Moving can be worrisome enough but trying to do it in the middle of winter can make things even more stressful.
It’s one thing to relocate in 100-degree heat, drink gallons of Gatorade and sweat enough to lose five pounds, but somehow everything seems worse if it’s 20 below outside of your apartment in Bloomington, Indiana when the wind is blowing and the roads and sidewalks are covered with ice.
What can you do to make a winter move more palatable? Check out these five tips:
Prepare Your Stuff
Things freeze quickly in extremely cold weather. A caterer we know used to like delivering food in the winter because his vehicles were turned into refrigerators by the outside ambient temperatures, and when it was between 30 and 40 degrees, he didn’t have to worry about keeping anything at the proper cold food temperature. One day, however, the temp quickly dropped to 10 below, and all of his cheese and fruit trays froze within minutes. So, while not all of your stuff is cold-sensitive, things that are like some food items and of course pets and plants need to be protected. Remember also that china dishes and some glassware can also be damaged by a rapid temperature drop since items get brittle in the cold.
Keep Your Home Clean
On both sides of the move, make sure that mud, snow and ice are not tracked in and out of your home. Lay down protective plastic at all entrances to make sure that the dirt stays outside at your old home and your new residence.
Be Nice to Your Helpers and Movers
If you’re doing a DIY move, take some time to dress properly, eat well, have hot liquids available, and have a warm place to take a break. If you are using a moving service, make sure that you do the same for your hard-working movers. Even if it’s not required in your contract, buying them a hot meal is a great thing to do.
You have no doubt planned your move months in advance, but when moving day is accompanied by a winter storm warning, be prepared to wait until the storm passes. Even if you are able to load up the truck in a blizzard, you’re not going to get anywhere fast or safely until the storm is gone.
Prepare and Winterize Your Car
If you live in a cold weather climate, for example, you just bought a contract for deed home in Minnesota, you know that your antifreeze needs to be checked yearly, and if your vehicle has been giving you any trouble, all problems should be taken care of before winter. If you live in a warm climate and are moving to a cold one, however, make sure all cold-weather systems are functioning. You may not care if your heater doesn’t work in Miami, but in Fargo it will be a different story.
Again, moving is rarely fun, and even if you have a great plan, the weather can interfere. Therefore, take care of all things you can control, and if the weather does not cooperate, at least you’ll know that you have everything ready to go as soon as the skies clear.