how to move with a fridge full of food

You tried your best to eat everything in your kitchen before your move. But despite your best efforts, you still have plenty in the pantry and a semi-full fridge. What should you do? If your kitchen is far from empty, take a look at what you need to know about moving with food.

Can You Move Food?

The answer to this question depends on the moving company and any applicable laws, rules, or regulations. Before you pack up your kitchen, box up leftover fruits and veggies, or store your milk in bins, consider:

  • Spoilage. Even if the moving company does allow food on their trucks, it could spoil during the moving process. A short move could still take hours or a full day. Perishables won’t last unrefrigerated for this time.
  • Damage. Cans and other non-perishables won’t spoil during the move. These items may still sustain damage in transit. If the mover allows nonperishables, pack these with bubble wrap or another similar type of cushion.
  • Spillage. Never attempt to sneak food into your boxes or bins or pack anything that the moving company doesn’t allow. Some foods and beverages can easily spill. These spills can damage other belongings or encourage a pest invasion.

Another option is to move food/beverage items in your own vehicle. Package these securely in a cooler and place kitchen leftovers in your car for the move.

Can You Keep Food in the Refrigerator?

Is the fridge still full? You may be tempted to tape the door shut and move the appliance as-is — don’t. To move your refrigerator:

  • Empty the appliance. Remove everything from both the refrigerator and freezer. Check the crisper drawers, butter dish caddy, and every other area of the appliance.
  • Unplug the appliance. After you remove everything from the fridge, unplug the appliance before taking the next step.
  • Clean the appliance. Clean food residue from the interior and exterior. Remove drawers, racks, and trays to move separately.

Now that the refrigerator is empty and ready to move, let the professionals take over. The refrigerator is a heavy, bulky, and delicate item. The professional moving contractor has the knowledge, experience, and equipment to safely and successfully move your food-free fridge.

What Should You Do with Leftover Food?

You can’t move perishables and you don’t have room in the car to take the items. What should you do with everything from your fridge or freezer? According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in 2010, Americans wasted 133 billion pounds of food. If you don’t want to contribute to food waste:

  • Have a pre-move party. Cook everything in the refrigerator and host a pre-move day party with friends, family, and neighbors.
  • Stop shopping. Decrease or eliminate regular shopping trips in the days or weeks before your move. This strategy forces you to use everything you already have at home.
  • Donate your food. Ask a local food bank or another similar organization what they can take. Most food banks will only take unopened food items.
  • Give food away. Food banks aren’t the only places that take donations. Your friends and family may appreciate the free food. Offer perishables or anything that won’t fit in your car to friends/family who love nearby.
  • Make a major meal. If you don’t have friends or family nearby to cook for or give food to, make a multiple course meal for your household. This can rid your pantry and fridge of food you can’t move.

Check the dates and state of each item before you decide what to do with it. Old food that’s past its use by date, smells funny, or looks off can go in the trash or compost bin.

Do you need help with your next move? Contact Island Movers Inc. for more information.