by Nancy LaFever

Most people don’t plan on moving in winter. It’s certainly not an ideal time, but often with moving, there are factors outside of our control. Maybe you’re relocating for a job, or have to downsize rather quickly? Getting the show on the road is what’s important. Here are some tips for making the best of a cold weather move.

Keep People and Your Home Safe

  • Be careful while loading the moving truck. Whether you’re packing a rental truck and moving yourself, or hired a moving company, make sure the areas around your home are free of ice and snow. Use de-icing material and be sure to shovel. It’s not something you want to add to your long moving to-do list, but everyone needs to be safe while loading the truck.
  • Don’t pack things that might freeze. The inside of an unheated moving truck can get very cold. Don’t pack things that might freeze in route. Some wood items should not be subjected to cold temperatures for long periods; ask the movers to wrap those items with extra covering if you’re concerned.

Protect the Interior and Stay Warm

  • Put down protective, slip-proof coverings. For safety’s sake and because you want to protect your flooring for the new owner, put down some non-skid runners. These will keep people from slipping on wet floors as they come in and out. If you aren’t able to get runners, large pieces of heavy cardboard are handy.
  • Wear appropriate clothing. It might sound like a no-brainer to put on warm clothes when moving in the cold, but your mind is on other things. It’s also hard to maneuver large, heavy boxes in a winter coat. Your goal is to have easy mobility and to stay warm and dry.
  • Have hot drinks ready. Keep a coffee pot and hot water ready in the kitchen for people to take a break and warm up. Don’t worry about washing mugs and coffee cups; buy some disposable cups and spoons—you can pack them up in your “on-the-road” box for easy access when you leave.
  • Extra winter gear. Keep a box or large bag of gloves, extra coats, blankets and any other cold-weather gear with you and easily accessible.

Use Extra Caution When Driving

  • Prepare for different driving conditions. If you’re driving a rental truck in the snow, take extra precautions. Even if you’re a snow-season road warrior, driving a loaded moving truck on ice and snow is a different animal. Be very careful. Be sure to request snow tires on your truck when you reserve it (in heavy-snow regions, snow tires are usually the norm).

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