Snow is pretty, but it makes moving in the winter ugly. Tack on the icy roads, bitter cold, and decreased visibility and you wonder why anyone sane would ever consider moving near the beginning or end of the year. But let’s be real — sometimes it’s just not your choice.
The good news is that what makes for horrible moving conditions can actually work in your favor. Moving during the winter saves you money, as movers are more readily available and often charge less during their off-season. On top of that, apartment companies and landlords often run specials to fill their empty units.
But what good is all that if you and your belongings don’t get to your new home or apartment in one piece? Here are nine super simple tips we collected from the top moving companies to put the “win” in your winter move.
1. Keep winter gear out of your packed boxes and in the trunk of your car. You might need your snow shovel, ice remover, scrapers, towels, hats, and gloves at any time. You need pathways cleared, and dirty boxes wiped down, and your things will be handy in the trunk without digging for them.
2. Pack your expensive electronics well and wrap them in moving blankets for extra insulation. After you move your electronics safely, give them time to return to room temperature before plugging them back in at your new place. This keeps condensation damage to a minimum.
3. Watch the weather reports for approaching winter storms that can throw a monkey wrench into your plans. Also, keep an eye on traffic, since winter weather can quickly clog roads and slow traffic to a crawl. If the weather looks iffy, be sure to map out alternate routes.
4. Take small children and pets somewhere else — seriously! It’s easier to move without stressing about them plus you don’t want your kids getting sick from being out in the cold or your dog getting lost. If you don't have family or friends that can help, paying for childcare or boarding is worth it.
5. Dress in layers to easily regulate your body temperature. Peel them off as necessary so you don’t overheat.
6. Protect any live plants that you're moving by wrapping them well in plastic garbage bags or blankets. Just don’t forget to leave a small opening at the top for your plant to breathe.
7. Get more help than normal. Since movers are experienced in all weather situations, hire a professional moving company for a faster move, less time out in the cold, and less heavy lifting.
8. Take extra care with fragile items that might freeze and break. Pack those items in bubble wrap and keep them in your personal or rental vehicle if you have one.
9. Double-check with your utility companies or landlord that you'll have heat and electricity the second you arrive. Because moving into a cold house or apartment is as exciting as getting whacked in the face with a tightly-packed snowball.
This post was contributed by Unpakt, an online price comparison website for moving companies, and posted on the MakeSpace website at www.makespace.com.