How to Move A Fridge Out of a Tight Space (Wall/Cabinets)

An open fridge full of food

Trying to figure out how to move a fridge out of a tight space?

You’re in good company! This is something that thousands of people all over the world wonder about every single day, as appliances need to be moved around now and then.

I know that having to find a way to get your appliance out of a tiny crevice can be frustrating, especially if you’re working against the clock.

But don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place for answers. Below, you’ll find a small piece including several tips you’ll find useful to get yourself out of this situation.

When you’re trying to move a fridge out of a tight space, you can try the Lift, Slide, and Pull method, or use a couple of ratchet straps to pull it forward. If that fails, you can always turn to a dolly and wheel the unit around.

Read on to move that behemoth!

#1 Lift, Slide, and Pull

Let’s start off by using one of the simplest methods out there to move a fridge out of a tight space – lifting it slightly and placing something underneath the unit.

Now, you might be thinking, “How on Earth am I supposed to lift a fridge?”, and while I’d be asking myself the same question in your position, the truth is that you won’t be doing much lifting. You simply need to raise the appliance about 1/3 of an inch, so that you can start sliding a towel or any other resistant piece of fabric beneath it.

Tip: You can also spray a bit of glass cleaner on the floor in front of your fridge to help it slide more smoothly.

Spraying cleaner on the floor
Spray glass cleaner on the floor before sliding your fridge.

If possible, get someone to help you, so that one person is in charge of the minimal lifting, while the other is on towel duty.

Solution: Here’s exactly what you need to do:

  1. Empty your fridge and disconnect it from the power supply.
  2. Carefully, grab the appliance from the bottom and lift it ever so slightly. Just enough to get the frontal legs off the ground.
  3. Once there’s enough space to fit a towel underneath the frontal legs, start sliding it under the unit.
  4. After the towel has reached the legs at the back, start pulling the remainder of it towards you.
  5. With enough force, the appliance should start moving little by little.
  6. Once it has come out enough to allow you to lift the hind legs and slide more of the towel under them, do so, and keep pulling.
  7. Continue this process until you’re comfortable with the fridge’s position.

Note: Please be careful when doing this, as fridges are very heavy, and you can get hurt if you overdo it with the pulling. Also, watch out for any signs of instability as you pull, as the last thing we want is to have the appliance topple over and fall on you.

#2 Place Straps Behind the Appliance

Another effective way to move a fridge out of a tight space is using nothing but your strength and a couple of ratchet straps.

Several ratchet straps in different colors and sizes
Ratchet straps are very resistant, making them perfect to pull out your fridge

This is especially effective when it comes to an appliance that is placed within a space with little to no wiggle room on any side, as something as the Lift, Slide, and Pull method from above won’t work here. By using straps and pulling on them to move your fridge, you can move the appliance with a bit of effort.

Solution: Here’s exactly what you need to do:

  1. Empty your fridge and disconnect it from the power supply.
  2. Get a couple of ratchet straps and tie them to a set of portable stairs or something sturdy.
  3. Carefully wiggle the other end of the straps behind the freezer, and make sure to keep doing this until they reach the middle of the unit’s body, as it could otherwise tip over when you pull.
  4. Grab the end of the straps attached to the portable set of stairs or object you tied it to and start pulling delicately and slowly. Make sure to take pauses and don’t overwork yourself. If you feel like you’re having a very hard time pulling, please call someone for help.

This method should pull your fridge out of any spot after a couple of minutes.

#3 Use a Dolly

Lastly, let’s talk about one of the easiest, yet most specific ways to move your fridge out of a tight spot – using a dolly. This method works very well when you have some wiggle room at the top of the appliance, as you’ll have to do some lifting.

A steel dolly
Dollies are great for moving heavy appliances

Most fridges don’t have wheels, so rolling them out of a tight space can be challenging, or even impossible. However, by taking advantage of a heavy-duty dolly, you can make this process very simple.

Solution: Since dolly platforms are typically about 5 inches tall, that’s how much you’ll have to lift your fridge in order to place it on it. Now, don’t worry, you won’t have to lift the entire appliance, just the front legs. Here’s exactly what you need to do:

  1. Empty your fridge and disconnect it from the power supply.
  2. Place the dolly in front of the fridge and get someone behind it, so they can push the platform in while you lift the front legs of the appliance.
  3. While making sure you’re not hurting your back, lift the front legs of the fridge and tell the person behind the dolly to slide the platform beneath it.
  4. Once the platform is halfway under the fridge, get some ratchet straps and place them behind the unit just like I explained in the previous section.
  5. Pull on the straps slowly. The fridge should now be mostly on the dolly’s platform.
  6. When you reach the hind legs of the appliance, lift the posterior section so that the legs clear the platform and the entire unit rests on the dolly.
  7. All done! You should now be able to move your fridge around freely.

Note: Please be careful not to tilt the fridge too much, as this can move the refrigerant and the compressor oil and send them to a section they’re not supposed to be in, which can be problematic.


That about covers it!

When you’re trying to move a fridge out of a tight spot, ingenuity and patience will always pay off, yielding great results.

I hope this piece has helped you see that, in most cases, moving your fridge successfully to connect a new water line or simply cleaning under it can be very easy. More often than not, a couple of ratchet straps and a dolly will be all you need.

Thank you very much for sticking with me all the way to the end. If this article piqued your interest and answered all your questions, you’ll be happy to know that there’s more content to learn from below.

On the site, you’ll find all kinds of solutions for daily appliance issues, such as a dishwasher that’s making clicking noises, or an ice maker that’s not dispensing ice.

I wish you all the best!

— Craig.

I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more