The most important point to remember when moving your washing machine and dryer, whether they are separate units or joined as a stacked unit, is to keep them upright. Both have a suspended drum that can be thrown out of alignment if you set the machine on its side. Unless you're moving either appliance just across the room you should use an appliance dolly.

Disconnect Electricity, Water and Vents

Before moving the washing machine, it's a good idea to drain it. An easy way to do this is to turn off the water valves, then run it on warm wash for a minute. After a minute has elapsed, change the setting to spin and run it for another minute. This procedure drains any residual water in the hoses and the main agitator. After you've completed this procedure, unplug the washing machine and dryer and turn off the gas valve to the dryer, if it's a gas model.

Disconnect the Washing Machine

The washing machine water supply hoses usually have standard garden hose connections that you can loosen by hand, but if not, use adjustable pliers. Turn off the water, disconnect the hoses from the faucets and then disconnect the other ends of the hose from the appliance itself. Drop the hoses inside the washer tub so you'll know where they are when you reach your destination.

The drain connection should just lift out of the standpipe. To keep it out of your way, loosen the clamp holding it to the washer drain outlet, using a screwdriver, and pull it off. It can also go inside the washer.

Disconnect the Dryer

If your dryer is a gas model, it should be connected to the gas supply valve with a flexible gas hose. Unscrew one end from the gas valve -- after double-checking that the valve is off -- using a wrench or adjustable pliers, then unscrew the other end from the dryer. Put the hose in the washing machine with the other hoses.

To unscrew the duct pipe, you may have to move the dryer away from the wall to get behind it. The duct should be connected to the dryer outlet by means of a ring clamp. Loosen the clamp with a screwdriver and slide the duct off.

Move With a Dolly

An appliance dolly has a metal plate to support the appliance you're moving; that plate goes under the washer or dryer as you slide the dolly close; you'll probably have to tip the appliance forward to get the plate underneath it. Once the dolly makes contact, tip the appliance back toward you so that you're supporting its entire weight with the handles.

Strap It In, Tape It Up

It's important to secure the appliance to the dolly with straps or bungee cords before you tip it onto the dolly. The straps keep it from falling off, which is essential when you're going around corners or up and down stairs. Tape the doors shut with duct tape to prevent them from flying open.

Get Help

Moving a washer and dryer is a two-person job. You'll need a helper to tip the appliance onto the dolly, help you maneuver the dolly through doorways and around corners and navigate stairs. You may even need two to help you with an especially heavy washer, dryer or washer/dryer unit.

Going Up and Down Stairs

Whether you're going up or down stairs, the person controlling the dolly always walks behind, while the helper supports the unit from the front. The helper may prefer to lift the wheeled end of the dolly off the floor, but resist that urge. It's safest to let the wheels support the weight of the machine and to take one step at a time. In turn, the unit won't lie on its side, and it can't fall if someone trips.

Going Through Doorways

To make it easier the maneuver the washer and dryer through doorways, take the doors down to give yourself an extra 2 or 3 inches of clearance. This is a simple procedure that involves removing the hinge pins, and the door is easy to replace when you're done.

Loading Onto a Truck

If you're moving to a new home, the washer and dryer will be the two things you'll want to bring in first, so load them onto the truck last. Leave enough space for them to stand upright, set them with their sides in contact with the side panel of the truck, and secure them with straps or bungees. It's best to put pillows between the sides of the appliance and the truck to prevent scratches.