Most people dread moving during the winter. The ice, snow, or freezing rain are daunting enough to make many homeowners hide inside until spring arrives. If you are, however, planning a winter move, don’t stress. It’s possible to manage the harsh weather and master winter moving like a pro.
November through February is the off-season for moving companies, so you may notice more flexibility with scheduling during this time. If you’re ready to embrace the cold weather, follow these guidelines to tackle the toughest moving season with confidence.
Keep Your Walkways Clear
Don’t let winter weather slow you down! Make sure your driveway and walkways stay clear of snow and ice during moving day. In addition to shoveling, spreading rock salt is a cheap and effective method of deicing your path. If snow is falling, consider blending calcium chloride with your rock salt. The calcium chloride melts snow and ice, while the rock salt slows the re-icing process.
Pro-tip: If you’re heading directly into a nearby home, clear the driveway and walkways of the new place the day before. This will save you time during the hectic day of your move.
Check the Weather
If you have any flexibility in your moving date, keep an eye on weather forecasts and plan your schedule accordingly. Don’t be surprised by snow or freezing rain on moving day. Anticipate weather challenges and adapt to them.
Pro-tip: Check your town’s snowplow schedule. No one wants to slog through massive snow banks while moving heavy boxes into a truck.
Turn Down Your Heat
During a move, your home’s doors will open and close constantly. This frequent activity strains your heating system and can lead to high energy bills, especially in freezing weather. Bundle up in warm clothes during the move and turn down your home’s heating system. Just make sure to leave enough heat on to prevent the house’s pipes from freezing. According to Consumer Reports, setting the heat at 55° F should be sufficient.
Pro-tip: Turn on the heat in your new home before you move in. If you’re moving long distance, ask the property manager or realtor to set the new home’s thermostat to prevent pipe freezing and to make your move more comfortable.
Insulate Your Boxes
Objects made of solid wood can warp when exposed to freezing temperatures, so take extra care to insulate these things during a move. Electronics and other cold-sensitive items should be transported in a heated car and kept indoors as long as possible to prevent damage. Cold weather can make some objects more brittle and breakable, so double pack fragile items for added protection.
If you have belongings that are especially vulnerable to cold temperatures, consider placing these items in Extra Space Storage’s climate controlled storage units until the weather warms up.
Pro-tip: Polystyrene packing peanuts serve as a great insulator. They pad fragile items and are so good at blocking out cold air that they’re often used to insulate homes.
Drink Warm Beverages
Make the chilly winter move as pleasant an experience as possible. As you work, treat yourself to warming drinks like hot apple cider or cocoa. Having a crockpot filled with a hot beverage will help you regulate your body temperature and stay hydrated and refreshed.
Pro-tip: If you hire a moving company to assist you, make sure to offer them some refreshments. It’s definitely a good idea to become friends with your movers, considering they’ll be transporting all of your worldly possessions in their truck.
Protect Your Floors
Lay old rugs or plastic tarp throughout your old and new houses. Snow-covered boots can damage your carpets and hardwood, and slippery staircases and floors pose a huge safety risk. It would be such a shame to ruin the floors of your new home with melted snow!
Pro-tip: Don’t pack away all of your winter clothes and tools. You won’t want to waste time digging through boxes to find mittens or a shovel. Keep plenty of towels at the ready as well, as winter moving is a slushy and messy endeavor.
Pre-Pack Your Moving Vehicle For Safe Driving On Icy Roads
When moving, people often rent large moving vans or trucks. However, many drivers have little or no experience operating such bulky vehicles, so navigating icy winter roads can be especially dangerous. Exercise extra caution when behind the wheel of a rental truck in the winter.
Pro-tip: If you’re packing your vehicle yourself, check out these guidelines for pre-packing your moving truck.
It may be wise to put some items in storage while the weather’s warm, and move those items into your new home after the winter. This will save you from the hassle of transporting all of your belongings in the freezing weather.
For more winter tips, check out these ideas for preparing your home for the cold. [Hyperlink to upcoming October Winter home prep blog]
And if the winter weather proves to be simply too much to handle, you could always consider escaping to a warmer climate.