When you think about moving, you probably picture breaking a sweat as you load your belongings into your moving truck, unload them into your new apartment, and unpack and organize all your possessions. Chances are that you’re picturing sweat because you’ve often moved in the summer – after all, summer moves are far more common than winter moves. Moving apartments in the winter is nevertheless a doable situation, but the possibility of snow and other inclement weather can make it treacherous. With these six tips, you can have a safer winter move.
1. Be flexible – movers will be, too
Chances are that you’re not moving alone. Even if you live alone and own relatively few items, you’ll still need help – whether professional movers or friends – to get your bed, couch, and other big furniture pieces from one place to another. So what do you do if a snowstorm is scheduled to hit town the day of your move? Just be flexible – since the winter is the slowest season for moving, many professional movers are happy to accommodate date changes during this time of the year.
2. Use the right vehicle
If your car doesn’t handle ice or snow well, it’s not going to perform any better with all your belongings crammed into it. Leave the driving to professional movers with vehicles equipped to handle the weather, or make sure that any moving trucks you rent to drive yourself are well-equipped for all manner of weather conditions. A simple call to a customer service representative can reassure you that your rental vehicle won’t lose control during a sprinkling of snow.
3. Leave more time
On a hot summer day, a couple of professional movers can load all your belongings (if they’re already packed) into a truck pretty quickly, just as they can rapidly unload them. When there’s ice and snow around, movers have to tread slower than they normally would. It’s thus vital that you leave more time than usual for a winter move, especially if you’re having friends rather than professionals help you. Your friends might be strong and loyal, but only the pros are experts in minimizing their chances of slipping in icy conditions.
4. Bring (don’t pack) winter supplies
Even on clear winter days, you could find yourself contending with some dangerous, hard-to-break black ice. If you have a shovel, ice scraper, and other winter essentials on hand, you can much more easily clear a safe path into your new apartment. Don’t pack these items while preparing for the move. Place them aside just in case you need them. Salt is especially vital to have ready in a jiffy, as it can rapidly melt ice. Don’t forget your winter hat, scarf, and gloves either!
5. Protect your apartments
While walking in and out of your old apartment and your new one, you’re likely tracking in some mud with you thanks to the snow and maybe some slush. Plus, moisture and salt can damage even the best-built floors, so you’ll need to do all you can to limit direct contact between your shoes and your floors. Special coverings for moves, towels, or other floor padding can provide extra protection that you can clear the moment your move wraps up.
6. Heat your new apartment
Once you’re all moved into your new apartment, you’ll want to make sure you can stay warm. If you haven’t set up your utility accounts ahead of time, you might not be able to use your heat immediately. Before your move, open your accounts and visit your apartment to turn on the heat. Even if you won’t be moving in for a few days afterward, running even a low heat can help prevent your pipes from freezing.
What tips do you have for successfully moving in the winter? Sound off in the comments!