There’s always going to be a bit of stress that goes along with moving. That’s why we’ve always advocated for planning well ahead and using tools like our Moving Checklist to keep the process as smooth and seamless as possible.
However, if you’ve living in and/or moving from a place with a four-season climate, winter weather is one variable you can’t control. That doesn’t mean you have to feel totally adrift when coping with potentially freezing temperatures and snow conditions. It’s simply a matter of minimizing potential hurdles along the way — and being able to flex with changing conditions as they happen.
If you’re planning a move during the snowy season, keep these tips in mind.
Confirm Dates and Details
Winter is considered off-season in the moving business, which can mean more competitive pricing and scheduling flexibility. That said, you’ll definitely want to stay in close contact with your mover or move coordinator, especially in the two or three days leading up to the move. If there’s a winter storm warning in the forecast, be aware that your scheduled move date may shift until conditions change. Stay calm and remind yourself that it’s ultimately safer and less stressful to wait it out.
Many neighborhoods in colder climates have regular snow removal schedules. Check to make sure that your move doesn’t coincide with any planned street or sidewalk clearing.
Pack With Extra Caution
Be aware that items like china, crystal and certain plastics become more brittle when it’s cold. And if you leave electronics in the cold and move them into a warm room, condensation may build up and damage your devices. If you’re moving something particularly precious to you, consider taking it with you in your car. Don’t skimp on boxes and packing materials. In snowy weather, ordinary cardboard boxes might burst and cause damage to your belongings.
If you’re moving houseplants in your car, put them in a box or wrap them in another protective covering before you step outdoors to avoid shocking them with sub-freezing temps. Don’t leave them in a cold vehicle for long periods of time.
Prep Your Vehicle
The last thing you want is a breakdown or accident enroute. Schedule a tune-up with a reputable mechanic to make sure your car’s ignition, fuel, heating and computer systems are in good shape. In many parts of the country, snow tires would also be a wise pre-move purchase.
Prep Your Loved Ones, Too
If it’s cold and snowy outside, make sure you and those traveling with you are bundled up. Dress in layers so you can easily add or remove clothing throughout the day. High-topped shoes or boots with solid traction can help prevent slips and falls. Gloves are vital in winter conditions, though woolen ones can soak through quickly. Have extra pairs available for everyone throughout the move process.
Be sure you also have a few blankets handy throughout the move in case you or a loved one feels chilly. Depending on the outside weather, it may take a while for your new home to heat up to a comfortable level. Is a pet moving with you? Make sure they’re not underfoot on moving day and pack food and toys to take along in your vehicle to keep them calm and occupied during the journey. Also, never leave them for an extended period of time in a cold vehicle.
Make Sure All Access Points are Clear
Driveways and sidewalks at both ends of your move must be clear of snow, ice and slush as much as possible. Also, the ends of both driveways should be cleared wide enough to accommodate the moving van backing in and out. Put down sand or salt on the pathways ahead of time for safety.
Check What’s On — or Off
Utilities — particularly heating — need to be carefully coordinated at both ends of a winter move, especially if there’s an unplanned interval between your scheduled move day and your actual arrival. Ensure you’ll have electricity, gas and water in your new home on move day so the home you’re leaving and the one you’re heading to aren’t ice cold. This is especially important since below freezing temperatures can burst pipes, leading to water damage. All that said, during loading and unloading, it’s a good idea to turn the heat off since an open front door will undoubtedly just cause heat to escape and turn snow into slush inside your home.
Protect the Floors
Nobody wants snow and slush tracked through their new home. Or, frankly, their old once since additional cleanup would be required. Pick up some inexpensive plastic tarps from a hardware store and lay floor mats down at every outside door to protect hardwood, tile and carpeting.
Be Nice to Your Move Crew
They’re doing their best under less-than-ideal conditions! Get out the coffee maker and some disposable cups, offer them a light snack if you can and help make the move as pleasant and stress-free as possible for everyone involved.
Need professional movers to help with your move in the chillier months? United can help. Get a quote from us today.
Looking for more helpful tips and tricks on everything from planning your move to decorating once you’re there? Be sure to check out our blog.