14 Tips for Winter Moves
Winter moves present a whole set of considerations that make them different than moving any other time of year.
Most people choose to relocate during the sunny days of spring and summer for a variety of reasons such as ease of logistics and better weather. Families use the summer break to transition their school-age children more easily. For these reasons, it is peak moving time when moving companies charge the highest rates of the year and there is the least amount of flexibility in scheduling.
In contrast, because winter moves are less common, the pricing is at its lowest. Many people prefer not to face winter cold and potential snow, which can complicate the process. Also, people tend to move less during the holidays. Nonetheless, for a variety of reasons, people have to or choose to relocate in winter, and a skilled mover will manage weather-related challenges with ease and skill.
If you are willing to face the challenges of Winter, there are significant savings and greater flexibility in scheduling. Also, during the busy season, moving companies often bring in less experienced seasonal help. In winter, only the professional movers will be on duty. They’re the ones you can trust to keep your possessions safe when the mercury drops.
If you’re planning a Winter move, here are 14 tips to think about.
- Build some flexibility into your schedule to account for unforeseen issues such as weather. If you have some wiggle room, an unforeseen snowstorm can be handled easily.
- Shovel and salt sidewalks and driveways to ensure they are free of ice and snow at both your old and new homes. Create a wide walkway to ensure large pieces of furniture can be moved safely at both ends of the move. This makes your mover’s job easier and can protect you from liability.
- Make sure your new home has the utilities turned on and there are no issues with the heating before moving day. You don’t want to have to repair a heating system while you are involved in the move.
- With people going in and out all day, it will be hard to keep the house warm. Keep the doors closed in one room. Have a space heater, if feasible. This way there’s a place to warm up from time to time.
- Have warm drinks and a supply of snacks for yourself and the movers. They’ll appreciate the gesture, which often leads to better service.
- For apartment and city homes, make sure you have reserved the service elevator if necessary and obtain any parking permits if your city requires them. Check with city hall if you are not sure.
- Make sure your car is weather-ready so there are no issues the day of the move.
- If your things are in the moving van for a long period in the extreme cold:
a. Don’t have any liquids that can freeze in your boxes.
b. Ask the moving company about packing materials for items that could be damaged if they are left in the cold for a long time, such as delicate wood furniture. Freezing temperatures will cause the moisture in the wood to contract. Wrapping should protect these items, but to ease your mind, talk to your representative at the moving company – they’re the experts.
c. Plants can freeze and very often are not allowed in a moving van. Even in your car, be careful not to leave them for too long.
- Protect your floors – a good mover will often bring materials like Masonite for this purpose. If you are doing the move yourself, lay plastic sheets, cardboard, or old rugs to prevent snow, water, and salt from damaging floors.
- Dress warmly – Dress in layers to stay warm during the move and wear appropriate cold-weather gear such as gloves, hats, and insulated boots. Keep spare clothing handy in case you get wet or need to change.
- Keep towels and blankets handy to wipe down wet or snowy items as they come into your new home to prevent water damage.
- Protect electronics
a. If you have delicate electronics, it is safest to move these items yourself at any time of year.
b. Let electronics acclimate to room temperature before plugging them in to prevent condensation damage.
c. Wrap electronics in plastic or blankets to keep them warm during transport.
- Plan for less daylight – With shorter winter days, start your move early to maximize daylight hours. Be mindful of fading light, since moving in the dark can be challenging.
- If you are moving around the holidays, pre-order the meal from a local grocery store, caterer, or restaurant. This might be a good year to have someone else do the cooking! If you’re intent on doing it yourself, pack all the kitchen items you’ll need together, mark everything clearly, and unpack those boxes first.
Moving in winter can present both challenges and advantages. With careful planning and these tips, you can ensure a smooth and safe transition to your new home, even in cold and snowy conditions.
Let Sterling be your Full-Service Mover
Contact us to learn more about our full range of moving and storage services. We will work with you to make sure your move stays on schedule and is as stress-free as possible.
Give us a call or fill out our online form, and one of our professional team members will be happy to answer all your questions and arrange a free, no-obligation moving estimate.