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How to Prepare for a Winter Move

How to Prepare for a Winter Move

While most people choose to move during the warmer spring/summer months, others often do not have the luxury. Whether facing immediate relocation for a job opportunity, or following a partner to a new home, there are several reasons why some choose to move during the winter season.

From the potential of snow blocking your driveway, to the danger of slipping on icy sidewalks while carrying heavy boxes, relocating in winter is no easy feat. However, as we face the coldest months of the year, the moving experts at Gentle Giant have compiled a list of tips to make your winter move as stress-free as possible.

1. Prepare Your Home (Old and New) for the Move

Prepare Your Old Home

Given the time of year, you may wake up on moving day to discover that your driveway is filled with snow. Moving companies expect that the driveway and paths will be clear when they arrive, but fear not! There are several tools available which will allow you to clear the paths quickly, just in time for the movers’ arrival.

The Snow Joe Ion18 snow blower is the way to go if you want to get the job done fast. Available for next day delivery via Amazon Prime, this tool will do the hard work for you. While not as convenient as a snow blower, a good old fashioned snow shovel is your next best option. Garant’s G4 shovel has a footrest and three handles for the most efficient snow shoveling experience.

Driveways and sidewalks can become increasingly slick during the cold and damp winter months. The slippery surface can result in valuable items being dropped and broken, or worse, a trip to A&E for you or your movers! To avoid the potential hazard, it is recommended to use anti-icers or deicers. You can find a wide selection of these solutions at stores like Home Depot, or online for straight-to-your-door delivery.

Reminder: Anti-icers and deicers can be toxic to the environment, corrosive to your driveway, and harmful to pets and children. The best-selling HARRIS Kind Melt offers a pet-friendly formula for dog moms and dads. Similarly, Fusion offers an eco-friendly option. Always follow the directions provided when using chemicals like anti-icers and deicers.

Prepare Your New Home

Although it may seem like an obvious task, ensuring that your new home has all necessary utilities fully functioning on move in day is key. Picture this: You arrive at your new home after a long day of moving only to realize that the house is cold and dark, with no hot water for a shower. Talk about a nightmare move! We recommend contacting your service provider to ensure utilities like gas, heat, electricity, and water are turned on approximately two days before you move in.

2. Protect Your Home and Belongings from the Weather

Protect Your Home

Winter weather conditions will often result in moisture and dirt being tracked in and out of your home. The sludgy mix of snow, ice, and mud can make this hard to avoid. There are, however, some steps you can take to protect your home.

Consider the different types of flooring in your old and new homes. For carpet floors, there are various carpet protection films available. TapeManBlue offers high-quality carpet film which are available in different sizes to suit your specific needs. Similarly, for hardwood, vinyl/linoleum, or tile flooring, polyethylene floor protection film is useful. The film is coated with a removal adhesive that stays securely in place once it’s down. It also sticks edge to edge and gets rid of any creasing to eliminate a tripping hazard.

Protect Your Belongings

Particularly fragile items like dishware and glass are susceptible to temperature changes and can crack or break as a result of severe temperature shifts. If you are packing your own boxes, the Gentle Giant team recommend that you double wrap everything in moving paper or blankets. The extra layering can help to protect your items as they are moved from the warmth of your home to the cold of the truck or storage container. Similarly, electronics can be affected by the cold and may require a full day to acclimate to the room temperature of your new home.

3. Prepare Your Car for a Long-Distance Move

If you are moving long-distance, it is important to prepare your car for the journey. Driving in inclement weather always takes longer than driving on clear roads. There are also the dangers of snow, ice, or slush on the roads. The NHTSA recommends having your car serviced prior to the drive to confirm that everything is running properly. Additionally, tools like tire chains and ice scrapers should be in your vehicle before you begin your journey. This way you will be fully prepared for the dangerous winter road conditions.

You should also plan your route and keep up to date on weather conditions before and during a long-distance drive. Maps applications like Google Maps and Waze are available for both Android and iOS. Google Maps is useful as it gives you real-time ETAs and is available offline. Waze updates you on accidents, construction, road closures, and other traffic-related items in real-time. There are also several weather apps available to ensure you are fully prepared. AccuWeather is ideal for daily weather updates and is available in the App Store and Play Store.

Are you planning a winter move? Hire professional movers like Gentle Giant to take away the stress of the move! Check out our moving checklist for further information on how to prepare for your move and use our free move estimate tool to determine the cost of your move. Additionally, you can see our locations and the various moving services we offer including packing, storage, piano moving, and more.