Winter is not only the whitest, purest and coldest season of them all, but it gives us the unique opportunity to indulge in winter-only activities that bring unrivaled fun, pleasure and satisfaction. Like what, you may ask? Certainly not moving across town or cross country but it happens.
The truth is that a winter move is arguably the toughest type of relocation you may ever be forced to undertake.
So, how to move in the winter?
Cord Moving and Storage is offering 10 winter moving tips below to learn the best ways and proven practices to bring your wintertime moving adventure to a highly successful end.
- Consider your winter moving options
It should not come as a surprise that moving in the winter months hides a number of risks for you as a home mover and depending on the specific climatic conditions on Moving day, things can get rather dangerous for everyone involved in the house move.
If you’re moving locally, then you may be tempted to attempt a Do-It-Yourself move which will include packing up your entire home by yourself /or with the help of good friends, of course/, renting a moving truck of the right capacity from a reputable truck rental company, loading and securing your packed moving boxes, wrapped up furniture pieces and any other well protected piece you’re taking with you in the moving vehicle, and finally – driving the rental truck safely to your new home. Moving in the winter by yourself does sound pretty straightforward and if you’re lucky to be relocating in very mild winter conditions – no snow or ice covered roads, no extreme subzero temperatures, no strong ice-cold winds and definitely no blizzards of any sorts, then there’s no good reason why you shouldn’t treat your winter self-move as if it were a summer one.
The problem with moving in the middle of winter though is that winter weather doesn’t care much about scheduled moving dates and relocation deadlines, and climatic conditions can change abruptly for the worse to delight the season’s cold-hearted nature. And if that is exactly what the forecast says it will happen on your moving day, you should definitely reconsider your decision to move in the winter on your own and seek assistance from reputable professional movers such as Cord Moving with offices in Saint Louis MO, Memphis TN, Belleville IL and Dixon MO who have significant experience in dealing with moves during cold weather.
- Save big with a winter move
Ultimately, it all comes down to taking a good hard look at your winter move from different angles and deciding what’s best for you and your family. A self-move can be really gratifying but it’s also true that any attempt to move by yourself in inclement winter weather is just not worth the great risks of sustaining personal injuries, inflicting property damage or causing harm to your valuable possessions. And in case you are moving cross country in the winter, then hiring professionals to help you relocate quickly and safely to your new residence becomes more than a necessity – it becomes a safety measure.
The great news for you as a shipper of household items is that there are indisputable benefits of moving in the winter.
- Unbeatable prices. Is it cheaper to move in the winter? Yes, it is. The winter months are known as the heart of the off-peak season and most of the good moving companies lower significantly their standard moving rates with the purpose of securing enough relocation jobs to keep them in business until the start of the next moving season. And you wouldn’t mind paying up to 30% off the regular prices for moving house, would you? Cord Moving is offering up to an additional $350 off for a winter relocation
- Best movers. Another advantage of hiring a moving company in winter is that you will surely get the most experienced movers for your move. This is so because when the demand for qualified moving experts reaches its peak in the summer months, moving companies often hire inexperienced helpers just to be able to complete the already booked summer moving jobs.
- Better conditions. A winter move will also give you a one-of-a-kind negotiating power to get an even better deal from trustworthy movers simply because the latter will be very interested in winning you as their customer. Additional discounts, a larger range of moving services, free packing materials, and other winter moving gains?
- Pack your possessions as if you were moving to Siberia
Even good packers may not always realize that there are certain distinctions between packing for a summer move and packing for winter relocation. The major difference between the two packing scenarios is, of course, the ambient temperature. Even if your home is pleasantly warm and all, you should think about the sub-zero temperatures your packed household items will be subjected to the moment they are out of the threshold of your residence. To make things worse, the temperature inside non-climate-controlled moving trucks can get extremely low and thus endanger the well-being of your more sensitive and fragile possessions while the latter are in transit.
Moving extremely delicate and fragile possessions during the winter months is a job better left to the pros, especially if these possessions are priceless too.
Can you move plants in the winter? The low temperatures are just too risky for your leafy companions and there’s a high chance that they do not survive the relocation at all. Do try to find a new home for them or simply consider leaving them behind to be taken care of by the new owners/renters. On the other hand, if you can’t imagine parting with some of your most beloved plants, be sure to wrap them in extra layers of packing paper and especially bubble wrap to serve as good insulators. Check out www.cordmoving.com/blog for further instructions on moving plants.
In fact, you need to spend extra time and efforts packing all your temperature sensitive belongings, such as fine china pieces /old china pieces tend to crack when exposed to low temperatures/, delicate items made of wood /especially true for antique furniture pieces/, electronic equipment /check the operating temperature ranges of the devices in their corresponding manuals or information plates/, musical instruments /use their protective cases if possible/. In any case, additional protective layers of bubble wrap and thick packing paper should do the trick of keeping your household items safe.
- Keep major walkways snow- and ice-free
Our tips for moving in the winter can’t possibly be complete if we fail to mention your top priority when moving in the winter months – SAFETY. No matter how you look at it, your winter scheduled move remains a dangerous endeavor and you must do all in your power to keep things safe for everyone involved in the relocation process.
The very first step to providing winter moving safety is to clear the driveway, walkways and sidewalks around your house from accumulated snow and formed ice for this is your responsibility not the movers. Your failure to do so will increase tenfold the chances of someone slipping while carrying a heavy box or a bulky furniture piece, falling awkwardly to the frozen ground and getting nastily injured as a result. To avoid having to rush to the nearby hospital instead of your new home, get hold of your trusted snow shovel and a bag of salt or sand, and get down to work. Additionally, ensure that a parking area for the moving truck is cleared and ready for action.
If you’re moving locally and your new home is just a short distance away, it’s a good idea to pay a visit to your new house or apartment and ensure its immediate surrounding area, as well as the paths leading to it, are free of snow and ice. If that visit is just not possible (much more likely), then at least contact your new property manager or agent and see if they know what the current wintertime situation is around your new residence.
- Keep your soon-to-be old home safe and clean
Each family member should be invited to the snow shoveling party! By following our winter moving tips, the outside perimeter of your residence should be now relatively safe for the upcoming moving operations. So far, so good. But have you secured the interior of your home as well? Whether you like it or not, some inside areas will be trodden on too many times on moving day – countless feet going in and out of your home, bringing in snow, sleet, sand, water and everything in between. As a result, safety, once more, can be easily compromised unless you take the necessary preventative measures to avoid moving day accidents.
Prepare large pieces of thick cardboard left from your packing marathon, place them on the floors of the so called high traffic areas, and secure their edges with tape so that no accidental movement is possible as the professionals at Cord Moving will do If you’re short on heavy cardboard, consider placing thick sheets of durable polyethylene instead. In any case, these protective coverings will serve a dual purpose. For one thing, they will surely increase the traction between you and the movers’ feet and the floor, and thus lower greatly the chances of painful falls. And secondly, the floor protectors will keep hardwood floors from being damaged and carpets from getting really messy. After all, the last thing you’d want when moving in the cold months is to deal with property damage, right?
- Keep the warmth inside where it belongs
Our moving in the winter tips continue with a piece of advice that is so obvious and logical that can be easily overlooked by the majority of home movers. Don’t forget that you’re moving in the winter and the best way to fight the coldness outside is to keep the warmth inside.
Be sure to wear appropriate winter clothing to stay warm. Whatever you choose to do the move you shouldn’t restrict your movements as moving day is all about moving from one place to another. Don’t overdress either as there’s always a risk of sweating up too much and consequently catching a cold. Keep your feet warm and dry by selecting your best pair of winter shoes with excellent anti-slip soles to get you safely through the day. Protect your fingers and hands with durable work cloves as your upper limbs, together with your feet, are the ones most prone to freezing during your chilly winter move.
Yes, it’s crucial to protect your body when moving in winter but a bit of extra liquefied help won’t harm either. Be a thoughtful host and treat your professional and/or non-professional helpers to hot drinks to give them the warming boost they need – rejuvenating tea, energizing coffee or the wonder beverage that no winter house move can do without – hot chocolate!
- Turn your wintertime attention to your new home
As mentioned above in winter moving tip #4, you should also think about keeping the immediate outside areas of your new home free of snow and ice, especially if you’re moving short distance. Even if you can’t really do it prior to moving day, the chances are you will arrive in your new residence before your movers do so you can take care of that safety prerequisite right there and then.
But whatever you do, there’s one crucial pre-move task which you shouldn’t leave for later – to arrange for the connection of the major utilities in your destination at least a few days /preferably 1 full week/ before your move-out/move-in date. This task is really important so don’t let it slip off your mind. The thing is that while its failure during a summer move will leave you with no electricity, water or gas for a few days until you can get these major municipal services up and running, the failure to have your fundamental utilities turned on in your new wintertime home will also leave you wondering how exactly a “minor” organizational mistake in your moving calendar has led to your uncontrollable teeth chattering and cold-induced body shivering.
If you use Cord Moving and Storage they provide a software package free of charge to update all of these items for you within minutes from the comfort of your home in advance of the move.
- Be ready for Plan B or even Plan C
Is your new home ready for normal wintertime occupation?
If you’re still wondering how to move in the winter, one of the very best answers is: with extreme caution. What makes a winter move so difficult apart from the cold, snow and ice is the total unpredictability of the season. Keep an eye on the TV weather forecast and have your ears close to the weather radio station long before your moving day to learn of any expected climatic complications in your area. The words blizzard and moving doesn’t really go hand in hand, so be flexible and devise first a backup plan of your original plan, and then have a Plan C of your backup plan too which Crd Moving and Storage will assist in making those options.
If you know that the winter situation will be deteriorating soon, contact your moving company and discuss the possibility of rescheduling the moving date in the name of safety. Good movers know all about the challenges of moving in the winter and will most likely cooperate with you to find the best solution under the presented circumstances. To summarize, the idea behind keeping the wintertime climatic conditions under a close watch is to be able to react quickly and adequately enough should your house move cross the boundaries of risky business.
- Get your own vehicle ready for the winter trip
Pay attention to the valuable winter moving advice on how to get your preferred moving vehicle in tip top shape for the harsh road conditions ahead. Assuming that you did the right thing and entrusted your household items and personal possessions to an experienced moving company, then you should get your own car ready for the trip to your new home and your new life.
Have the vehicle serviced roughly a week before moving day to minimize any possibilities of breakdowns or accidents during the relocation journey. Before you hit the road, make sure you have loaded the following items into your car:
Your car should be 100% ready for the tough relocation journey ahead of you. You, on the other hand, should be even readier than that.
tire chains /if allowed at all/,
- winter-ready wipers,
- a snow shovel (make them two),
- ice scrapers,
- a jerrycan full of fuel,
- a bag or two of salt and/or sand,
- roadside flares,
- jumper cables,
- tow rope,
- warm blankets,
- a flashlight,
- a fully charged cellphone,
- extra money,
- a membership card to a roadside assistance service,
- an emergency kit,
- extra food /energy bars are ideal for the purpose/,
- an extra set of warm clothes for each family member /hats, gloves, sweater, socks and winter shoes/,
- sleeping bags as you never know what might happen on the road.
- Plan well your winter moving journey
Cord’s tips for moving in the winter end with a few words on how to organize your relocation trip.
- Take into consideration the shorter and darker winter days and make an early start to avoid having to drive during the night.
- If the planned road trip is supposed to take more than one day, then arrange in advance a suitable place to spend the night – a pleasant stay at a friend’s place or a necessary stop at a hotel/motel. Again, at no charge Cord Moving and Storage can help with that as well
- Have an emergency contact list and be ready to accept whatever help comes your way.
And finally, good luck with your winter relocation! Don’t forget to stop for a short break along the moving journey and make a roadside snowman, have some freezing fun in the snow and release some overdue winter moving stress at the same time because you let a professional moving company do the heavy lifting for you.