For Sale sign outside of a house during winter

8 Tips for Winter Moving

Let’s be honest: the prospect of moving all your belongings from one location to another is a daunting one, regardless of what time of year it is. Packing up the detritus that accumulates from basic day-to-day living can be overwhelming, even if it’s 65 and sunny. The cold and inclement weather conditions during the winter months make the idea of a move seem that much more intimidating. While moving when Jack Frost is in town might seem like a truly bad idea, sometimes it just can’t be helped. Here’s some helpful winter moving tips we’ve gleaned from the experts that can help your upcoming chilly re-location as easy and stress-free as possible.

1) Don’t Be Afraid

One of the best things about a winter move is that there aren’t nearly as many of them. How does that benefit you? Most moving companies offer discounted rates during the winter months in order to stay competitive. And unlike during the summertime, you’ll likely have your pick of start times, dates and trucks.

2) Check the Weather

While you shouldn’t let the season scare you, you do need to remember that the winter elements can work against you, so it’s important to keep a sharp eye on it. Check on the forecast as far in advance as possible and plan accordingly. If significant snowfall or extreme temps are predicted for the day of your move, make sure to call your moving crew and express your concern and discuss how it might affect your move. It’s better to delay the move than get caught in a blizzard or scramble at the last minute due to trucks breaking down in the cold.

3) Organize and Label

This one may seem like a “no-brainer” for a move regardless of the season, but being exceptionally well-organized and ready to go is never more important than in a move during the winter. You and your moving crew are going to want to spend as little time as possible going in and out, so labeling your boxes clearly and having them clearly organized by room will cut down on confusion and time spent in the chill.

4) Prep Driveways and Walkways

This is one of the most important things you can do when planning a winter move. Do everything you can to clear snow and ice from the path the moving crew will be using. If it’s snowing or sleeting the actual day of the move, ask a friend to be in charge of keeping up with shoveling and throwing salt down throughout the day. Buy some inexpensive tarps to cover areas that could get especially soggy or muddy to minimize the risk of someone slipping and falling and also help you with clean-up after the fact. And have a bin of old towels and rags at the door to do fast clean-ups throughout the day.

5) Work with Mother Nature

Winter means limited hours of daylight, so it’s best to start moving day as early as possible, and maximize the light hours as much as possible. And since there’s going to be people going in and out of both moving locations all day long, there’s really no point in trying to keep them warm. Turn the thermostat down low and save yourself some money on moving day.

6) Take Care of the Kids and Pets

Have kids or pets? Trying to keep your eyes on the little ones during a move is tough as it is, and even worse in the winter when there’s little to do outside. Make it easy on yourself. Arrange ahead of time to have a family member take care of them at a different location for the day (if not overnight) or hire a baby-sitter for the kids, and consider bringing your pets to the kennel for the day. You’ll find removing that added stress makes everything easier from the start.

7) Dress for Success

Even though it may feel like you’re living in the frozen tundra, you and your crew will still work up a sweat while moving. Dressing in layers of lightweight, breathable fabrics is the best way to combat the hot/cold confusion. That way, you can easily peel off a layer or two whenever you’re feeling the urge. Wearing a sturdy pair of waterproof and slip-proof boots will also help you combat the elements and keep you steady on your feet.

8) Keep Your Crew as Warm and Happy as Possible

If a group of really awesome friends are helping you with your move, make sure to have extra items like gloves, hats and scarves available to them in case they forgot to come equipped for the weather. If it’s snowing or raining outside, make sure to have lots of dry options available to yourself and your crew to change into so they can stay in top form.

Have a crock-pot or two warm, wintry goodness available at both locations so people can warm up and fill up while taking a much needed break (hot coffee, cocoa and a warm soup or stew are great, no-fuss ideas). Leave a space heater on low and create a “warm room” in the new location, so that your movers can have a space to take a breather in cozy comfort. Doing little things like this are a great way to reward some really loyal friends and will also make you an award-winning client in a professional moving crew’s eyes (and make them extra careful with those “Fragile” boxes!).