Every year, thousands of people brave the frigid temps and hazardous conditions to move during the chilly winter months. While you may save a pretty penny, you’ll still find that moving during this time of year comes with its own set of challenges. Icy roads, dangerous weather conditions and required home maintenance make it especially grueling. To ensure you’re properly prepared for such a move, we’ve highlighted a few important topics to consider when relocating this winter.
Hiring movers for cold weather
For those moving in or to frigid climates, we strongly suggest hiring movers to help with the heavy lifting. If a blizzard sweeps in at the last minute, you’ll be glad you did. Once you find your moving company and set a date, it’s important to discuss a back-up moving date with movers. If severe winter weather hits your area, the moving company will need to have a back-up moving date in case of emergency.
If you are moving yourself, make sure to plan the route ahead of time. Choose main roads over deserted back roads. In case of snow and ice, it’s likely these main roads will be the first to be cleared. If driving a long distance, have your car serviced before the move. Make sure to have your tires examined and consider replacing them with winter tires, which are designed to provide traction when driving through icy conditions.
Also when prepping for a move, keep your pets in mind. Unless you plan on containing them in a small space or crate, it’s a good idea to either board or keep your pet under the supervision of a dog walker or friend on moving day. Unfortunately, moving day involves lots of open doors, which make it easy for your dog or cat to run away or get lost – and that certainly wouldn’t be a great way to start out in your new home.
When packing, keep the possibility of freezing temperatures and precipitation in mind. If it’s snowy, icy and generally slushy outside, you’ll need to ensure that your belongings are protected. Waterproof as much of the move as possible by using packing items such as plastic bins, mattress bags, plastic bags, plastic wrap, waterproof moving labels and bubble wrap. Remember: electronics and wet weather don’t mix well. We suggest putting all small electronics, cords and cables in sealed plastic bags before packing them in boxes. For larger electronics, it may be a good idea to have the moving company professionally pack those for you.
When packing, also remember to load your car with winter supplies. These include: an emergency first aid kit, flashlights, batteries, hats and gloves, shovels, blankets, windshield scrapers, bottled water, snacks, cell phone chargers and possibly road salt.
Moving in winter
On moving day, we recommend getting the moving process started in the early morning. Days are considerably shorter during the winter months – especially for those living in northern climates. It’s important to start early, so that you have as much daylight as possible while moving. Also, if weather conditions are treacherous, make sure to dress for the occasion. Wear warm hats, gloves, coats, scarves and practical snow boots. It may be a good idea to pack a thermos with some sort of hot beverage as well.
Before the move gets started, shovel any sidewalks, stairs, or driveways covered with snow and ice. Salt slippery pathways and doorsteps. If you’re moving to a big city, be prepared to shovel out street parking spaces as well. Once you’re inside the house, protect your floors and entryway with either plastic film or flattened cardboard boxes. This will hopefully keep your home dry and free of the icy slush dragged in by the movers.