It is only October, but the temperature has dropped and snow is falling, so there has never been a better time to ask: what do I need to know before moving in the winter? It understandably may seem daunting to plan a large move in the middle of freezing cold weather. There is a reason the summer months are by and large the most widely chosen time to move! However, there are definitely benefits to planning an ‘off season’ relocation. First and foremost, professional moving companies are typically not going to be as busy, and you will most likely have more choice when it comes to selecting dates and times of bookings. Secondly, there might be more price flexibility during low season months as well! Once you have hired and secured your team of pros, your weather affected moving ‘to-do’ list can quickly become long and overwhelming. Follow our easy winter moving guide to ensure the important things are taken care of, and your big (maybe snowy) day flows as smoothly as possible!


Pipe Master

Green thumb season, at least one that takes place outside in the elements, is coming to a swift and certain end. You might have been hoping to test out your new garden hose before Santa Claus comes, but right now it is just not worth the risk. Take heed; unattended, exposed, outdoor piping can be guilty of showing little or no signs of distress, while also being the direct cause of major damage to the interior of your new home. Aka flooding! Following a winter move, as soon as you are unpacked, or perhaps even before that, locate all of the outdoor faucets surrounding your new home and shut them off! If circumstances permit, the first few days you have possession of your new home are a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with these types of systems. Finding and noting where your main water valve/line shut off is located is immensely important as well. Pro tip: while you are outside, If it is not too icy or dangerous, get up on a ladder and clear out any remaining junk in your gutters. Fall runoff can freeze, expand and/or crack these systems and lead to damage in your roof or worse. Take care of all of your outdoor water access and drainage points to show your new home love this winter.


Establish A Safe Moving Environment

In any ideal moving scenario, the preparation is so thorough and well thought out, everything goes swimmingly and stays on budget with time and more importantly – money! The last thing you want to run into is your paid moving crew not being able to properly access your home, because you didn’t shovel your driveway. Easily avoidable! Keep your eye on the weather forecast in the days leading up to your move and take whatever measures possible to create a safe moving environment. This means shoveling yes, but also salting and de-icing if necessary. If packed or plowed snow has narrowed your driveway or the walkways/entrance ways into your home – ensure there is more than enough space for moving dollies and large furniture to still safely pass through. You can expect your hired professionals to be completely prepared with mats, shoe coverings, etc. – but do keep in mind that having any amount of extra people track in and out of the house in the winter will be different. Lookout for pooling water at your front door from boots, salt on your flooring, potential slipping, you name it. A stockpile of towels at the main entrance/exit is always a great idea. Also, think twice about cranking up the thermostat to keep everyone toasty on the day. With doors opening and closing countless times throughout a move, you could potentially send your system into overdrive. On the contrary, turning the heat down slightly might help to keep things more moderated. Planning in advance to have the safest and most efficient environment possible, is incredibly important in order to pull off your winter move successfully!


Show Your Movers Some Love

If you did your due diligence, hopefully the professional moving team you hired is tried, tested, and true. Meaning, this isn’t their first rodeo and they are not only capable, but confident about executing an awesome winter move for you. With that said, doing physical labour in subzero temperatures can hit all of us hard! Having hot coffee, tea, or even better, hot chocolate, on standby will always be appreciated. Organize a small set up in your kitchen that is accessible for the team and be vocal about how welcome they are to take a break and warm up. Pro tip: chances are all of your mugs are packed away, so take out cups will work best here and also mean an easy clean up. Coffee machine packed too? Order ahead from your local coffee shop and have everything prepared for you. It definitely will not hurt to add a couple dozen donuts to your order too. This is a small gesture, but will go a long way in reviving everyone’s spirits and keeping them energized for the frosty task at hand.


Allow For Weather AKA Time Delays


You can absolutely have expectations that your professional moving team will be just that; professional. Meaning they show up on time, work hard, and uphold their end of your mutually agreed upon moving contract. However, you will do your stress levels a world of good to make peace with the fact that during the winter, weather can become a bigger factor than you had initially anticipated. Trust that things will get done, but if a storm kicks up or a traffic accident/road closures slow down commute time, your timetable might shift. Stay flexible. Where possible, move some small things ahead of time. If everything must, or can only be done on the one designated day, have a contingency plan or extra vehicles in place. Stay in communication with your moving team lead in the days leading up to your booking so you remain on the same page. If severe weather becomes an issue, safety of all involved is of course paramount. In a winter move, when snow, ice, and heavy furniture are involved, some patience and grace are always good to keep handy.


Same Goes For Your New Home

Now, take every single thing you have placed into consideration for preparing the home you are moving from, and apply it to the home you are moving to! If you shovelled and salted one driveway like a champ, but forgot to check the city’s plow schedule at your new place and it just got snowed in – some serious struggles might occur. This could be particularly painful if you don’t have removal materials at the ready at point b. Challenging to organize with the individuals and/or sellers moving out perhaps, but an attempt at advanced coordination is always worth it. If nothing else, delay moving until a day or so after you have taken possession so that you have the ability and autonomy to prepare the space accordingly. And if there was ever a perfect moment to organize and set up your utilities ahead of time, it is now. Moving in the winter has enough challenges without unpacking in a frozen home. Picture this: instead of facing a wall of snow terror when pulling up at your new address, everything is clear and safe for your moving team to forge ahead. Looking forward to what your new home will need, is an incredibly helpful tool to prioritize for your winter move.

In short, just when you think you could not possibly be any more prepared; head back to the drawing board and cover your bases one more time. If you procrastinate and leave tasks undone, moving will feel treacherous no matter what the season. If you stay organized, pick a great professional team, and remember to keep breathing, even a blustery winter move can go off without a hitch. Leave some comments below on other tips and tricks that could make your winter move easier!

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