Winter is an ideal time to move into a new home. Since the cold months are the off-season for real-estate sales and cross-country relocations, you can often find great deals on housing and moving-related services. However, winter moves can be challenging. Here are five winter moving hacks to prepare for a trouble-free wintertime relocation.
1. Clear a Clean Path from Van to House
When your present home is located in a snowy or wet area, maintain a clear walkway up to your entryway. Keep snow shoveled and ice melted on the days leading up to the moving van’s arrival.
If it snows or rains before a cold moving day, be prepared with a shovel and de-icing materials. Scrape the pathway to remove as much snow and ice as you can throughout your moving day. Sprinkle sand, cat litter, or another product to increase traction between the house and the van’s loading ramp.
On the day of the move, remove mud, clutter, leaves, and other debris from your designated moving path. Place cardboard or plywood sheets down over unavoidable mud spots if your pathway is particularly mucky.
2. Protect Your Floors
No matter how well you clean your exterior pathway, your interior floors are subject to extra abuse during a winter move. People loading and unloading goods will have mud, slush, and dead leaves on their shoes and work boots. In the process of lifting and moving heavy furniture, your designated furniture haulers will rub dirty footprints into carpets, no matter how careful they are to tread lightly.
Protect your carpets and other flooring with clean coverings. Start at the entry point, and place a large, durable doormat just outside the door. Make certain the doormat will not slip or slide out of place. Use another oversized doormat on the interior side of the doorway. Encourage family, friends, and movers to use the doormats liberally.
Use materials including cardboard, plastic runners, and new tarps to protect carpet, tile, and wood flooring. Secure all floor protection so movers and others aren’t at risk of slipping or tripping over the edges of coverings. Some carpet protectors are made with teeth that grab the carpet fibers. Use small tacks to secure cardboard to carpeting.
Have a last-minute kit on hand to clean any residual spots on your hard-surfaced floors and carpeting. If mud or other spots mar the floors during the move, you’ll be ready for a quick cleanup when you set aside a spray bottle, carpet cleaner, brushes, clean cloths, and other materials necessary to refresh soiled flooring.
3. Find Warm Spots for Kids and Pets
While the movers tackle the large household, people open and close entry doors for hours. If your move takes place during frigid weather, your home heating system may not be able to keep the home at a safe temperature for children, elderly individuals, or pets.
Find warm spots for vulnerable household members during cold-weather moves. Hire a babysitter to take older kids to the movies, or ask a family member to watch your kids for a few hours. If you have no family nearby, find drop-in day care facilities for kids, older adults, and pets. Ask friends and coworkers for recommendations of places that offer short-term caretaker duties.
If you can’t locate anyone to watch people and pets that must stay warm, close off an area of your home during the van loading activities. Find safe ways to keep that room as warm as possible.
Let the kids have lots of blankets in the warm room, and help kids and adults dress in warm layers. Assign a responsible adult to stay in the warmer room to supervise TV watching, games, meals, and space heaters.
4. Double-Wrap Fragile Items
Sub-freezing temperatures and temperature fluctuations can make glass and plastic shatter. Handle plastic totes and tubs with care, and don’t drop them outside in cold temperatures.
Wrap glass, porcelain, and other fragile items twice to protect them from cold-weather extremes. When you arrive at your new home, let the boxes of fragile items sit and warm inside for a few days before opening and using the items.
5. Prepare Your Vehicle
When you hire a moving company, someone else tackles the winter van driving. All you have to worry about is getting your vehicle from your old home to your new one.
However, a neglected vehicle can become a real hassle on a long-distance trip in winter. Take your vehicle to your mechanic for a checkup before your relocation day. The last thing you want during a winter cross-country or cross-town move is a broken-down car.
Ask your auto mechanic to perform the following services before your wintertime moving trip:
- Check vital fluids including antifreeze
- Install snow-ready tires
- Address heater and fan issues
- Check defroster and windshield wipers
- Test headlights, taillights, and turn signals
Place an emergency roadside kit in your vehicle in case you have trouble during your move. Keep a list of emergency contacts on hand, or join a roadside assistance service for emergency tire changes, jump starts, and tows.
Reserve your moving van for a winter relocation in the U.S. by contacting Bekins today. Our knowledgeable relocation specialists help you plan the details of your cold-weather move, and we offer high-quality packing supplies for your fragile household goods.