10 Tips for Moving in Winter

1. Keep your schedule flexible

Because the weather can be unpredictable, you should keep a wide range of dates available for your move. Winter is the slow season for moving companies and most will adjust their schedule as needed throughout the season.

Check in with your mover to confirm the date the week before and the day before your move. If the weather forecast is predicting snow or ice, you should consider delaying your plans. It’s not a good idea to move in blizzard-like conditions.

2. Prepare your car for the move

If you’re moving a long distance, have your car serviced prior to the move to confirm that everything is running properly. Pack warm blankets and load up anything else you’ll need for driving in cold weather – like tire chains and ice scrapers – so you’ll be prepared for anything that might happen while on the road. Have towels on hand to wipe down wet boxes or clean up a spill.

3. Activate the heat and lights at your new home

A few days before your move, call the utility companies to set up your heat and electricity at your new home. When you finish moving in, you’ll want to be cozy and warm. You’ll also need plenty of light to unpack your things.

4. Clear the walkways, driveways and parking spaces

Be sure to salt and shovel all the walkways and parking areas you’ll be using so that you and your movers can walk safely with your belongings. The route should be free of icy and slippery conditions with plenty of room for the movers to use handcarts.

Check both locations before beginning to carry any substantial furniture or boxes. Make sure there’s parking available for the moving truck and your own vehicle.

5. Dress in layers and keep extra clothing accessible

While moving around and going indoors and outdoors, your body temperature may keep changing. Be prepared to put on and shed clothing throughout the day. Have extra shirts, coats, hats, gloves and scarves readily accessible, in your car, not packed away in the moving truck. And wear your best waterproof boots to protect your feet and avoid slipping.

6. Pack fragile items with extra padding

Temperature changes can put more wear and tear on fragile items like dishware and glass. Pack carefully and be sure to label the boxes with the most breakable items.

Double-wrap with thick blankets or use bubble wrap to ease the transition from the warmth of your house to the cold of the moving truck. You may want to consider loading fragile things last, and unloading them first. You should protect the most delicate items, as well as electronics, by transporting them in your own car.

7. Cover your carpet or hardwood floors

Keep your floors clean and protect them from getting damaged from snow and water. Cover them with a plastic tarp or cardboard. Use floor mats to pad heavier furniture.

8. Keep salt and shovels on hand

It’s a good idea to stock up on supplies in case your vehicle or the moving truck gets stuck in the snow. Be prepared and monitor the weather conditions throughout your moving day.

9. Bring food and drinks

Plan ahead and bring warm drinks, like coffee or hot chocolate and food, such as sandwiches and protein bars, to re-energize. You may be able to purchase items nearby, but it’s always a good idea to have food on hand to save time and energy.

10. Take good care of your movers

Moving in winter is more difficult than summer and professional movers work hard to protect your belongings. Be sure to thank them for all their hard work and give them a nice tip to show your appreciation.

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Rachel CooperRachel Cooper is a freelance writer and author with more than a decade of online journalism and content creation experience. She has written for About.com, Washingtonian, Federal City Council, Montgomery Parks, Destination Maryland, Conde Nast Traveler, Payscale, Valpak, Grandparents.com, Washington Parent and more. Her books include Quiet Water: Mid-Atlantic, AMC’s Canoe and Kayak Guide to the Best Ponds, Lakes and Easy Rivers; 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Washington, D.C. and Images of Rail: Union Station in Washington, D.C.

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