Preparing for a move can be quite difficult, especially when you have to think about the various ways to keep your most expensive items in good shape. Your appliances are probably on your list of the most expensive items that need to be moved, and your refrigerator is likely one of the more difficult items to relocate. You can prepare your refrigerator early so your local moving company can move the appliance with ease, and so that you can guarantee that it will remain in great shape.
Empty the Food
You probably already understand that you need to remove all of the food from your refrigerator before it is moved. You might think that this is due to the mess that the food will make, but food removal is actually required to keep damage from occurring. Jars, tupperware containers, and even fresh fruits can roll around and hit the defrost heater, drain, evaporator fan, temperature controls, light bulbs, or internal thermostats. All of these parts sit inside the refrigerator and freezer compartments.
Consider eating the food in your refrigerator and freezer for several weeks up until a day or two before the move. Your refrigerator will need one full day to defrost, so make sure that you start thinking about what you will do with your leftover food.
Leftover Food Storage or Donation
Some people choose to place perishable items in coolers that can be moved to the new home. If you want to do this, you should understand that you will likely spend a good deal of money doing so. A large cooler is likely needed that it is at least 50 to 60 quarts, and two will need to be purchased if you want to store refrigerated and frozen foods. Ice will be needed too, and the ice will likely need to be replaced at least once in a 24 hour period. To keep items frozen, you may even need to invest in dry ice.
The cost, mess, and the effort are likely not worth it to keep a few food items. This means that it is wise to eat all the food you can from your refrigerator. If you have anything left over, then think about donating it to a local food bank.
Activate the Defrost Cycle
Once you have removed all of the food from your refrigerator, you should activate the defrost feature before you unplug it. This will allow some of the ice to melt and drain into the drain pan underneath the refrigerator instead of making a mess on your floor. Refrigerators will defrost at set time intervals depending on the model of refrigerator you have. Your refrigerator is likely to defrost once every 6 to 24 hours for 15 to 30 minutes. When this happens, a heater is activated near the condenser coils in the freezer compartment. The heater forces the built up ice to melt, and the water moves through a drain line that empties into the drain pan on the bottom of your refrigerator.
Turning the Defrost Timer Knob
It can be extremely difficult to time it so that you unplug your refrigerator immediately after it goes through the defrost cycle. Thankfully, you can activate the defrost and the unplug your refrigerator 30 minutes later. You can do this my locating a small black or white box in the control panel of your refrigerator that has a small knob or dial on the front. Turn the dial counterclockwise until it clicks. This will activate the defrost cycle. Just make sure that you readjust the dial or knob after the defrost cycle, so it sits in the same position as it did before you turned it so the refrigerator can defrost at the right time when it's hooked back up.
Unplug your refrigerator after the defrost cycle and place some towels underneath the appliance so the rest of the ice can melt. Once you've done this, your fridge should be ready for the moving company.
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My mother turned into a bit of a hoarder when all of us kids moved out. It has been ten years since any of us lived with her and in that time, she managed to fill three bedrooms with all sorts of things that she really didn't need. All of that stuff was keeping her from being able to house my brothers when they came into town, so I offered to help her get organized. The first thing I did was found a storage unit nearby to rent. On this blog you will find tips for using a storage unit to organize a hoarded household.