8 Hacks For Easier Moving in Winter
You can’t always choose when you move. New jobs, old relationships, and fresh starts can necessitate change in the height of summer and the dead of winter — both of which can add stress to an already difficult process. If you do have to move during the darkest and coldest months of the year, here are eight ways to make it a little bit easier.
#1: Don’t pack your warm clothes away.
Check the weather before you pack. If snow and freezing temperatures are in the forecast, keep your coats, boots, gloves, and other cold-weather gear handy. These items are key for your comfort and safety, and they won’t help you much if they’re buried in a box at the back of your moving truck.
#2: Have sand, salt, and shovels ready.
Snow can fall quickly and unexpectedly, which is a surefire way to slow down your packing, moving, and unpacking progress. Have a snow shovel and salt accessible to clear your driveway and sidewalk before snow builds up or freezes over. It’s also good idea to have an ice scraper and sand in your car or moving truck as part of your emergency supply kit — sand can help add traction for your tires in slick or slushy conditions.
#3: Service your car — and double-check your truck.
If you are driving your own car from your old home to your new one, make sure you are current on your service schedule. Take care of standard maintenance like an oil change, and ask your mechanic about winter-specific issues like tire traction and new wiper blades. If you are renting a moving truck or trailer, ask about service history before you sign a contract and drive away. Moving trucks aren’t generally built for winter road conditions, so use caution and bring along emergency supplies.
#4: Plan an alternate route and leave plenty of time.
Stay flexible with the logistics of your move. Whether you are driving across town or across the country, check the weather and plan an alternate route or two in case an unexpected storm hits. Allow at least one extra day to arrive at your destination. Feeling rushed or tied to a strict plan can add to the stress of moving.
#5: Make your new home move-in ready.
Prepare your new place for your arrival — at the very least, set up your utilities so you have lights and heat ready to go. If you already live nearby, turn on the heat ahead of time so your home is warm for move-in day. If you’re coming from out of town and have a friend, family member, or coworker who is local, ask him or her to do this for you. Know where you are going to park and unload, and clear sidewalks, driveways, and alleyways before you or your movers pull up your truck.
One caveat with heat: no need to keep it on full blast during your move. With doors opening and closing, your system will have a hard time keeping temperatures level, and your heating bill will reflect this. Set your thermostat low so the heat comes on but doesn’t fight drastic temperature swings.
#6: Protect your floor.
Snow and slush can quickly damage hardwood and carpet floors in your new home. Before you — and/or your movers — start walking around with wet and dirty shoes, put cardboard down along major routes from your entryway to other rooms. Old blankets and floor mats can also help absorb moisture and debris. Place an outdoor mat at every entrance to catch a large percentage of snow and dirt before people even step inside.
#7: Set up your slow cooker, coffee maker, and kettle first.
If you’re coming and going in cold weather, you’re likely to want hot food and beverages handy. Set up all the tools you need for coffee, hot chocolate, and tea as well as hearty soups and stews that require minimal ingredients and little prep time. A slow-cooked meal will also make your new home smell great. Keep a few dishes and utensils accessible as well, or purchase disposable items to minimize cleanup.
#8: Hire professionals.
If a DIY move sounds like too much, don’t be afraid to bring in help. Find a moving company that offers everything up to full service, including packing and unpacking, to meet your specific needs. Moving is hard enough, especially in winter weather, and professional movers can bear some of the burden so you can start settling in as soon as you arrive.