How to Successfully Survive Moving in the Winter

Moving at any time of the year is a pain – packing everything up, hauling boxes in a truck and then unpacking everything at the new place is exhausting and, frankly, not fun. Moving in the winter can make it even harder. Especially if you live in a cold area with snow and ice.

There are different risks when it comes to dealing with the weather for a winter move. You will need to plan things out better to help you meet your moving date. Planning ahead can even save money in the end. Here are some winter moving tips to help you get the most out of your winter move.

Pack sooner rather than later

It’s always a good idea to pack everything up at least a few days before moving, regardless of the weather. But when it’s cold outside, you want to minimize the number of times you enter and exit your apartment while you’re moving. Make sure to pack things smartly.

Give yourself plenty of time to pack, so you can fit all of your belongings into the fewest number of boxes. This will allow you to make the fewest trips in and out of your apartment while you charge it. It will also make it easier to load your vehicle. You will have fewer parts to put in a truck or van.

Isolate items

Insulate items affected by the cold

Cold weather can make some fragile items even more susceptible to damage, such as glass and electronics. When these items get too cold, they are more likely to break. Make sure they are well protected by insulating them when packed.

Using bubble wrap and blankets is an easy way to insulate your items. All you have to do is wrap them in bubble wrap first, then add covers. This process will give you both cushioning and insulation. They will be less likely to break or be damaged when you move them.

Use tarps to avoid water

If you live in an area that receives snow, you can travel while it snows. When transporting items to and from a moving van, snow can settle on boxes and wooden furniture, which can damage your belongings if they get too wet.

Grab a few tarps and lay them over the items as you transport them between the moving truck and your apartment to keep water and snow out of your cardboard boxes and furniture. And if you’re transporting your belongings using an open-bottom truck, tie tarps over the items in the back to protect them from the snow as well!

Check the weather and plan ahead

The weather during the winter months can be uncertain and change in no time. Bad weather can complicate the simple steps of moving, like packing a moving van and moving boxes from your apartment to your vehicle. Even a little snow and ice can be very painful.

To best avoid bad weather, take a look at the weather forecast for the weeks leading up to your move to help you plan the best time to move. This will help you choose the best day to move. This will also help determine the best time of day to move. It is usually very cold in the morning and evening. You can therefore opt for a move in the early afternoon when it will probably be less cold.

Or, you may find that the only day you’re available to move has heavy snowfall in the afternoon, so you’ll want to plan things to move first thing in the morning, before the storm hits. Planning ahead and being aware of what you’re up against before you start your move will make it easier, and in the case of winter, it will make it a bit safer.

Recheck the weather the day before and the morning of the move, especially during peak months for snow. If there is extreme cold or other complications that could make moving too difficult, you may want to prepare your backup plan.

Shovel snow

Clean up snow and ice during the winter months

Once you’ve packed everything into your apartment and are ready to haul things to your vehicle, you need to make sure all of your driveways are clear of ice and snow.

Clear the snow from the path and make sure the ice is completely melted. Ice can sometimes be difficult to spot. Take a little extra time to check for icy and slippery spots in the path between your apartment and the moving truck. If you need it, throw in lots of melted ice to get rid of the ice and provide you with a bit of extra traction as you walk. In addition to that, make sure there is a wide path to give you plenty of room to move around.

Allow extra travel time for the winter

Traveling in winter conditions means driving in winter conditions, which can sometimes be a mess. If it is snowing and there is a lot of ice on the roads, it means that you will have to drive very carefully and move a little slower. You’ll want to take this into account when setting your moving schedule.

You will be carrying a heavy load, so you are at a higher risk of slipping on the ice and tipping over. To avoid these hazards, plan to drive more slowly than usual. In addition, it is possible that it will begin to snow, which makes driving more difficult and often creates poor traffic, which may include road closures.

When you check your maps app for an estimate of the time between your old and your new apartment, add extra time so that in case of bad weather you don’t have too many problems and, above all, you will have time to drive safely and do not rush through dangerous driving conditions.

Have a snow shovel and ice melter easily accessible

No matter what stage of the move you’re at, you’ll want to keep a shovel and ice melter handy. You won’t just want them for cleaning the walkways in your old apartment. But you may need to clear the way to your new apartment. In addition, it is possible that something happens on the road between the apartments. You may need to park in a snowy spot to check things out – then you’ll need a shovel to help!

The best suggestion here is to keep it where you can grab it anytime. In the cab of a moving truck is best, or if you’re driving a normal vehicle, like a car or van, keep it in the back seat. You don’t want to have it packed up with other belongings where you have to dig it up. Keep it somewhere you can reach quickly in case you get caught off guard.

For even more safety and preparation, keep ice scrapers in your moving vehicle so you can remove anything on your windshield. If you stop for a minute, your windshield could freeze. You don’t want to have to wait for it to melt with the heat of your car before continuing your move!

Eat hot food

Eat hot food

What you eat throughout the day while you move can help keep you warm! This means eating hot foods and drinking hot drinks, such as hot chocolate or tea. Especially at the end of your long move, nothing beats a cup of hot chocolate and some soup!

Bring an emergency kit

When moving, you risk injuring yourself – even a small cut in a cardboard box can hurt. Keep a first aid kit handy so you can take care of any minor injuries that occur.

Make sure your utilities are on in your new apartment

When you move in the winter, you’ll want to have a nice, comfortable apartment to move into after hauling all your stuff across a city or state. It wouldn’t be fun to walk into your new place to find that the heat hasn’t been on in days and it’s as cold inside as it is outside. Make sure all your utilities are up and running in your new apartment. This way you can come in from the cold and be greeted by a warm living room and hot water.

Have a backup plan

Since there is always the risk of a last-minute winter storm hitting when you plan to move, you should have a backup plan in place. Winter moves are going to go awry and chances are your plans will be derailed. So think about what might happen before it actually happens and come up with a second plan.

This may mean changing the day you move to a later date or packing your things a day earlier so you can move before a storm hits. Be flexible and know this is only temporary. A difference of a few days is not going to ruin your moving process!

Professional movers

Hire professional movers

If you want to avoid most of the stress of moving in the winter, you may want to hire professional movers. This will allow you to just focus on packing your stuff without the stress and hassle of moving it to a moving truck, driving it around in bad weather, and unloading everything at your new location.

Hiring movers on a long-distance move is especially helpful in reducing stress since you’ll have an extra pair of hands (two or three or four extra pairs, for that matter!). Just make sure you’re on the same page with them on moving day.

Find winter moving companies

If you hire movers, research the various moving companies in your area and ask them about winter moving. They will have the most experience and know how to move you safely from place to place. Even in bad weather. Every moving company will have good experience and have their own tips for moving in the winter. So ask questions and pick the one that sounds best for your scenario.

Moving in winter requires preparation

The main thing to remember when moving during the winter is to be prepared! The last thing you want is for something bad to happen that you’re totally unprepared for and can’t resolve quickly. Use the simple moving tips we mentioned above to help you avoid a bad moving experience. The winter months are harder to get around than the summer months. So prepare a moving plan to keep it stress-free and safe.

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