How to Pack Appliances (Big) for Moving

We’re talking washers, dryers, dishwashers, air conditioners, refrigerators – the big stuff! Before you pack any of it, read your users manual for each appliance to make sure there aren’t more special moving preparations you’ll need to make. Also, consider servicing all your appliances a week or two before you move, if you haven’t done it in a while.

You’ll need:

  • Tape
  • Large pads and rope
  • Your towels and linens, clothes, and stuffed animals (that’s right, stuffed animals) for washing machines
  • Baking soda for a washing machine and refrigerator

Washing Machine

  • Do all your wash a couple of days before you’re ready to move.
  • Drain all the water out of the washer. If possible, take the washer outside and tip it sideways to empty out remaining water from the water hose. Then dry the interior completely with a towel.
  • Take out all accessories and fittings and put them in a plastic bag.
  • Stuff towels between the washing machine sides and the tub to keep the tub from rotating.
  • Fill the basket with clothes, linens, and stuffed animals (that’s rights, stuffed animals). Also include a box of baking soda (designed so you don’t have to tear open the top of the box) to cut down on mildew. 6. Tape the lid and electrical cord down, then tie a large pad around the outside. Now you’re done!


  • Disconnect the exhaust hose from the back of the dryer and from the exhaust duct in the wall. Loosely roll the hose and place it in the dryer basket.
  • Tape the lint screen, electrical cord, and dryer door down.
  • Tie a large pad around the outside of the dryer. You’re done!


  • One day before moving, empty out the contents and defrost. (Eat what you can, then give the rest away to neighbors – never transport perishable food.)
  • Empty the drainage pan underneath and disconnect and drain out your automatic ice maker.
  • Clean the walls, drawers, and shelves.
  • Some refrigerators have “leveling rollers,” which are wheels that raise and lower each corner of the refrigerator so it is even. Check your manual to see whether you should raise or lower them for the move.
  • Wrap shelves (especially if they are glass) and tape them together. Tape down all other loose parts, including the drawers on the inside and the electrical cord and doors on the outside.
  • Tie a large pad around it.


  • Clean the oven and stove top.
  • Place all oven racks on the bottom rung and tape down.
  • Tape down the burners and the protective pans under each burner.
  • Tape the electrical cord and door to the stove (lock the door, if you can), then tie a large pad around it. You’re done!


  • Remove all dishes and tape down the racks and silverware basket.
  • See your manual for removing and draining the water hook-up.
  • Close and lock the door. Tape the door shut. Now tape the hose and cord to the dishwasher.
  • Tie a large pad around it. That’s all!

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Moving Tip

  • Get rid of the junk! Get rid of anything you don’t need or want, it will make packing that much easier and save you money.The more stuff you have will increase the time and or weight of the move and will cost you more money!
  • Do not move jewelry, money, coin collections, etc. Keep these items in your possession.
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