It’s a commonly held belief that the most effective way to compound the misery of moving is to move during the winter. Many of these beliefs can be directly traced back to the malicious trifecta known as cold, ice and snow. Think: slushy boots trampling over carpets, back-breaking shovelling, higher risk of injury, and biting winds that prick your eyeballs as you huff in and out of the house for 12 hours straight. Some of you will even be rewarded for these efforts with the flu.
But if you closed on your home in the fall, there’s a good chance you’ll be joining the winter warrior ranks. MoveSnap has helped thousands of movers seamlessly change residences in all seasons, and we’re happy to share our tips and tricks for your easiest winter move ever.
Tip #1: Pray for unseasonably warm temperatures; prepare for Snowmaggedon
Faith is a wonderful thing. It’s a balm for the soul to believe the cosmos will personally account for your Move Day weather, that the snowy skies will part in a virtual Red Sea and close up the second the movers set down your final box. But wise winter movers prepare for the ugliest blizzard-like conditions anyway. Check in with your moving company and/or truck rental frequently during the week of your move. And in case of emergency:
Have a Plan B: Snow happens. Ice happens. And occasionally, these two things happen at the same time to large vehicles. It’s not uncommon for your moving company to get snowed in, suffer mechanical issues due to the cold, or have to cancel last minute for any number of wintery reasons. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a second moving company on standby in case of emergency. Like clever brides who plan off-season weddings, you’ll have far more vendor options than if you scramble to find a last-minute mover on July 1. Get a second or third quote several weeks ahead of time so the alternate companies already have your move details on file.
Make sure the heat is on: With all the packing and rushing around going on, it’s easy to forget to set up your utilities in the new place. While you can technically survive this oversight in June, you do not want to try this at home in January. Moving in when the interior thermostat dips below zero isn’t just an awful first memory of your new home, it’s also deeply unpleasant – and unsafe – for your Move Day team. If you do forget, the next best option is to have a few battery-operated space heaters on hand to place in key rooms.
Crack your knuckles and get shovelling: A massive snow dump could very well hit your home overnight and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. However, you can make your life orders of magnitude less complicated by pre-emptively shovelling and salting any existing debris the night before. That way, you have less bulk to remove in the morning, and you can reduce all risk of lawsuit from the unscheduled performance of Movers on Ice that will be taking place in your front yard.
Call your MoveSnap Concierge: Your MoveSnap Concierge is here to solve all last-minute emergencies. We’ve sourced on-demand snowplows to unblock driveways in rural Manitoba, found same-day movers and truck rentals, and even located a crane to help a mover hoist a four-poster bed out of her apartment window in the dead of February. Having a professional move “fixer” like MoveSnap on call reduces stress levels by several billion percent. Click here to learn more.
Tip #2: Pack for the season
Protect your delicates: When you head to Iceland, you pack a coat. Your electronics can’t speak, but they’re counting on you to exhibit the same common sense when you pack them for your winter move. They may be inanimate but they are still very sensitive to the elements. Protect them by insulating their box with an old towel or cloth, and don’t leave them in the freezing truck all day – take them with you in your own vehicle so you can move them out last and in first.
Save your floors: Do you love the sight of scuffed up new floors and filthy carpets? No? Well, winter doesn’t care about your aesthetic preferences. Your movers may be very strong and they may even cover their boots with plastic, but they can’t levitate. Set out some towels by the doorway so they can reduce the muck they trail and out of the house. It also helps to lay down some cheap plastic tarps and use any mats you already have in your possession.
Ghost your furniture: Not literally. You would never be so callous. What we mean is keep a few bedsheets on hand in case it starts to snow midway through your move. That way you can drape the linens over any furniture and protect the fabric from moisture. Eyeholes are optional.
Tip #3: Be a mensch
It’s cold. Your movers are doing hard physical labour in sub-zero temperatures. Do them a solid and consider their personal welfare. This doesn’t just mean a bigger tip than in summer weather (but definitely consider doing that). It also involves checking in with them during the day to see if they need any coffee, tea, or hot chocolate to keep their muscles warm and muscly. These may be small gestures but they go a long way.
Did you know: Your real estate professional is also a mensch for setting you up with MoveSnap. They care about helping you have your easiest, most stress-free move ever and it’s our job to make sure it happens. See what else our platform and concierge service can help you do. And if your realtor needs a bit of mensch prompting, send them a nudge and we’ll take care of the rest.
Now that you’re armed with winter moving smarts, you’re primed to have a smoother move. While you can’t control the weather, you can definitely prevent unnecessary pain and frustration. And who knows? You may find there are tons of advantages to avoiding the summer rush and become a winter Move Day evangelist.