One of the most difficult things to deal with when you're moving is the appliances. Even if you're working with a moving company, you may still have to get your appliances ready before the big day. Attention to detail is essential when you're packing up appliances, because these items are not only expensive, but they are vulnerable to damage in transit if you don't pack them right. Here's a look at what you need to know to prepare your appliances for your move.
Dealing with the Refrigerator
Since the refrigerator and freezer need to defrost, it's best to start with those a few days before the move. If you're going to be keeping any of your perishables, pack a cooler with ice to keep it all in. Just be prepared to change the ice out frequently if you're storing it over a couple of days. If you can't keep up with the ice changes, it's in your best interest to purge all of the perishables and restock your new place so you don't risk something spoiling.
Once both the refrigerator and the freezer are empty, unplug the unit. Leave it for a day or so, or until it is completely defrosted. Then, clean the entire unit, inside and out. Make sure you clean any removable drawers, shelves or racks, too. Then, either tape the removable components in place or remove all of them before the move. Tape the cord to the refrigerator to the side of the unit with packing tape so that you don't have it flapping around and either getting damaged or causing damage to something else.
Preparing the Stove
Clean your stove completely, including the inside and the outside surfaces. Then, tape the racks in place inside the oven, or pull them out and secure them together with a zip tie. Turn the gas off at the valve if it's a gas stove, then use a small wrench to disconnect the gas line. If it's electric, unplug it. Once everything is disconnected, tape the burner covers, knobs and anything else that moves with packing tape so it stays secure while you transport the stove. Tape the power cord to the side of the stove, and then put a thick strip of tape on either side of the oven door to keep it closed.
Packing the Dishwasher
Start by removing the racks from the dishwasher. These should all be packed separately – not transported inside the unit. Turn the water off at the shut-off valve behind the dishwasher, then use a wrench to remove the water line. Sop up any standing water in the bottom of the dishwasher, clean the whole thing, and then put a strip of tape on each side of the door to keep it closed. If your dishwasher has a digital control panel, tape a strip of cardboard over the controls so that you don't damage the buttons in transit.
Check out sites like http://www.affordablechicago.com for more information about making your move a success.