We all know that moving is stressful. According to multiple studies, moving is considered one of life’s most stressful events, even beating out divorce. Moving in winter can make things even more stressful and difficult. With more than 7 million moves under our belt we’ve learned a thing or two about reducing that stress and making sure things go as easy as possible on move day. So here are our top tips for making that winter move go smoothly. If you hire movers some of these won’t apply to you, but if you decide to move yourself, one of these tips just might save the cold snowy day.
1. Monitor the Weather
Weather changes quickly in winter so check that 10 day forecast, but keep checking as move day approaches. A last minute snow squall or freezing rain can add many degrees of difficulty. Slushy snow can turn to ice in a matter of hours, and remember that it gets dark a lot earlier in winter.
2. Keep paths and driveways clear of snow and ice
Whether you’ve hired movers or you’re moving yourself, you’ll need a clear pathway from the front door to the truck. This will make your move go quicker and obviously it will be much safer to carry heavy items. Make sure to shovel your walkway and your driveway at both your old and new home. Salting can make things a bit messier in your entranceway but if conditions are icy, a mess is a lot better than broken items or broken bones. So make sure to have a snow shovel and some salt on hand if the forecast calls for it.
3. Have an emergency supply kit ready
As the Boy Scouts say, “Be Prepared.” Create an emergency kit of items that you may need in case of an unexpected issue. We recommend:
- kitty litter (for those stuck-in-the-snow moments)
- a shovel
- a first aid kit
- food and snacks
- road flares
- towels and blankets that can get dirty
4. Dress in layers
The key word in move day is “move.” You’ll be moving around quite a bit and no matter how cold it is, lifting and carrying your boxes and furniture will build up a sweat throughout the day. A sweat-wicking shirt as an under layer can be very helpful. Make sure to have a few layers of clothing to peel off and put back on to keep you comfortable.
5. Protect your floors
Cover your floors- especially in your front entrance- with old sheets, blankets, or tarps, to avoid any tracking of snow or mud into your home. This will not only protect your floors during your move but will also help to keep them clean making that last cleanup at the old home and first at the new, go much quicker.
6. Towels, Blankets, and Rags, oh my!
Keep extra towels, blankets, and rags, on hand to clean up the moisture that may build up on your feet, the truck, or the moving ramp during the move. Again this will not only make the moving process safer, it will keep your things cleaner. If you don’t have towels or blankets that can get dirty, consider picking some cheap ones up at your local thrift store before move day.
7. Get a babysitter for your pet
Your front door is going to be open for a long time, and all the activity can be even more stressful for your pets than it is for you. If you hire movers, strangers coming in and out of the house all day can definitely stress a pet out. Arranging boarding at a friend’s house or reputable business can prevent a bolting disaster and make things easier on everyone.
8. Keep warm drinks on hand
You’ll likely have packed away that coffee maker or kettle, so you’ll be happy to have a thermos of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, on hand on a cold moving day.
9. Be completely packed
This may seem obvious but you’d be surprised how often we show up and the family is still packing as we load the truck. If you hire movers things go quickly, and with movers or moving yourself, it’s hard to pack the truck in the most efficient way if things aren’t ready at the start.
10. Use extra care moving sealed glass containers
If you haven’t already learned the hard way why you shouldn’t place sealed glass containers in the freezer, let us spare you a messy lesson. Liquids expand when they freeze which can shatter the glass container. What may not be as obvious is that the same thing can happen with your glass bottles of pop, beer, or your wine collection, if you leave them outside in winter too long or in the back of a moving truck. It is best to move these things in your personal vehicle and get them inside as quickly as possible.
11. Be flexible
There are a lot of unexpected things that may occur on a winter move day. Snow can close a road, power can go out, vehicles may not start, and obviously things are a lot slower going in a snow storm. So whether you hire movers or do it yourself, the most important thing to pack is your patience. Try to be flexible when things pop up and not to get too stressed out about things you can’t control.
12. Hire movers
We know this seems like obvious advice from a moving company, but hiring professional movers will make a lot of these precautions unnecessary. Our trained, uniformed movers literally do this every day and know how to avoid the winter pitfalls you may experience. Having the specialized equipment to move items like pianos, using moving blankets and shrink wrap to protect all your furniture, and floor runners to keep your home clean, are what we do on every move, no matter what time of year.
We know every move is different so call TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® and let us create a customized move plan to provide the most stress-free moving experience possible.