Winter is actually a great time to move, especially in colder climates. You can get lower rents, cheaper truck rental, and even great deals if you’re buying a home that’s been sitting on the market for months. Unfortunately, the reason it’s cheaper is that most people don’t want to deal with moving in the cold, snow, and ice.
If you find yourself having to move during the winter months, you will want to keep a few things in mind.
Pre-plan for the Weather
Start by making a backup plan in case a storm arrives on moving day. Consult realtors, property managers, landlords, and moving companies about policies for postponing in case of inclement weather.
Make sure the utilities are activated and turned on at your new home and that the scheduled turn off date at your current place are several days after your move. This way you’ll be sure to have heat and lights wherever you are.
Start tracking the weather forecast two weeks before you move and keep a close eye on temperatures and storm systems in the days leading up to the move. If it’s a long distance move, make sure you’re checking not just the cities at each end of the trip, but the weather for all the towns and highways on your driving route.
Make sure you have winter supplies on hand. This starts with appropriate clothing like coats, gloves, and boots, but also includes snow shovels, windshield scrapers, salt or sand for your driveway and steps, and tarps, sheets or cardboard to protect the floors of your home as you move things in and out of the dwelling.
Clear away any snow or ice from walkways, driveways, and wherever the moving truck is going to park. Do this at both your current and new home for a local move. For a long distance move, arrange for the landlord or property manager to clear your new home before you arrive.
Whether you’re moving yourself or have hired movers, you’ll want to take a few extra steps to make sure things go smoothly.
- Keep the doors open. This will reduce temperature shock between the cold outside and the heat inside.
- Wear layered clothing. As you warm up from the physical exertion you can shed outer layers and prevent overheating.
- Stay hydrated. While the temptation will be to drink hot liquids, stick with room temperature water during the move. Once everything is loaded up, then you can close up the doors and enjoy hot food and beverages.
- Get help. Whether you hire movers or gather friends together, the more bodies involved, the less time any one person has to spend in the cold. Just remember to “pay” your friends with a hot meal afterward.
- Keep towels or rags available both inside and in the moving truck to wipe down anything that gets wet, snowy, or muddy.
Pets in Winter
You may want to consider boarding your pets during a local move or sending them to a friend on moving day. With open doors and people coming in and out, the possibility that a companion animal will get out is high. If that’s not possible, consider locking them in a container room, such as a bathroom, or loading them into their carriers in a remote corner of your home. An indoor cat or dog getting lost in the snow or cold outside could be a tragedy.
If you’re traveling long distance with pets, make sure each carrier has a thick blanket or towel to help keep animals warm in the back of the vehicle. Keep pets in the car with you, do not transport them in the moving truck, as it is not climate controlled.
If you’re lucky, the weather will be on your side and you’ll have an easy move. If not, following these tips will make even a snowy, blustery day into a good moving experience.