Although moving in spring and summer is very popular, there are many people who choose to – or must – make a move in winter, and there are some benefits to making a move in the colder months, as well. You could take advantage of special pricing from moving companies, which tend to be less busy during the winter months and can offer significant savings. Switching utilities from your old place to your new one could happen quicker during the winter for the same reason; there are less people moving in the colder months and therefore the utility company might have a more flexible schedule.
Winter Moving Tips
There are also some special considerations when moving in the winter. You may need to add extra protection when packing special items such as electronics, furniture, and artwork to protect them from moisture and damage caused by colder temperatures. Using plastic bubble wrap provides extra insulation, protection, and waterproofing for delicate and/ or sensitive materials, and furniture bags or heavy plastic wrap can protect cloth furniture and mattresses from the elements. Moving blankets are another way to add insulation and protection from the weather as well as protection from other items that could nick, scratch, or damage your furniture. There’s no such thing as too much protection!
If you’re planning on moving in the winter, it’s important to plan ahead. Inclement weather could quickly derail your plans on moving day, especially if the roads are icy or snowy. If you have a long way to travel to your new home, it’s a good idea to plan for some overnight accommodations, in case a winter storm moves in and causes delays. Be sure to keep your car loaded with the personal belongings you’ll need to access until you reach your destination. That should include a change of clothing for everyone, snacks, water, blankets, pillows, phone chargers, and books, games, or videos to keep the kids entertained during the road trip. Make sure you include any pet supplies you’ll need along the way, as well, and a leash for those roadside potty breaks. Speaking of hitting the road, be sure to have your vehicle fully serviced before your move date, including checking that spare tire, and bring along extra oil, windshield fluid, and antifreeze, as well as a window scraper and tire chains if needed.
Confirm with the utility company that service has been turned on at your new location – the last thing you want is to discover you don’t have lights, heat, and water when you arrive at your destination. This is not only necessary for your comfort, but in places where pipes can freeze it’s also vital to ensure the safety of your new home.
Hire Professional Movers
Moving can be taxing on everyone, and it can be especially difficult in winter. Hiring a professional moving company when you’re moving in the winter is a smart move. They will have experienced movers who are used to dealing with the special challenges of a winter move, and this will relieve you of a huge burden so that you can focus on getting out of your old place and into your new one without the possibility of wearing yourself out physically. As the day of your move approaches, keep an eye on changing conditions by checking the weather every few days. Call the moving company and make a different plan if it seems like snow or bad conditions will close roads or limit mobility. Making a move safely should be your primary concern, even if it means rescheduling because of bad weather.
Remember that days are shorter during the winter, so start early on move day to maximize daylight. Salt and/ or sand your walkways and driveway for safe foot traffic, and make sure everyone is dressed for the cold weather. Have hot liquids available on move day like coffee, hot chocolate or cider – your movers will thank you and it can be just the thing to help make move day a little more enjoyable, especially if it’s freezing outside!
Winterizing the new home:
As soon as you can, winterize your new home to ensure your family’s safety. Remove any threatening limbs that could potentially fall on your home during a winter storm, and prune bushes to prevent accidents. If not already in place, install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your new house, and make sure to regularly test and change the batteries. Check your steps, walkways, and driveways to ensure they are secure and don’t present any walking hazards in wet weather. If your gutters are clogged with leaves and twigs left over from autumn, clean them as soon as possible. Debris in the gutters may lead to a water build up, which could freeze and cause damage or leaks later.
Hire a professional to inspect and clean your chimney if you own a wood-burning fireplace and remember to change your furnace filters every 30 days during the winter months. Consider hiring a professional to inspect the furnace and ensure that it’s running properly. Insulate your pipes to avoid a watery mess; wrapping your pipes in heating tape or fiberglass will help keep them from freezing and bursting during cold weather. If you can’t do this yourself, it’s well worth it to have a professional do the work. Check batteries in smoke detectors and make sure they are in proper working order. Stay safe by checking all your detectors and all your appliances.
If you follow these winter moving tips, you should be able to move no matter what the weather brings, and complete your move in safety, arriving at your new home with everything intact.