Most Americans choose to move between May and September, but not all of us have that luxury. Moving during the winter might seem like a drag, but if you’re smart about it, it might just be the best time to move!
Hire a Professional
The smartest thing you can do during a winter move is to hire a moving company. Although it may be a lot less expensive to do it yourself, a trip to the emergency room because you decided to save a couple hundred dollars and carry the couch to the car yourself, will certainly put a damper on things. Because winter is the off-season for moving companies, it’s rather easy to find lower rates, more personalized service, and flexible schedules. You are also more likely to get the most experienced movers during the winter. During the summer, moving companies hire inexperienced movers to help keep up with demand, in the winter employees are more likely to be long-time employees who have plenty of experience when it comes to moving.
Check the Weather
Be overly aware of the weather in the weeks and days leading up to your moving date. You won’t want to deal with a surprise blizzard on your moving day. The more warning you have the better when it comes to bad weather. Also, with more advanced notice you will be able to change plans more easily.
Shovel and De-Ice
No matter how much you prepare for your move, moving in the winter is a dangerous task. You can make it a little safer by making sure that all walkways and paths are clear of snow and ice. You will also want to ensure that the parking area for the moving truck is cleared.
You will also want to evaluate the situation at your new home. If you are moving locally, take a trip over and make sure to clear any snow or ice. If you are not moving locally contact your agent and see how the conditions are and if they are bad, inquire about any local services that may be available to shovel paths for you before you get there.
Cover Your Floors
Don’t risk ruining your floors during your move. Cover them with plastic tarps, carpet remnants, or cardboard boxes, taped to the floor, while moving things in and out so you don’t track snow and salt in the house as you come and go all day. These carpet coverings may also offer some more traction, making the moving process a little safer.
Place floor mats down at every entranceway to help keep the mess under control before it makes it into the house.
Don’t Waste Your Heat
With people coming in and out of your house all day you will want to turn the heat off at the house you are moving out of — even if it’s just for moving day. This will save you money on your utility bill. There’s no point in paying to heat the house if you are going to be opening the door constantly. Tip - place a space heater in your bathroom and make your movers day!
You will want to make sure you turn on all major utilities at your new home one full week before you move in. What is a small hassle in the summer can turn into a disaster in the winter.
Board Your Pets
Keeping your pet at your old home with you while you move can be both dangerous and a hassle. Board your pet so that they stay warm during the move, keep out of the way of people carrying heavy boxes, and so they don’t escape when the door is constantly opening and closing all day. It’s also best to move your pet last, to keep their trauma levels to a minimum.
You will want to wear appropriate clothing while moving during the winter. Wearing multiple layers is a lot smarter than wearing a large puffy coat. Don’t wear anything too restricting, as you will be doing a lot of moving around during the moving process. You will also want to make sure to keep your feet and hands dry throughout the process. Having extra gloves on hand is a great idea as gloves tend to get wet as you move throughout the day.
Having warm drinks available for movers is also a great way to make sure people are staying warm and hydrated throughout the day.
Double Pack Fragile & Electronic Items
There are plenty of items that hate cold temperatures, such as china, antique furniture, and electronics. You will want to make sure you use extra bubble wrap and packing paper to help insulate your belongings.
Anything that can be severely damaged by cold temperatures should be packed in your car rather than the moving truck, since if you are moving a long distance the moving truck may sit out overnight in sub-zero temperatures.
Keep Winter Essentials With You
You won’t want to be stranded in the cold without extra warm clothing. Make sure you pull out all winter accessories such as hats, gloves, coats, etc and keep them in a laundry basket in your car so it’s easily accessible. It’s also a good idea to keep a shovel and salt in your car so that when you get to your new home you will be able to clear a path if you need to, and you won’t have to dig through numerous boxes looking for a shovel.
Be Careful & Have a Backup Plan
At the end of the day, no matter how much you plan, winter weather is unpredictable. If the roads are treacherous and slippery: postpone. Don’t tempt fate because you are impatient. Your movie company, especially if it is a company who has been around for many years, will understand if you postpone because of bad weather, they certainly don’t want to drive on dangerous roads either.