can you lay a freezer on its side

Can you lay a Freezer on its Side to Transport it?

My family is gradually growing bigger. As a result, new challenges are cropping up, including our appliances seemingly becoming smaller. In the last couple of months, our food storage needs have increased and our refrigerator’s freezer is no longer the ideal size.

So, hubby and I come up with the beautiful idea of getting a new, bigger fridge. But as we hop from one store to another comparing the options at our disposal, we realize how costly it is to buy a bigger and better modern fridge.  

Ultimately, we settle for a more brilliant idea; to buy a freezer. It is less costly and comes with a lot of space. A few days later, we go to one of the most reputable appliance stores in the nearest town center and choose a freezer that we believe will make a big difference in our home.

When the time to leave comes, we opt to ease the transportation hassle buy using our car. The store guys carry the freezer upright to our car boot but on reaching there, they realize that they have to lay it on the side or back for it to fit inside.

This decision doesn’t seem to sit well with them and we enquire why.

So, Can You lay a freezer on its Side?

Apparently, it is best to transport a freezer in an upright position. You can lay it on its side, back, or even tilt it to a certain degree, but then, you will have to wait for sometime to plug it in after placing it back in an upright position.

For older models, most companies recommend that you wait for 24 hours before you plug in the freezer after laying it on its side. For newer models, it is recommended that you wait for the same amount of time that the freezer was tilted before plugging in and the same case applies to refrigerators.

Moving a freezer on its side or back causes the cooling refrigerant to move from its right place. This is why you have to wait before plugging in so that the refrigerant can settle back.

How to Move a Freezer

You can either move a freezer to your home after buying it from a store or elsewhere, or move it from your house to a new house or elsewhere.

In the first case, the store guys would mostly likely help you carry it to the transportation vehicle, and even show you how to position it properly. It would also be wrapped nicely such that nothing bad would happen to it during transportation.

In the second case, you would need to step up or things could get messy quickly. This guide emphasizes more on the steps to follow in this case.

Step 1: Begin to Prepare Early

A freezer is not among the things you grab and throw into your moving track. You have to prepare it way before, for it to get to the new destination safe and fully functional. Gather the supplies that you will need to prepare it. According to Moving, these include bubble wrap, furniture sliders, moving blankets, packing tape, a dolly, and ratchet straps or a rope.

Step 2: Empty the Freezer

If your freezer is packed with foodstuffs, you better start consuming them weeks before the planned day of moving. This way, you will have eaten everything days before the moving date. But what if the decision to move comes up abruptly? You will have no choice but to empty the freezer.

Transporting a full freezer is a cumbersome and risky decision. The foodstuffs and ice make the already bulky appliance unnecessarily heavier and more difficult to move. And the fact that the freezer will be unplugged the entire time you will be moving, there is no need to keep food in there.

Step 3: Unplug the Freezer

Now that the freezer is empty, it is time to unplug it so that it can defrost to ease the cleaning process. Preferably, unplug it a day or two before. This provides ample time for all the ice to melt on its own.

You can keep the door open and place the appliance in a well ventilated place. Remove the trays to allow proper airflow.

Step 4: Clean the Freezer

As your freezer defrosts, a lot of water forms from the ice. You have to clean the water so that you can move the freezer comfortably. Use microfiber rags or towels because they absorb water quickly without leaving tiny fabric fibers on the surface of the freezer.

If your freezer produces a mild smell, scrub it clean with a cloth dipped in a paste of vinegar and baking soda. Rinse the cloth in warm water, wring out excess water, and wipe clean the freezer repeatedly.

Once the freezer is clean, ensure that you dry the interior completely. This helps to keep it smelling fresh even if you do not begin to use it immediately after moving.

Step 5: Wrap the Freezer

You have done most of the donkey work but there is still something left; wrapping the freezer to prevent it from getting scratched or from another type of accident along the way.

Most modern freezers have lockable doors but use the tape to make sure that the door is extra secure. Wrap the blankets around it and use the tape to keep them in place.

Step 6: Place your Freezer on the Dolly

You have probably done most of the steps alone so far but now it is time to invite two or three of your family members or friends. Work together to place and secure the freezer on the dolly.

You will need to tilt it in an angle so that the process can be easy. After it is secure, wheel the dolly to the moving track. Work with your friends to move the freezer into the track and position it upright in a gentle manner.

Step 7: Unload the Freezer

When you arrive at your new destination, get help to unload and position the freezer where you want it to be. Handle it with care especially when trying to pass it through the door.


Moving a freezer is not easy. Get all the help you need and do not be shy to dig up the internet for information. If you are not confident in yourself to move the freezer safely, seek help from professional movers.

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