While you might think packing up and moving your washing machine can be a simple DIY task, think again. Moving a washing machine takes a lot of planning and manpower. So if you are still thinking about moving your washing machine or washer dryer without any hired help, here are some reasons why you have a difficult task ahead of you.
Hiring support in moving your washing machine is a good choice. This could mean hiring a professional packing and moving company or even enrolling the assistance of friends or relatives. What you need for this job is manpower, and this is why:
Weight: Washing machines are quite heavy and not very easy to move around by yourself. Your average washing machine weighs anywhere between 150 and 200 pounds (68 to 90 kilograms). Not only is picking up such a heavy item dangerous because you could drop and damage it, but also think about the toll it would take on your body. You do not want to develop a backache or muscle spasm while carrying or moving a washing machine.
Size: If the heavyweight wasn’t enough, washing machines are also very big. A standard front-loading washing machine stands at an approximate average height of 33 inches and width of 24 inches. They are generally manufactured in standard sizes to fit universally into kitchen spaces. So moving this giant contraption will be an arduous task.
Prep Time: There is a lot to plan and prepare, from preparing the washing machine to planning how to relocate it to the actual loading and transport stage. This preparation stage can take time, as much as it takes manpower. So you will need a few days dedicated entirely to prepping. If you are working through the week or busy with other responsibilities, this can take a toll on your timetable. With hired help, you can rest assured everything will be taken care of by the professionals.
Things on Checklist pre-move
To make the preparation process easy, it’s a good idea to write a list of all the different things you need, whether packing material or asking for help. Jot each point down on a piece of paper, and strike it out as you complete the task. This helps you stay focused and offers some respite when you are under pressure to move the washing machine in a limited amount of time.
Helping Hands: Even if you plan to move your washing machine independently, without a professional moving company, this doesn’t mean you’re doing it all by yourself. You will certainly need at least two other people to help you with this process. So ask around for help.
Appliance dolly: You will need to rent or buy an appliance to lift, cart, and load the machine, given its weight and size. This is not something you should consider doing by hand. Local moving companies or truck agencies rent out appliance dollies quite regularly, so you can book one for the day of the move.
Packing supplies: Think of all the things you will need to get this washing machine ready for travel. For starters, you’ll need to wrap it up in blankets, so add 3 to 4 blankets to your list of things to buy. You can also add rope or moving straps, a few rolls of packing tape and slip-joint pliers, and a bucket or small tub to drain the water in.
Washer transit bolts: You’ll have to keep the washing machine steady and in place to move it. This is where the transit bolts come into play. These are metal rods inserted into the machine to keep it locked in one position. Find the washing machine’s transit bolts in your garage, or rent some from the local hardware or home appliance store.
User manual: The manual will come in handy when you need to install the transit bolts and also to cover all your bases while disconnecting the machine and prepping it to move. Even if your machine hasn’t had any problems in the past, you don’t want to be too confident in packing it without having a good look at the manual.
Now the actual process of preparing the washing machine or washer dryer for the move involves very obvious tasks, but they can be easily overlooked. So remember to keep an entire day aside for the preparation. Things like draining pipes and letting the washer dry out takes time, and you don’t want to pack it or wrap it up until it’s totally dry. A checklist is your best friend at this point, so go ahead and knock off tasks from your list as you go!
Remove clothes: We all leave our clothes in the machine sometimes, even forgetting that they’re there. So check the drum for any clothes you might have overlooked before. Make sure there isn’t anything left inside the machine.
Clean out drum: With a damp cleaning cloth or sponge, clean out the washing machine drum thoroughly. Make sure you get the ridges between the drum and the lid. If there’s a filter tray, remove and clean that too, before putting it back.
Dry out drum: Once you’ve cleaned all corners of the drum, leave the lid open and let it air dry. This is very important because the dampness could create mold if you shut the lid.
Disconnect power supply: Wires are very delicate and need to be handled. Remember to switch off the washing machine power and disconnect the wire. Once you’re disconnected, coil the wire up and secure it with a clip or rubber band so that it stays in place and doesn’t move around.
Shut off water supply: It’s time to end the water supply too. All you have to do is locate the local water valve (usually behind the washing machine) and rotate it clockwise to stop the water supply.
Remove and pack hoses: Remove the hoses connected to the water supply as well as the drain and make sure they are completely drained of water. You might require slip-joint pliers to remove the hoses. Use the bucket for draining water. Once they’re fully drained, disconnect the water supply hose from the machine as well and pack it in a waterproof bag or box. You can add other washing machine parts and accessories here and label them accordingly. The drain hose can be taped to the back of the machine so that it doesn’t move around while being transported.
Install transit bolts: If you’re going to haul a washing machine across your house onto a vehicle and then to another location, you need to ensure it’s secure in its place and will not slide around. With help from the user’s manual, install the transit bolts. You could ask for assistance from the local hardware store as well if you’re not sure about what to do.
Gather manpower: Ask friends, family, peers, or hired help to pitch in during the move. Let them know how many hours they will need to take out in the day beforehand to make adjustments to their schedules. Evenly distribute responsibilities so that all tasks are covered without overcrowding or overlap. Remember to thank everyone at the end of their involvement.
Washing machines are heavy and need to be handled delicately so that all the parts are intact during and after the move. What’s more, they need to be fastened to the moving vehicle to don’t move while being transported. Now, this is where you’ll need extra help, so all helping hands are a welcome bonus. Follow the processes step-by-step, and remember to lead your friends and peers in this move to avoid any confusion.
Secure the power cord: With the help of packing tape, stick the power cord to the back of the machine and secure it in place.
Pull the washer out: In case you’ve already pulled the machine out a little while looking for the water valve, it’s time to pull the machine out entirely. If you have sliders, you could place one under each front leg of the machine. If you don’t have sliders, you could use a soft cloth instead. This helps you slide the machine out without damaging the floor.
Blanket-wrap the washer: There may be unprecedented accidents and bumps along the way once the machine is in the vehicle. Secure the machine with blankets wrapped around it to be on the safer side. Tie them in place using ropes or straps. This will give your machine sufficient cushioning in case the vehicle moves unpredictably.
Load onto appliance dolly: The appliance dolly will carry your washing machine to the vehicle, so tilt the machine backward, with the helping hands, and slide the dolly underneath the washer simultaneously. Use rope or straps to secure the dolly while it’s still leaning backward. Then pull slowly (along with help from behind by your assistants) so that the machine tilts forward onto the dolly. Take your time. Once it’s on the dolly, use the ropes and straps to tie and secure it in place.
Load into the vehicle: Remember to keep the washing machine in an upright position. If you lay it on the side or back, you run the risk of damaging the drum and throwing it out of alignment. Slowly load the washing machine onto the vehicle by using its loading ramp. Once inside, secure the machine to the side of the storage area with rope.
Transporting something as big as a washing machine will need to be done carefully. Keep track of the route you are going to take beforehand so you have an idea of the road. One cannot zoom the vehicle even if there is no traffic. Whether you hire movers or you carry it yourself in your truck, this stage requires a lot of patience. There are courier services available that take the responsibility of picking up your washing machine from your house and relocating it to your destination, including the loading and unloading of the machine. They also assist with their helpers. But this could be out of budget for you, so if you’re planning to haul the machine across yourself, make sure you have a truck or vehicle big enough to contain the machine and safely transport it. If you are driving yourself, ask a couple of friends to join you for the move. You’ll need their help in loading and unloading the machine. Not to mention, you may need someone to look at a map and give you directions as well. Don’t be in a hurry to drive. Avoid potholes and road bumps as much as possible.
Like any big move, moving your washing machine can be overwhelming at first. But thanks to your trusty Checklist, some planning, and all the teamwork, the move can also be an efficient and easy experience. While hiring a moving company would be ideal, doing it yourself doesn’t necessarily have to be so scary, after all!
Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.