Simply Move Your Refrigerator

I read an excellent post by my colleague Dr. George Dawson, MD, DFAPA, “How Will Electronic Pill Monitoring Be Accepted In A Post-Orwellian Society?” I think one of the subtexts is how complicated the process actually is on assessing medication non-adherence in patients. On the opposite end is over-complicating medical and psychiatric assessment and treatment. Maybe the main issue is that the patient just doesn’t want to take the medication.

We’re pretty good at making problems more complicated then they really are. Take cleaning the back of your refrigerator, for example. We had this issue. Chances are you’ve detected a funny noise from it and called a repairman to check it out. Chances are also good that the repairman told you that it’ll cost you about $100 just to let him in the front door. Actual diagnosis and repair would be a lot extra. He’s probably telling you all this while he’s watching a football game, feet up on his desk, and eating chicken wings. His question to you (mouth full of chicken wings) is whether you’ve tried cleaning the back of your refrigerator first, to see if that gets rid of the noise.

Hadn’t thought of that. We wondered how often people move their refrigerator away from the wall to clean the back. Any? How do the movers shimmy it into that really narrow slot in the kitchen in the first place? We found YouTube videos that make it look ridiculously easy, so we ignored them.

Obviously, you have to be in shape to move a refrigerator. It’s usually the biggest appliance you have in your house. They typically weigh a million tons empty–and then we put stuff in them that ends up looking like a junior high school science project, after only a few weeks or so, jeez.

My wife and I signed up for the 6 week gym membership which cost just under twice my total retirement fund, so not a bad deal when you think about it–so we didn’t. It included a certified workout and diet routine that guaranteed several hernias and bowel perforations a week. We have insurance, but it didn’t cover the whole cost of the surgeries. However, with dedication and a GoFundMe campaign, we got the results we needed.

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The next item was the right tool for the job. Moving a refrigerator must require special equipment. I’m generally not very handy with tools. Whenever I start a project, I often remember a line from “Death of a Salesman,”–“A man who cannot handle tools is not a man.” After a few weeks of psychotherapy, I checked my toolbox and came up empty. Then I found something that looked suitable but I couldn’t drive it through the front door.

Then we found out all we needed was something to lay on the floor so the wheels under the fridge wouldn’t mar the floor. Wheels? Yes, it had wheels–really tiny wheels about the size of walnuts which were apparently made of some kind of plastic, holding up an appliance roughly the size of Mount Rushmore, only heavier. I found the right materials which required only a pair of kitchen scissors. We were ready–we thought.

I was a little concerned. There was less than a couple of millimeters of leeway on either side of the fridge, in fact, only about a hair’s breadth. I would need to be very careful not to crush the edges of the baseboard on one side and the cabinet on the other. I was lucky to have my experience as a surveyor’s assistant in the distant past. I knew I would need a vernier theodolite, level, measuring tape, surveyor’s rod, and a survey crew, all of which were luckily on sale at Lowe’s. Another advantage of the crew–they lightened the weight of the fridge by eating all the food. It’s all about preparation.

Then it was time to move the fridge. I crouched into the proper position, grabbed both sides, yanked–and promptly shot back into the island right behind me, sustaining only a few minor injuries. The intracranial pressure monitor was out in a few days and after rehab I was almost as good as new.

We had prepared for something to be hard and it turned out to be simple. It turns out that moving a fridge is a lot easier than it looks. You need to tug a bit to break the inertia, and then it sort of rolls out without a lot of fuss. We vacuumed and pushed it back. If you subtract out all of the extra work we put into the job, it might have taken about 20 minutes or so.

The noise? What noise? Oh that; we’ll have to give it a little time. If it comes back, we’ll probably just have an exorcism. It’ll probably take less time than getting a repairman out here and we might be able to pay with chicken wings.

2 thoughts on “Simply Move Your Refrigerator

  1. Having previously moved hundreds of refrigerators I can appreciate your post. I recall one job where we had to drop the refrigerator through a hole in the floor to the basement below. I guess we were using inertia up to the point that the two guys in the basement had to catch it before it hit the floor.


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