Moving in the Winter? 7 Tips You Need to Get Through It
Oh, the weather outside is frightful… but you have to move anyway. And you’re definitely not singing, “Let It Snow.” Moving during the coldest months, especially in climates where temperatures don’t go that high, can be a daunting prospect. A little preparation can go a long way towards making the experience less intimidating, though. We offer seven winter moving tips to help you beat the winter (moving) blues.
1. Keep That Shovel Handy
Don’t pack your winter gear, such as salt, shovels, gloves, scarves, etc. Winter weather is unpredictable; even when the forecasters say it’s not going to snow, unexpected flakes still might fall. Be prepared. You might need that shovel on the day of your move to clear a path to your door for the movers, or in order to enter your new digs. Keep a bag of salt at the ready in case there’s ice on the ground. And of course, you’ll want to be bundled up if you’re spending time outdoors shoveling and sprinkling salt. Don’t let the calendar date fool you – snow, ice storms and cold snaps can still come even towards the end of March, which is the official start of spring. Better to be safe than sorry.
2. While You’re at It, Put the Shovel and Salt to Good Use
If you’re living in a house, make sure the path to your door is cleared for the movers. That means shoveling away the snow and putting salt down so that no one trips if there’s ice. Clean up any debris that might have fallen in the path during any storms to keep the moving process efficient and smooth.
3. Cover Your Floors
In the winter, snow, ice and slush have a funny way of getting inside your home and turning those nice clean floors into a sopping, slippery mess. Normally, guests take off their wet shoes when they come into your home in winter. Movers won’t be able to do that because they’ll be going back and forth from your house to their truck. Protect your floors from wet boots and shoes by putting down old rugs or some other covering that won’t cause slips and skids. If you’ve got uncarpeted stairs, find a covering that will keep them dry without causing falls.
4. Towels Are Pretty Useful
If you’ve ever read “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” you know towels are really helpful. They’re especially good to have on hand when you’re moving in the winter. Stash a few in your car to dry off any items that would be damaged if they were wet. Once you get to your new place, put the towels on the floor so they can soak up the slush that will be tracked in when your belongings are hauled inside.
5. Make the Move Comfy for Fido or Fluffy, Too
Moving pets can be challenging even in nice weather. Make life easier for yourself and put them in a kennel. Dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals can get underfoot during a move. In addition, they can escape if the door is left open. It’s better for dogs and cats to move in last because they’ll be greeted by the familiar smells of your furniture.
Do you have an exotic pet? You’ll need to take a little more care. Remember to keep reptiles moist; put a damp blanket inside your pet’s container. Make sure that cold-blooded animals are kept at room temperature. Even small mammals (like mice, gerbils, guinea pigs and hamsters) shouldn’t be left in the cold. Those types of pets can be moved in your car in their normal containers; just take the food and water out of their cage and feed your pets whenever you stop.
You can move birds in carriers, provided they’re appropriately sized. Secure food bowls in the carriers and place litter on the floor of the carrier. Don’t forget to secure the carrier door with a clip on the outside of it. And of course, don’t forget to check local and federal regulations regarding pets at your destination. A breed that might be legal in one place might not enjoy the same status in another. Be sure to have all shots and certificates up to date.
6. One Word: Plastics
To paraphrase the classic movie “The Graduate,” plastics really are the way to go. They will make your winter move easier. Plastic containers will keep your belongings dry and clean. Cardboard boxes, on the other hand, will become wet and soggy when exposed to snow. As a result, so will your stuff. While you can reuse cardboard boxes, their lifespan is limited by how well they’re stored. Conversely, plastic containers are durable and last for far longer. You can also use them to store your things after the move is over.
7. Keep the Heat On… Until It’s Time to Go
Arrange to keep your utilities on until you move out, and be sure to have the utilities turned on at your new place for when you move in. It can be tricky to schedule this properly, especially if weather delays your move. Talk to your utility providers to ensure that you’ll have electricity, heating and water in both places.
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