Finding extra space to store appliances can be a challenge, and self-storage can be a convenient solution. However, if you don’t take steps to prepare your clothes washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave or other appliance properly, you might end up storing an unusable hunk of machinery instead. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when packing up and moving appliances:
Preparing to Move
- Remove water from hoses and internal components of clothes washers, dryers, dishwashers and refrigerators to prevent freezing and mildew.
- Clean appliances carefully, including all air intake areas such as lint filters, grids or tubes.
- Spray appliances for bugs and allow to dry before relocating them.
- For refrigerators, clean the interior and wipe dry. Drain water from the holding tank and plastic tubing. Clean the defrost pan (usually located underneath or in the back).
- Always keep refrigerators upright during transportation and storage to prevent damage to the refrigeration unit.
- For transport, use strong tape to keep dishwasher, oven and refrigerator doors closed. Remove the tape once the appliance has been relocated, storing with doors ajar or removed to prevent mildew growth.
- Appliances contain glass and fragile pieces, and finishes can scratch and dent. Be sure to wrap them with moving blankets, bubble wrap or wrapping film to prevent broken pieces or blemishes. Storage facilities frequently offer these packing materials for purchase.
- When moving a household, load appliances on the truck last so they can be unloaded first at the storage unit. This will put them at the back of the unit, giving you easier access to frequently-used items.
- If your items will be stored in a geographical region that experiences extreme hot or cold temperatures, consider looking for climate-controlled storage. Using central air and heat, the temperature in these units is typically kept between 50 and 80 degrees. Protecting appliances from exposure to severe temperatures preserves their electronic and mechanical parts from cracking and rust.
If you opt for a storage unit that does not have climate control, and your stored items have been exposed to freezing temperatures, be sure to allow 24-48 hours for them to thaw before use.
- Mark glass panels in oven doors, microwave doors, etc. as fragile to avoid leaning heavy objects against them.
- Appliances cannot be plugged in while in storage.
- Storing items inside appliances is not recommended.
- Cover appliances with cotton sheets or canvas tarps to protect them from dust while allowing for air circulation.
Keep in mind that your self-storage facility manager can be an excellent resource for additional guidance. Asking questions and doing research on how to store appliances properly will preserve both your belongings and your peace of mind.