There’s a reason people typically move in the summer months — it’s a lot easier. As the temperature drops and snow starts to fall, moving becomes a more involved and unpredictable task. While winter moving requires additional planning, it doesn’t have to be more difficult if you know what you’re doing. Follow these 9 winter moving tips to ensure your move is as easy as possible.
1. Confirm Details Ahead of Time
The good thing about moving in the winter is that it is offseason for movers. This means you should have a wide variety of dates to choose from when booking your move. This can come in handy with the unpredictable winter weather. Be sure to confirm the moving date and details with your movers at least a week before and a day or two before the move. It’s a good idea to have a backup plan in place in case you wake up to a snowstorm on moving day. Speak with your moving company to confirm if there will be any charges for rescheduling due to weather.
2. Watch the Weather
The weather will be the biggest obstacle to overcome during winter moving. Keep a close eye on the weather leading up to the move. It’s a good idea to know the route the movers will be taking and check to see if there are any road closures due to weather. If you’re concerned about the weather impacting your move, be sure to call your movers and express this. Together you can come up with a plan that will make sure your move is as smooth as possible.
3. Prepare Your Old Home
On moving day, there will be a crew of movers as well as your family coming in and out of the house for several hours. Take some time to prepare your home for move-out day. Lay down plastic sheets to protect your floors from the snow and dirt that will be tracked in. It’s much easier to pick up plastic sheets than it is to wash all your floors before leaving.
Some homeowners will turn off the heat in their homes on move out day to help conserve energy. Consider doing this if you have a large house move that is going to take several hours. There’s no need to heat an entire house when you’re going to be emptying it. If you do opt to turn off the heat, consider leaving a space heater in the bathroom so there is one room in the house to warm up in.
During a winter move, it’s always best to get started earlier in the day. Take advantage of the daylight and move while you can still see outside. Not only is it generally warmer during the day, but it’s also easier to see, making it safer to move. If you live in a multistory home or are in a highrise condo or apartment building, try to get as many of your boxes to the main floor as possible before move out day. The closer your boxes are to the front door, the easier and faster they will be to take to the moving van.
4. Make Arrangements for Kids and Pets
Moving day is a busy day. There will be lots of people going in and out of your home for several hours. If you have pets and young children, it’s best to make arrangements for them to be out of the home. Ask family or friends to look after them for the day.
5. Clear a Path
Moving in the winter can be dangerous. Patches of ice can lurk beneath the snow, and if you’re not careful, you or a mover could slip and fall. To ensure this doesn’t happen, take the time to properly clear your walkways and be sure to salt them. Not only will this protect your items from being dropped, but it will also protect the movers and ensure you don’t end up with a lawsuit. If you need extra help clearing the snow from your property, schedule an appointment with a snow removal company.
6. Pack Properly and In Advance
Winter packing takes more time and requires more materials. Give yourself the extra time to pack things properly. If you’re using cardboard boxes, consider wrapping them in plastic wrap, or lining the inside with blankets or sheets. You don’t want moisture from snow leaking in and destroying your items. You can also consider using a packing box rental service instead of buying cardboard boxes. These boxes are often made from plastic or similar materials and will not fall apart if set down in the snow.
Take special care of your electronics when packing. They can have a hard time transitioning from the temperature changes. Wrap them in blankets, inside and outside of the moving boxes. Dishware and glass are also particularly susceptible to temperature changes. If you have nice pieces you don’t want to risk breaking, double wrap them in thick blankets to help ease the transition. Consider loading these items in last and moving them into your new home first.
7. Prepare Your New Home
Remember to call ahead and ensure the heat is on at your new place. You don’t want to spend all this time and effort safely packing your items if your new house is as cold as an icebox. Be sure to call a few days or weeks (depending on your situation) and ensure the heat and the lights will be on upon your arrival.
8. Be Flexible
No matter how much you prepare, you can’t predict the weather. Keep this in mind and try to be flexible if complications come up. Expect possible road closures and longer travel times. It’s a good idea to have a backup plan in place should a storm start. Listen to your movers if they express concern about road conditions. It’s better to delay the move a day than it is to risk people’s lives in dangerous conditions.
9. Remember the Movers
Moving is not an easy job, no matter the time of year. Consider the harsh conditions your movers will be working against to ensure your move goes smoothly. Offer them extra gloves, hot coffee and be sure to tip well. Movers rates do not usually increase in the winter, so be sure to show your appreciation with a nice tip at the end of the day. You can also write them a review to share your experience with the entire HomeStars community.
Moving in the winter can be a daunting task to take on, but it doesn’t have to be. As long as you take the time to properly prepare and can be flexible with dates, you shouldn’t have an issue. When you’re ready to get moving, you can find a reliable moving company on HomeStars. Do you have any tips for moving in the winter? Share them with us below. Good luck with your winter move!
Cover image courtesy of Toronto Rentals.