How to Make the Big Move Without Losing Your Mind
Every year, people inevitably move during the winter. Whether you get a better deal for moving during the colder months, more flexibility or more available moving companies, there are benefits to making a move in the winter if you do it right.
That’s a big if. Having been wholly unprepared for the recent winter move I had to make myself, I decided to put together a helpful cheat sheet for you. Follow these tips to make your transition as smooth as possible.
Should You Hire Movers?
You may have no problem recruiting a group of friends to help you move during the warm summer months. However, it’s a whole different ballgame when you’re asking people to drive in the sleet or snow and carry your heavy things in the cold all day. You also don’t want to haul heavy items over icy sidewalks and streets.
Hiring movers is an especially good idea if you’re moving during the winter. Movers will help with the heavy lifting, even when the weather is less than stellar. Find reputable movers by checking different websites and reviews, then set a date with your preferred company. You should also settle on a backup moving date just in case a blizzard or other emergency hits.
Winterize Your Car and House
Whether your new home is down the street from your old one or hours away, you need to make sure your car is ready for the journey. Check your tire tread and air pressure before you start driving yourself, your pet or your stuff from one location to another. If there’s any ice or snow on your car, scrape it off for better visibility. Go the extra mile and include emergency materials such as blankets, water and a first aid kit in case you get stuck somewhere.
You also need to get your new home ready for the cold weather. Make sure you turn all the utilities on right before the move-in day. Then, try to find carpet remnants or cardboard boxes you can lay throughout your new house or apartment so that you can avoid tracking ice, snow and mud from your old home to your new one.
When you’re dealing with unpredictable elements such as the weather, you need to prepare yourself for the worst. Don’t stress if a blizzard hits and you can’t move. It’s more important to protect yourself, your movers and your home than to keep a firm move-in date at your new place. Plus, you don’t want to leave your old home if there’s the potential for damage that could impact the new buyers or renters.
One of the best ways to stay calm and keep your move-in day organized is by maintaining a clear line of communication with everyone. Talk to everyone involved — such as your property managers for both properties, the moving company and family and friends — about a contingency plan if the weather is bad. Keep in touch with them throughout the day to let them know how the plan develops. If the worst happens, always default to your backup date instead of risking the drive in snowy or icy conditions.
Pack What You Must, Store What You Can
If you’re downsizing, storing your items during a winter move can save time and money. Some storage units can be cheaper in the winter and save you the hassle of moving things you don’t need. And while your items can get damaged during the summer when they’re stored in high temperatures, cars and storage units will have lower temperatures during the winter that can keep your things safe from overheating.
Try organizing your things by season if you want to put some items in a storage unit but don’t technically want to downsize. Put your beach gear, summer clothes and outdoor games in a storage unit until the weather gets nicer. Then, in the summer, you can switch it all out with winter items that you won’t need until the weather turns cold again.
Keep All Winter Accessories Near You
When you’re outside in sub-zero temperatures, you need to dress appropriately for the weather. Wear layers of clothing instead of one big, bulky coat, since you’ll need your hands and arms to move heavy items. Plus, if you get hot while moving, you can take off the layers as you go along. Try layering long-sleeve shirts and sweatshirts and keeping any extra articles in the back seat of your car.
Also, make sure you don’t pack your winter items into moving boxes. You might need certain things, such as gloves, a windshield scraper and salt for the sidewalks. Keep such belongings separate by putting them in your car or in a bin that you can move last. You’ll thank yourself later when you’re not wasting time searching for your gloves on move-in day.
Keep Pets and Family in Mind
Moving means thinking about more than your own health and possessions. If you have pets or kids, you need to come up with a game plan on how to keep them safe and warm throughout the move. For your pets, choose to board them or have them stay with a friend during the move. As soon as you’re in your toasty new home, you can bring them in to check out their new surroundings.
If your kids are young and can’t help with the move, it’s a good idea to have them stay with friends and family as well to keep them out of the cold. Sometimes kids can get excited about moving into a new home. If that’s the case, make sure the utilities and heat are on at the new place, and allow them to stay there with a family member while you move items. They could even serve hot chocolate or hot apple cider to the movers or friends who are helping out.
Plan Your Move
Not every move needs to feel stressful. Moving to a new house or apartment is an exciting time no matter what season it is. To make the day go as smoothly as possible, prepare ahead of time and winterize both your old and your new home. Then, keep the essentials in your car, and keep everyone safe. Before you know it, you’ll be fully settled in your brand new place of residence.