How to move in the winter
Winter is upon us and whether you choose to or not, you may have to make a move. It's a less than ideal season to move house for a number of reasons: extreme temperatures, ice, slush, grime, bad traffic, snow etc. If you're committing to moving in the winter, we want to help you. Here are our best tips for moving in the winter months.
Hire professional movers
Winter is not a good time of year to move by yourself. Hiring professional movers is your best and safest option. Professional movers know how to drive a moving truck in bad weather conditions, are better equipped to move heavy items and boxes over ice and snow, and have resources and experience that enable them to protect your belongings from potentially damaging slush and grime. You don't want your new white rug to be covered in muck, and you don't want to drop your armoire on the street. Yes, it's pricey, but yes, it is worth the investment.
Don't orchestrate your winter move at the last minute. You want to ensure you give yourself enough time to find and book a reliable moving company; to pack, wrap and box your items for safe shipment; and to coordinate with your current and new property managers (if applicable) to ensure you book the resources you'll need for your move -- like elevator access and parking. You do not want to have to park on the street, potentially blocks away from your destination, because you neglected to book building parking access for moving day.
Wrap and box your belongings
Even top-notch professional movers can slip on ice in the winter, potentially damaging your belongings. That's why it's so important to protect your items from potential damage by wrapping them in protective materials like bubble wrap and blankets and boxing them securely whenever possible. Large items like armoires should be wrapped in protective blankets which can be supplied by your moving company. Couches should be covered in protective sheeting you can request from the moving company.
Dress in layers
Whether you're hiring movers or doing it all yourself, it's important to dress in layers for moving day. Doors will be open, hitting you unexpectedly with harsh cold breezes and you'll be working up a sweat picking up heavy items throughout the day inside and out. Be sure you are dressed in layers that allow you to feel warm outside, but that you can shed to be active and remain cool indoors.
Clear a safe path
Because even the most adept movers can slip and fall on snow and ice, do what you can to clear a safe path for them to enter and leave the two properties. That means being ready for them before they arrive at your starting point and then arriving ahead of them at your final destination and doing what you can to ensure all the walkways and sidewalks you need to access are cleared of snow. If conditions are icy, spread some rock salt or ice melter on the outdoor walkways for better traction.
Protect your new space
Winter grime is easily tracked into your home -- especially when a fleet of movers in winter boots stomp in and out of your space constantly on a snowy and slushy winter day. To avoid having to undertake a huge post-move clean up, lay floor mats at the entrances to your apartment and ask the movers to wipe their feet before entering. You can even lay down a runway of broken-down moving boxes as the day progresses.
Be prepared on the day
Winter weather in Canada can change in the blink of an eye, so be prepared for whatever the day may bring. Pack rock salt, sand or kitty litter (great for traction), and some shovels in case your vehicle gets stuck in snow. Bring blankets, gloves, hats, easy-to-eat food and an airtight thermos of something hot to drink, too in case you find yourself stuck somewhere cold unexpectedly. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.
We hope these tips help you if you are moving in the winter!