Summer is the most popular season for moving. The weather and the roads are clear, school is out, employees take vacations, and long weekends are plentiful. Sometimes, however, necessity dictates a winter move.
Moving in winter is definitely possible, but you’ll need to prepare a little more in order to make the move as safe and as warm as possible. If you’re moving your home or business during the winter months, this guide will help you know what to plan for.
Make Your Rental Dates Flexible
A major part of planning ahead is keeping track of the weather forecast for your moving date. Ideally, you’ll move on a clear day with no snow or winter rain in the forecast.
When you call your moving truck rental company to reserve a vehicle, express your concerns about the unpredictability of winter driving. Plan to rent on the appointed day, but ask the rental company how they handle moving reservations for bad weather, and if you can set up a “back up” date just in case a winter storm hits.
It’s also best to ask for and attend any tutorials available on driving a rental truck, especially in the winter time.
You should also make your time of day flexible as well. Plan to start early in the day to maximize daylight hours. Since the sun sets early in the evening, moving into the night can be more challenging.
Prepare the New Location
On the day before the move, visit the new location (your new home or business place) to prepare for the bustle of moving. Make sure you:
- Tape cardboard boxes, tarps, or plastic to the floor. These will protect it from winter slush and muck from the street and allow movers and helpers to keep their shoes on.
- Turn on the heat and make sure all utilities are working properly. This will make moving more comfortable, and provide a warm working bathroom for those that need it.
- Clear the stairs and walks of any existing ice. Even if the walks and stairs aren’t slippery, lay some salt in case it snows or rains overnight.
You’ll also want to take the time to prepare your old residence for moving out. It’s best to turn down the heat, protect the floors, and transfer utilities.
Stay on Top of Snow Removal
In addition to clearing stairs and walks at both ends of the move, you’ll want to stay on top of snow removal in other areas as well. In the days leading up to the move, make sure you:
- Clear a path to the street. Sometimes, moving trucks can only park down on the street. Snowplows can make snow drifts along the road side, making access challenging. Keep a path open in the days leading up to the move so you don’t have a snow barrier between your house or business and the moving vehicle.
- Clear parking places and garage concrete pads. You’ll be clearing out the garage, which means even if normally don’t shovel the entrance to garage, you’ll need to do it for the move.
- Provide access outdoor storage and garden sheds. Often in a forgotten place in the yard during winter, these still hold seasonal items you’ll need to bring with you. Shovel or beat a path from outdoor storage areas to the place where the truck will park.
You should also take time to make sure snow is cleared properly along your planned route. If one road is too slick or snowy to safely drive on, plan a different route—even if it will take longer.
Have Extra Covers Available
Even if the weather forecast is perfect, surprises happen. It could start to rain or snow when you’re moving furniture and boxes. To help prepare for this possibility, keep a box of towels, sheets, and blankets handy to throw over delicate items as they are being carried into the house.
Keep Essentials Handy
Finally, after preparing for the safety of the vehicle, movers and helpers, and your belongings, you should also consider the comfort of the people executing the move. It’s best to keep some warm winter essentials consistently available, including:
- Hand and foot warmers. The individually sized ones that come with emergency kits are perfect for moving day.
- Extra pairs of gloves and hats. Keep them in a box in your regular vehicle.
- A warm place to sit and take a rest. The kitchen is good place. Have coffee, hot chocolate, or tea available in a warmer.
- Water. Dehydration is actually a big hazard in winter moves. People always think to provide water in the heat of summer, but moving in winter is just as strenuous. Provide ample drinking water for all helpers and encourage them to stay hydrated.
Moving in winter can be a good way to save money with off-season prices for houses, rental spaces, and moving help. Prepare for the extra hassle, and you winter move will be a success.
For more information on renting a truck for your home or business move, contact us at Elite Truck Rental.