November is here, and in many parts of the country that means winter is fast approaching. While it’s not as popular to move in the winter, there are still plenty of Americans who decide to pack up when the weather gets cold. However, moving in the winter can bring additional challenges that don’t occur when moving at other times of the year. Here are seven tips to make sure your winter move goes as smoothly as possible!
1. Book in Advance
Although winter is the off-season for moving companies, it’s still smart to book in advance. Moving companies may have altered availability in the winter, especially around the holidays. While you may want to move during your child’s winter vacation, it’s possible that a moving company could be closed during some of that time period. If you want to avoid a last-minute crisis, try to book your move at least a month in advance. However, in the event of a short-notice move, you’ll have a better chance of booking than in the summer. Still, planning in advance is always a good strategy.
2. Check the Weather
While most moves still run smoothly in the winter, certain conditions make moving impossible. If there’s a possibility of a major blizzard or unbearably cold temperatures, you may have to adjust your move date. Unfortunately, weather can change on a dime. Start checking the weather about two weeks before your move date. You should also keep in contact with the moving company to make sure they’re comfortable moving if the forecast looks grim. If the weather forces your moving company to cancel, be understanding. Most moving companies will work in just about any weather, but have to look out for the safety of their employees and customers.
3. Clear Walkways
Staying on your feet in the winter can be tough even when you’re not carrying anything. With all the back and forth trips to and from the house, moving carries greater risk of slipping on ice or snow. To avoid any potential slips, it’s vital to shovel or snow blow the walkways around your old and new home. Another good idea is to salt the walkways to melt any ice that could form. By following these steps, both you and your movers can stay safe throughout the process.
4. Dress Warmly, but Lightly
Moving can be quite the workout. Whether you’re packing or carrying items, the moving process is guaranteed to make you sweat. In the summer, athletic wear is perfect for moving. However, the cold temperatures of winter will prevent you from sporting your most comfortable attire. On the other hand, a bulky winter coat may be bothersome to wear while doing all of the work that comes with moving. The best idea is to wear multiple layers of lighter, but warm clothing. A good option is to wear a long-sleeved base layer with a warm sweatshirt or hoodie over that layer.
5. Cover the Floors
Walking into a new home fresh out of the snow and ice is not ideal. The last thing you want is your new floors and carpets to get soaked. However, it would also seem unreasonable to have movers take their shoes off each time they entered the house. An easy solution to this problem is to lay down sheets or mats throughout the house. By following this step, you can keep your new home clean and free from winter slush.
6. Keep the Heat Off
While it may seem ridiculous to keep the heat off in the middle of winter, it’s the right thing to do while moving. As movers constantly go in and out of the house, the doors will have to stay open. With all of that cold air coming in, plenty of energy will be used to warm the house. If you leave the heat on, there’s a chance you could use up a month’s worth of energy in one day. The better solution is to keep the heat turned off. To counteract the cold in your house, be sure to dress warmly and use space heaters.
7. Treat Your Movers Well
You should always treat movers well. Moving crews put in a lot of hard work to move all of your belongings. In the winter, the work becomes even more taxing. With every step there is the danger of slipping. Additionally, cold temperatures can make hauling furniture even more difficult than it already is. Along with giving your movers a good tip, make sure to have a warm beverage ready for them. Some good options are warm apple cider, coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.