Moving this winter? Here are 15 tips to help you out
Winter is here, and with it comes snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. It may not be ideal weather for moving boxes and furniture, but it does have one perk. Moving during the colder months means less demand for moving companies, so you’ll save on hourly rates if you choose to hire professionals.
Aside from that, the main thing is to follow a few precautions to avoid any accidents that could lead to unnecessary headaches and stress. Here are 15 tips to help you move to your brand new home stress- and accident-free.
Psst – if you’re moving to your first apartment, here are some tips to help you navigate through the many steps and keep you on track.
Those who prepare, succeed.
When it comes to moving in the winter, or even moving in general, there are so many unknown variables that could get in the way. Here’s how to prepare for all possible delays and stay organized:
1. Watch the weather closely. As we all know, the weather can be unpredictable. It might look like a sunny, mild day when you last checked, but the forecast can change within a few hours.
- Tip: Check the weather every day, especially during the week of your move, to make sure there aren’t any hazardous conditions like storms and blizzards coming up.
2. Don’t be afraid to postpone. If a storm does hit, it might be best to wait a couple of days to ensure you avoid any accidents.
- Tip: Contact your property manager to let them know and if you’re using professional movers, don’t hesitate to call them and ask for a delay in schedule. Often times, your movers will give you a heads up if conditions are unfavourable or roads are closed. The main thing is that everyone stays safe.
3. Decide how everything is being transported. If you have a lot of heavy items (sofas, coffee tables, bed-side tables), hiring a moving company might be your best option. But finding a mover that’s trustworthy and dependable can take a little bit of research. After all, you don’t want to just have any company come in and handle your possessions.
- Here are some tips on how to research and choose the right mover for you.
4. Plan for a sitter. Moving is stressful as it is, and when kids and pets are involved, it can get a little overwhelming.
- Tip: Think about hiring a babysitter or pet sitter for the day. Even better, ask friends or family to help watch over the little ones so you can focus all your attention on the big move.
5. Find free cardboard boxes. Moving can be expensive, but there are a few things you can avoid buying. For starters, cardboard boxes are everywhere and can come in handy when organizing and packing up all your belongings.
- Tip: Check out local stores for unwanted boxes, break them down and put them on the floor in the lobby of your new building and in your apartment to keep floors clean from slush.
6. Determine a packing system. This will come in handy no matter what season you’re moving in. By strategizing your packing, you’ll make finding things and unpacking that much easier.
- Tip: It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, simply packing like-minded items together, using a colour-coding system, or just labelling boxes will make a world of a difference. We found some great tips to help you get started.
7. Remember, purging is good. Moving is a great time to take a look at all of your belongings and decide if you really need them. Are you planning to rock that ugly Christmas sweater from three years ago?
- Tip: Take this opportunity to go through your things with a fine-toothed comb and make four piles: one for recycling, one for trash, one for items needing repairs, and another for donations. At the end of the purge, you’ll not only feel better, your boxes will be lighter, too!
8. Layer up! Make sure to dress smart by layering up. You’ll be making multiple trips to your truck or car, walking through the snow, and possibly getting snowed on – so having an extra sweater under your jacket, the right footwear and some gloves will come in handy. And if it starts to get warmer, you can just remove a layer or two.
9. Electronics need TLC. You’ll need to take extra care of electronics during your winter move. Yes, they can handle moderate temperature changes, but sitting in a cold truck for too long can cause permanent damage.
- Tip: Save them for last and wrap them well with moving blankets so they’re not exposed to snow. Once you’ve settled into your new apartment, allow some time to adapt to the room temperature before booting them up.
10. Keep a shovel on hand. Even if the walkway to your new apartment building is shoveled, you never know when you might need it. It might snow while you are moving, or you may need to dig out around your moving truck.
11. Pack some ice salt. Just like the shovel, you never know when this will come in handy.
- Tip: If the sidewalk wasn’t shoveled properly or there are some hazardous frozen patches, putting down some ice salt will quickly rectify the problem and prevent any possible injuries.
12. Pack an emergency supply kit for your car or truck. As they say, prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Snowy days can be beautiful, but they can also cause low tire pressure, broken wipers and more interruptions.
- Tip: Carry an emergency supply kit in your car or moving truck at all times can come in handy and keep things moving.
13. Have blankets and towels handy. You never know how much extra protection you’ll need. Having blankets or towels on hand to place over items while carrying them through narrow hallways can prevent scratches.
- Tip: You can also lay towels down on the floor to prevent damage from moving heavy furniture and your wet boots.
14. Figure out trash pickup days. With all of the boxes, wrapping, coffee cups and snacks, you’ll definitely end up with some trash. Speak to your property manager where to dispose of it or ask a new neighbour which day trash and recycling pickup is (it varies from city to city).
15. Remember to take a break. Chances are you’ll want to finish moving as quickly as possible, but taking a little time to catch your breath, have a bite or sip a hot drink will help a ton. The more relaxed and comfortable you are, the better the move will be. You’ll thank yourself later if you remember to pack a thermos full of coffee, tea or hot chocolate!
With the right precautions and preparation, your winter move will be easier than you think!