Ice-coated window panes and snow falling outside make you want to do nothing but stay inside and cuddle up next to the fire with some hot cocoa – not move your entire life. Although moving in the winter doesn’t sound fun, it isn’t impossible. So long as you have the right approach to moving and proper planning, you can achieve a fairly easy transition in the middle of winter and save some money in the process.
Despite the challenge of snowy sidewalks and icy roads, winter is actually one of the best times to move. Rents are much lower since landlords are looking to fill up their vacant units, and slow season for the moving industry means you can generally get a discount from your moving company. With that said, how can you manage moving in winter with minimal stress and maximum success?
Continue reading for our tips to survive moving in winter and make your relocation as smooth and hassle-free as possible.
Winter Moving Challenges
Although moving in winter is far from impossible, it’s crucial that you understand the unique challenges you will likely face while relocating during this time. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
Undesirable Weather Conditions
Undeniably, moving in winter comes with a slew of undesirable weather conditions, such as:
- Rain and snow, making driving difficult
- Wet and icy road conditions
- Snow-covered walkways and sidewalks
- Slippery surfaces that compromise your stability
Low Sales and Rental Inventory
During the winter month, both the sales and rental inventory drops significantly. This is mostly due to the fact that less people are moving during this type. You may notice more or less competition depending on whether more people are moving to or from a location. However, you can expect your rental and homebuying choices to be relatively narrow.
The best way to combat low inventory is to start searching as early as possible and have all of your documentation in order. Avoid making large purchases to keep your credit score high when you need to apply for a loan. Consider making trips to scout your new area, that way you’re not scrambling to find a new home after your move is already scheduled.
Tips to Survive Moving in Winter
Regardless of the season, moving can be stressful. However, it can be even more challenging when you have to relocate during the winter months. Fortunately, we’ve assembled some tips to help simplify the process.
- Protect Your Belongings
When moving during the winter, you’ll want to take special care to pack particular items. Double wrap your glass, dishware, and other fragile items that may be vulnerable to temperature changes using towels or blankets. This will help keep them safe from breaking and damage caused by shifts in temperature while in transit.
As far as electronics go, they may need a full 24 hours to adjust back to room temperature. Mark the boxes with these items accordingly and try to avoid leaving them in the garage or outside for too long. You’ll also want to keep your mattress and other furniture items safe from the elements. This can be done by using a mattress cover and sturdy moving boxes.
When it comes to your household appliances, you should strongly consider draining those that contain water. This will help you prevent appliances like your washing machine or refrigerator from freezing. For toiletries or anything else that can also be susceptible to freezing, if possible, put these in your personal vehicle instead of the moving truck.
- Get Your Home Ready for The Move
Winter weather conditions, such as ice and snow, can make moving much more hazardous than fall, spring, or summer. Before you even begin having items loaded into a moving truck or car, you want to create a safe environment for yourself and your movers.
Using either a shovel, plow, or snow blower, remove as much snow as possible to create a wide path for moving items out of your house. For safety purposes, you also want to ensure that all your walkways are free of ice. Purchase an anti-icer or de-icer from your local home center and apply it to your sidewalks and steps. This will help you avoid breakage of fragile items and slips and falls leading to injuries.
- Have a Backup Plan
The weather can be extraordinarily unpredictable during the winter; you may have clear skies one day and a blizzard the next. Pay close attention to forecasts in the weeks before your relocation. If you notice that a massive storm is heading your way on the day you intend to move, you may want to call your movers and reschedule. Or, ask them how they’d like to proceed.
If you’re doing the driving yourself during your move, regardless of the distance, you still want to keep a lookout for storms. Have an alternate route in mind in case storms make high elevations and mountain passes risky. For example, plan out the shortest route (which may be through the mountains) and also the safest one (longer but along southern highways).
Either way, moving during the winter requires that you be flexible.
- Layer Up!
While this may sound like an obvious tip, it is even more important when moving during the winter. Winter moving exposes you to a wide range of temperatures, from the cozy, warm interiors of houses and cars to the bitter-cold outdoor temps. Even if the weather dips below freezing, you’ll still work up a sweat while you’re hauling.
The best way to move during the winter is to have plenty of layers. That way, you can remove layers as you get warm and replace them when you start to get cold again. Start with wearing a long-sleeved shirt, then a fleece, and big puffy coat. No matter how hot you get during the move, you never want to strip down to less than a tee-shirt. This puts you at risk for hypothermia or even frostbite.
As far as the kids are concerned, keep them fully bundled up at all times, even if they’re helping with the move.
- Get Help
When it comes to surviving a winter move, it is essential that you get some help. Whether you decide to bribe your friends with beer and pizza or enlist the help of professionals, you shouldn’t go at it alone. With a limited number of daylight hours and dangerously slick surfaces, you want to execute your move both quickly and safely. That’s where good help comes in.
Arguably, the best help you can get for winter moving is from the experts. Professional movers have much more experience with winter moving than you do, meaning they are better equipped to handle various challenges that may arise. They will do all the loading and unloading for you so you don’t have to worry about hauling heavy items in sometimes-brutal temperatures. If needed, you can even hire them to pack your home and unpack at your new one, further simplifying your winter move.
As with any type of move, you want to take care of your movers. Thank them for their hard work by preparing some hot coffee, hot cocoa, or even apple cider. They will certainly appreciate the gesture.
Let Three Men And A Truck make your winter move a smooth and stress-free experience. Call us at (888) 908-6496, or use our convenient online request form for your FREE, no-obligation moving quote.