to choose something that is capable of handling the weight of a refrigerator.
These are going to be more industrial-type dollies that have more stability than a standard dolly.
In addition to the dolly itself, you will need moving straps to ensure that you can attach the refrigerator to the dolly.
The last thing you need is for something to tip and fall as soon as you finally manage to get it out of its spot.
When purchasing the supplies for your refrigerator removal, it may be helpful to know the make, model, and size of the overall unit.
The moving dollies all have different weight capacities, and this information could help ensure that you get something that will accommodate your needs.
Here are a few of the other supplies that you will likely need for getting your refrigerator out of a tight space…
- Tape measure
- Moving dolly
- Moving blankets
- Cleaning supplies
- Basic tools/screwdriver, etc.
Step 2: Clean And Empty
Sometimes you may be looking to move your refrigerator just to clean behind it.
Other times, you are moving it because you have a new refrigerator to put in.
The refrigerator itself is heavy, and one of the best ways to deal with this weight is to empty what is in the refrigerator.
Think about the weight involved with all those jars of pickles you keep in the door of your fridge.
If you are having trouble with the fridge and getting it out of a tight space, sometimes reducing the overall weight can make a big difference.
While you are at it, you may as well clean the refrigerator.
This is a good time to clean those areas that are hard to reach.
When trying to get into the tight spaces to remove the refrigerator, it is also a good idea to have it be dust and debris-free.
You will have an easier time finding that clearance to help move the fridge out.
Now is a great time to get rid of any expired food and clear out old refrigerator contents.
Step 3: Furniture Movers
Next, you will need to cut the power to the refrigerator.
This is going to take you getting to the plug and unplugging it.
If you are having a hard time with the tight space issue, you will need to look at how the refrigerator was installed.
Sometimes there is a panel on the top part of the refrigerator or the bottom that can be removed.
These panels are often going to provide you with a place to grab with your hand and start to get some leverage on the refrigerator.
The most important thing for homeowners to remember is that the refrigerator will move quite easily as long as it has clearance.
If you can ensure that all areas around the fridge are not touching the cabinetry or the walls, it should slide out easily.
One of the best ways to remove the refrigerator is to lift the front of it and place it on furniture movers.
Now, to do this, you will have to ensure that you have enough clearance at the top of the refrigerator.
The movers are typically only going to be about an inch thick.
If you have an inch of space above the fridge and can get the front part of it onto the movers, then you will have no issues getting the refrigerator to slide out.
The movers are simple products that can make the moving of a refrigerator out of a tight spot quite a bit easier.
You can wiggle the refrigerator a bit to ensure that it can move out of its spot.
In addition, this will make it easier to see if there are any issues with the clearance and the overall ability to slide it out.
This is partly why we encourage you to empty the refrigerator.
You have to shake it a little to have it lift out of the tight spot, so if you have not been able to empty it yet, the overall result may be broken food containers.
Step 4: Unplug It
Now that you have gotten the front end of the fridge on the movers, you should be able to pull it straight out.
When the refrigerator is pulled straight out, you will want to unplug it.
For those who are having a really hard time moving the refrigerator and feel as though they have to do a lot of shaking and moving around, it is smart to turn the power off to the fridge during this process.
The last thing you want to do is cause more damage to the fridge while simply trying to pull it out.
Remember that as soon as you unplug the refrigerator or cut off power to it, you will have to deal with the fact that it will defrost.
Of course, if your project just takes a few minutes, this will not be a problem.
However, the longer you leave your refrigerator unplugged, the more you have to prepare for the water that could drain from inside the fridge to the outside.
Many people have ruined the wood floors in their homes, not realizing that the defrost was going to be such a big part of this process.
Step 5: Making Removal Easy
Now that you have your fridge out, it is time to maneuver it through the rest of your tight space.
This is where you have to be very careful about how you are turning and moving the fridge so that you can be sure it ends up in the right place without any damage.
The one thing that you should always remember is, to get the fridge to be as light as possible, we recommend removing all of the drawers and shelves once you have the fridge pulled out.
When it comes time to move the fridge, having it completely empty is going to help considerably.
Taking a picture of the inside of the refrigerator can be an excellent way to ensure that you know how to put it back together.
We also like to take a bit of tape and close the doors and the freezer.
If you don’t do this, you could have something swing open as you are moving your refrigerator through the tight spaces.
Remember that many times, when you purchase a new refrigerator, the company will agree to come in and remove the old one for a very small fee.
Think about this option before deciding to do this all on your own.
We also like to wrap the cord when starting to move the refrigerator.
Getting the cord trapped or stuck can cause damage to it and make the refrigerator unusable.
Step 6: Using The Dolly
Now that you have the refrigerator pulled out and unplugged, it is time to use the dolly to start moving it around the home.
This is the part that will actually allow you to get the refrigerator out of your tight space.
Once the doors are taped and the cord is wrapped, it becomes much easier to work with the refrigerator itself.
To get the dolly in place, you will want to tip the refrigerator up and get the front end under the fridge.
Next, have someone help you get the back end of the fridge up and into place.
When you get the back end of the fridge up, make sure that you are also carefully balancing the dolly.
You will not want the dolly to tip or twist or lift while trying to get the refrigerator to sit on it properly.
Once your refrigerator is on the dolly, you will need to use those moving straps to ensure it stays on the dolly.
If your fridge has a nice finish to it, ensure that the dolly straps are not going to damage the refrigerator in any way.
The moving straps are adjustable, and you can get them into position to ensure that your fridge does not move or turn.
When trying to put a refrigerator on a dolly, it is essential to ensure that you are not tilting or turning the refrigerator unnecessarily.
Remember that you should never try to move a fridge on its side.
Regardless of how tight your space is, chances are your fridge was able to get into the space, and therefore, you will be able to get it out as well.
The damage caused by laying a refrigerator on its side is often irreversible.
Step 7: Move Slowly
At this point, you probably feel as though all you have been doing is prep work.
When working to move a refrigerator out of a tight space, it is important to understand that the prep work is the most critical part of the process.
When you prepare properly for the removal of the fridge, it is going to go much more smoothly.
Now that you have your fridge ready to go, you can start to move it through your tight space.
Remember that you may have to be creative in the path that you take to get the refrigerator out of the door.
There is likely more than one solution here, but the overall process can be a bit of a puzzle.
Keep this in mind so that you don’t have a hard time with the overall removal.
Try to think things out before moving.
Will you need a ramp?
How many people will it take to ensure that no damage is done?
Do you have the straps in place to ensure that the refrigerator is properly secured?
Essentially, you will need to be very methodical in your process of removing the refrigerator.
If you do this, the project should be a success.
Key Tips For Moving A Refrigerator Out Of A Tight Space
Now that you have the step-by-step guide for getting a refrigerator out of a tight space, we thought it would be helpful to review some of the essential tips.
If you are trying to remove your refrigerator for the installation of a new one, you can sometimes save hundreds of dollars by doing it yourself.
This makes the process well worth learning and perfecting.
1. Never Put Refrigerator On Its Side
Putting a refrigerator on its side can permanently damage it.
The refrigerator is not designed to function in this way, and the damage caused can end up meaning your refrigerator is no longer worth anything.
There are some fluids inside a refrigerator that help it to function.
If you turn the unit on its side, the fridge may no longer work.
In addition, there is potential for some of the water or fluids to drain and make a large mess in your home.
Just remember that refrigerators are upright for a reason, and we need to have them remain that way.
2. Have You Checked The Owner’s Manual?
The owner’s manual of your refrigerator can actually be very helpful for removing from tight places.
Check the manual to see what the recommendations are and whether or not they recommend that this be done professionally or by a homeowner.
The owner’s manual will also give you specifications and information related to the overall size and details of the refrigerator.
You can use this information to help you find a dolly that will work for the project.
In addition, you can measure the overall width of the doors and hallways that you may have to take the refrigerator through on the way out of the house.
3. Does Not Have To Be A DIY
The removal of a refrigerator out of a tight space does not have to be a DIY project.
Although you can save yourself a bit of money, sometimes that will not be worth it.
Remember that damage to the refrigerator or the walls of your home will cost money to fix.
If you don’t want to risk this, just hire someone to move the fridge.
The professional movers are going to know how to quickly and safely get a fridge out of a tight space.
4. Consider Your Health
Before you start on any of these projects, it is important to consider your health.
Don’t attempt this process if you do not have a good bit of strength or your back is easily thrown out.
Although refrigerators are relatively easy to move once they are on a dolly, it is not worth risking your overall health to complete this project.