How to disassemble your kitchen for relocation

Hiring movers to help you out with your relocation is a smart move. Everything is easier when it’s done by a professional. Before you start packing, it is imperative to take apart all the appliances and furniture. It makes packing and logistics much easier. However, it is not a simple task to perform. If you are preparing to disassemble your kitchen for relocation, make sure you do it correctly. Damaging any of the appliances or cabinets only means you’ll have to spend more money to buy them. And believe me, when you are in the middle of something as challenging as relocation, you really want to decide on the moving budget, and stick to it.

With that in mind, let’s look at what is the best approach when you wish to disassemble your kitchen for relocation.

Discuss it with your movers

If you ever wondered what the sign you hired quality movers is, here is the best way to find out. Talk to your coordinator or a salesperson about disassembly and reassembly of appliances. Every moving company has a list of what will they take apart and put together, so check if any of the kitchen appliances are on it. It would be best to leave that to the pros since they are experienced with these tasks. However, this service will add to your moving costs. Precisely because of that is why we are talking about how to disassemble your kitchen for relocation. If you learn how to do it yourself, you are taking things into your hands. It is easier to cut costs down since you won’t have to pay for additional services.

a set of tools
Before you start to disassemble your kitchen for relocation, make sure you have all the necessary tools

Do the inventory of kitchen equipment

Before you start to disassemble your kitchen for relocation, you must do the inventory of the kitchen equipment. Create a checklist, and write down notes as you are taking things apart. It is the best way to keep track of what you did. Most kitchens usually have:

  • electronic appliances
  • base cabinets
  • mounted cabinets
  • countertops
  • the sink
  • tables and chairs
  • drawers
  • cupboards

Of course, there are plenty more kitchen utensils, but we are discussing only those you’ll have to take apart for the move. Once you have everything on paper, you can start to disassemble and pack.

The required set of tools

Dismantling wooden closets and cabinets is not that hard, you will only need a good set of tools. It includes Philips, flat-head, and square-bit screwdrivers for cabinets, a ladder, a flat pry bar to lift countertops, a hammer, wrenches and slip-joint pliers to disassemble the sink. Additionally, it is smart to have a jigsaw, a utility knife, and an electric drill. Also, don’t forget to wear rubber gloves when handling wooden and metal surfaces. It takes only a moment of negligence, and you’ll hurt yourself.

How to disassemble your kitchen for relocation

Once you have the inventory of your kitchen equipment, and you’ve acquired all the necessary tools, you can start the disassembly process. However, before you start taking apart the cabinets, you will need to prepare your kitchen. First, you have to shut off the electricity in the kitchen at the breaker box. Remember that safety comes first. Once you are sure the electricity is off, you need to remove all electronic appliances out of the kitchen. Pack all foods and liquids and store them safely for the move. Last, but not the least, protect your kitchen floor by laying out sheets. Also, if you start disassembling wall cabinets first, protect countertops as well.

Kitchen cabinets
Wall mounted cabinets are difficult to handle alone, always ask for help

Disassembly of mounted cabinets

The first step to removing your wall-mounted cabinets is to find out what type of cabinets you have. Most of the old homes have unitized cabinets. They are built in place using the wall as the back. Newer homes have prefabricated cabinets with their own back. Usually, there are more individual units screwed together to make a whole cabinet set. So, open the cabinets and check if they have their own back or not.

Once you empty the cabinets, it is advised to remove the doors first, and then proceed with taking them off the wall. Always have a zip-lock bag for the screws, you don’t need the hassle of losing them and having to buy new ones. Also, make sure you separate cabinets from each other and remove any drawers or unattached parts.

If there is any caulk or molding use a utility knife and a hammer to remove them. Before you start taking the screws out, make sure you have someone helping out. Put pieces of wood below to hold the cabinets, to protect them from falling. When removing screws, do the lower ones first, and work your way up. Place all hinges, screws and small parts in a plastic bag as discussed earlier, and label them so you know where to put them back. You can tape the bag tightly to one of the interior cabinet walls, but make sure it is secured so it doesn’t wall off.

Nevertheless, if at any moment you feel like this is hard and it takes too much time, you can always hire handyman services while moving.

base cabinets and a stove
Before disassembling base cabinets, you have to remove the stove and the countertop

Removing base cabinets

When removing base cabinets, you have to start with the countertop. Check if it’s connected with any screws, usually from the lower side. Crawl in the cabinets and remove any you find. Cut caulk or paint with a utility knife. Have in mind that some countertops have multiple sections glued together. Use a flat pry bar to lift them up, and take them outside.

Once the countertop is off, take out the drawers and remove the screws from the back. Next, proceed with removing the doors, and separating units one from another in the same manner as you did with the wall cabinets.

As you can see, it is quite easy to prepare your moving budget if you learn how to disassemble your kitchen for relocation. Save the money that would otherwise go to your movers.

kitchen sink
Before you remove the sink, make sure the water is off and the drain pipe is disconnected

Removing the sink

Before you remove the sink, make sure you close the water valve. Detach the drain pipe and the garbage disposal if you have one, and take care of all the plumbing first. Unscrewing the sink is not that different from the cabinets. You should cut through the caulk, remove the screws and lift the sink from its place once disconnected.

The rest of your kitchen equipment

This guide covered removing base and wall cabinets and unhooking the sink. If you know how to deal with these three tasks, you will have no issues to disassemble your kitchen for relocation. If you have any cupboards or china cabinets, they are removed in the same manner. Learning this principle is important, as you can apply it to anything else. The more stuff you know how to do yourself, the cheaper your relocation is!

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