Moving in the winter is possibly the worst time to move due to icy conditions, unpredictable weather, and general coldness. But, it is the best time for prices, availability, and general coldness (overheating is horrible when you’re moving!).
Everyone has to move and sometimes, you don’t have the luxury of waiting for better weather. So, if you have to move during the peak snow season, we’ve got you covered with these tips. Before we begin though, remember this one thing before all else: it’s best to be delayed than to be caught in a blizzard or stuck in a ditch. Keep that in mind during the entire move and if something happens that does delay your move, take a deep breath and remind yourself that delays happen. It’s okay to be a little late. It’s better, in fact, to be late than to have someone get hurt or something break.
Without further ado, here are our tips for moving in winter.
Cover Your Floors
The best thing you should do BEFORE the movers get to your current AND new place, is cover the floors! Yes, in both places!
It will save you hours of cleaning the floor and will help protect your floors and carpet too. Think of it this way: tile is easy to clean, but excessive moisture, salt, and grime can stain wood, carpet, and concrete flooring permanently. Grab a couple cheap plastic tarps from the nearest hardware store or online, and lay floor mats down at every outside door.
We recommend having the wall to wall and making paths of them for every room. Tell the mover’s what’s up and they’ll do their best to stay on the tarps. You can also tape down or weigh down the edges too, so you don’t have to worry about them sliding around as the movers come in and out.
Turn Off the Heat
This may seem crazy, but it will save you money and won’t tax your heater. Think of it this way: your doors are going to be open for hours with a lot of people moving in and out of your home. It’s just money going out the door — literally!
Moving is hot work too, and your home will be preheated. If it gets too cold, you can turn it on, but be mindful of the open doors. To heat yourself up, have a crockpot of hot chocolate available to everyone, or offer everyone coffee or tea!
Clear All Outdoor Paths
Make a clear and safe path! This means shoveling, salting, and sweeping off your porch, steps, driveway, sidewalk, and any walkways that lead into your home. The last thing you want to worry about is slipping and falling, so ensuring everything is melted and clear long before the movers arrive.
We recommend putting down sidewalk salt, sand, or cat litter to help melt the ice (salt), or to provide traction (cat litter and sand).
Make Sure your Utilities are Turned On
Nothing is worse than finishing the move, collapsing on the couch of your new place, and realizing the gas water heater isn’t working because you forgot to turn on the gas. Or realizing the light switches aren’t working because there’s no electricity set up. Avoid that by calling your utility companies early and setting up a good time to turn them on. We recommend the day before the big move.
Keep Towels, Blankets, and Sheets on Hand
Imagine this: halfway through moving your furniture out to the truck, the skies open up and the snow is just pelting down. If you don’t have sheets or blankets near the front door, the movers will have to carry Grandmother’s antique writing desk through the downpour with no protection. Without extra towels or sheets, that writing desk is doomed.
Not to mention your hands and clothes. Having extra towels to wipe off your hands, feet, and face is just a must when you’re moving during the winter. You never know what’s going to happen! And it’s just easier (and warmer) than trying to wipe off cold and wet hands on your pants.
Tip Your Movers Well
Moving is usually cheaper in the winter, but the rate at which movers get paid doesn’t normally change much. That means they’re likely making less money and making fewer trips during this season. And they’re definitely not getting paid more to deal with ice, snow, and wind. Thank them for coming out in the winter and make sure they each get a good tip to reinforce your appreciation.
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