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Major household appliances are amongst some of the most valuable household items. This means that when they need to be transported or stored for any time, then care is needed to prepare them.

Professional movers are always an option, but unless you are moving home, then this isn’t always practical and certainly isn’t cheap. If you are just moving an item or two into a self-storage unit, then you may decide to tackle the moving and storing yourself.

This guide explains everything you need to know about moving and storing major appliances.

1.    Every appliance is different

The first thing to do is to find out any specific instructions that pertain to the appliance. Most manufacturers will detail any moving and storing instructions in the handbook. If you don’t have this, then there is plenty of information available on the internet. To be sure the information is accurate, your first port of call should be the manufacturer’s website.

2.    Fridges and Freezers

These appliances have quite specific requirements when it comes to moving or storage:

  • Time – Fridges and freezers can’t simply be unplugged on the morning of the move. Obviously, they need to be defrosted, but most manufacturers also recommend that they are unplugged at least a day and possibly two in advance.
  • Clean – When preparing your fridge or freezer, ensure that they are spotlessly clean inside and that all shelves and compartments are either removed or secured and padded to protect them. Preferably use a mild bleach solution or bleach-based cleaner to stop mould or mildew from forming.
  • Store – There is also an oil present in the compressor of both appliances that can leak if stored incorrectly. For this reason, fridges and freezers should always be stored upright. Where possible, it is also better to leave the door open a little when it is stored as this can prevent mould.

3.    Service your appliance first

Having a technician service your appliance before a move is a good practice. This makes sure that they are in prime condition when moved and stored. The rigours of moving can exaggerate existing wear and tear, and a service can prevent this.

A technician is also recommended if you need to disconnect the appliance from high-voltage electricity connections or from gas lines.

4.    Washing Machines and Dishwashers

Particular care needs to be taken when moving and storing these appliances. Because of the presence of water then corrosion and rust are always potential problems.

The first step is to run the machines through a wash cycle when they are empty. You can add a little bleach or vinegar to make sure they are thoroughly cleaned. They should then be carefully disconnected from both power and water.

Finally, make sure they are fully drained – Most models will have a drain valve, check the handbook or internet to find out where it is.

5.    Preparing Cookers, Ovens, Microwaves etc.

The important thing with any appliance that is used in the preparation of food is to make sure it is spotlessly clean. Crumbs, food stains, grease, etc., can all cause problems in storage, including mould, mildew, and pests.

Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to clean all these appliances both inside and out, and if there are self-cleaning cycles, be sure to run these before storing them.

6.    Preparing Leads, Doors and Shelves

Make sure that all doors, internal shelves, leads, and plugs are secure before moving and storing your items. Use strong tape to secure the plugs to the back of the appliances. This can also be used to secure doors.

Internal shelves also need to be secured and/or removed and wrapped in padding material. Properly prepared, these can be safely stored inside the appliance. However, if you decide to store them separately, then it is best to label which appliance they belong to, especially if storing a few similar items.


If you need to store expensive appliances, then taking a few precautions beforehand will ensure they are in as good a condition when they come out of storage as when they went in.

Of course, quality appliances storage is also essential. At U Store It, our self-storage units are dry, clean, and secure. We even have climate-controlled options available.

Why not contact us to find how our cost-effective solutions can help protect your valuable appliances.