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Packing Major Appliances

  1. For all major appliances, contact the dealer for specific move instructions or refer to the owner's manual if you have a copy. If you don't, go to, a great place to find or order an owner's manual.
  2. The refrigerator should be unplugged at least 24 hours prior to the move. Dispose of all perishables. Once the freezer unit has defrosted, thoroughly clean and dry all surfaces and removable containers to prevent mildew and odors from forming. Remove all racks or secure them so they don't shift during the move. If your unit has an ice maker, disconnect the waterline and make sure it's completely drained.
  3. The stove should be thoroughly cleaned inside and out with the racks removed or securely fastened. If you have a gas stove, make sure the gas is turned off before you start disconnecting the line and be very careful. Gas lines can be fragile and need special handling. If you're unsure, call your gas company and ask for help. Tape down the knobs and elements to ensure no parts are lost during the move.
  4. Dishwasher units need to be emptied and the utensil holder/rack removed and packed separately. Tape the door closed.
  5. Washer and dryer units need special handling. It's a good idea to consult the owner's manual or contact the manufacturer. Remove all hoses and pack separately in a box. Fill the empty spaces in the box with packing popcorn or cushioning objects (towels/pillows). For the washer, you'll need to secure the drum. Again, consult the manual for thorough instructions.
  6. For all appliances, unplug each unit and secure the plug to the back using packing tape. Don't let cords dangle or come loose.
  7. For all appliances, if you choose, pack lightweight, unbreakable items in empty caverns, such as in the refrigerator crisper or the oven. Blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, chair cushions or clothing can be stored and moved this way. Simply protect the items by wrapping them in a plastic garbage bag.
  8. Tape all doors and lids shut.

What You Need:

  • Hot water and household cleanser
  • Cleaning gloves
  • Packing Tape
  1. Refer to the manufactures' guide or user's guide for special moving instructions. If you no longer have a user's guide, visit the manufacturer's website for an online version or to request a copy. Go to Moving a Computer for details on packing this type of equipment.
  2. If any piece of equipment has a toner or ink cartridge, remove it and store it in a sealable bag. Pack the bag in the same box with the piece of equipment that it was removed from. Also remove all CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes or other media from equipment. Pack media separately and carefully to prevent damage. Note: Some computer manufacturers recommend leaving a floppy disk in the A-drive to prevent drive damage.
  3. If you have the original packaging, including box, use that to pack the equipment. If you don't, purchase electronic specialty boxes from a moving company or directly from the manufacturer. The manufacturer can provide you with a "return kit" at no or little cost.

    If specialty boxes or return kits are not available, use a double-walled box slightly larger than the piece of equipment you're moving.

  4. Purchase colored labels large enough to write on but small enough to secure to equipment connection ports. Colored, round sticky circles are the labels of choice.
  5. Before disconnecting any wires or plugs, mark the wire or cable and the port you're removing it from with the colored labels. Color code the ports and cables so you can reconnect them later. If you run out of different colors, you can also write a number on the label that will match the port and the cable.
  6. For extra protection, write down detailed step-by-step instructions on how you're dismantling the equipment so you can refer to it later when assembling it. Keep this instruction guide in the box with the equipment.
  7. Once you have the wires or cables disconnected, use twist ties to carefully secure the cables so they don't unravel. Place the cables and wires into a sealable bag (I use Ziplock baggies) and tape it to the piece of equipment.
  8. When packing electronics, you should always use antistatic packing bubbles or popcorn. Never use materials that will conduct electricity. This could damage your electronics during handling.
  9. Remove all parts that can be disconnected Wrap each piece separately in antistatic bubble wrap and secure ends with tape.
  10. Use a thick layer of antistatic packing popcorn or bubble wrap to line the bottom of the box.
  11. Place the largest piece of equipment on the bottom. Fill holes with antistatic packing material. Place smaller protected items on top.
  12. Fill all remaining spaces with antistatic packing material. Make sure nothing rattles or will shift during the move.
  13. Seal the box with packing tape and mark it "Fragile" and indicate which end is up. Indicate the contents and which room it belongs in.
  14. Note: CDs and software can not tolerate high temperatures. If you have sensitive media, you may want to carry it with you as opposed to moving it on the truck. Speak to your movers about this issue before you ship it.

What You Need:

  • Manufacturer's Guide
  • Original Box or Return Kit ; or
  • Double-walled Box
  • Antistatic Packing Popcorn or Bubbles
  • Small Color-coded Labels
  • Marker
  • Packing Tape
  • Twist Ties
  • Sealable Bags (Freezer or Sandwich Bags)


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