Moving during any season can be a real headache, but when you have to move during the winter months, the process can be particularly frustrating. However, with the benefits of buying a home in the winter (less competition and motivated sellers), it may not seem so daunting after all. Regardless, here are a few tips to help ensure your winter move goes as smoothly as possible, even if it's below freezing outside:
1. Make Sure Your New Home Is Equipped with Lights and Heat.
Many people tend to put getting the utilities on at the new house until the last minute. However, during a winter move, this is something that should be a priority. Even after you've scheduled the turn-on, you'll want to double-check and make sure that the utilities were actually switched on. If possible, you'll want to get the heat turned on before you arrive. If you're moving locally, you can do this. If you're moving long distance, see if your realtor can do it for you.
2. Keep a Watchful Eye on the Weather and Radar.
Weather is one of the most fickle things out there and can change with little to no warning. Therefore, you need to make sure that you are constantly checking weather reports and watching the radar for any potential storm fronts that could be heading your way and hinder your move. Don't forget to also consider traffic reports and plan a route from your old home to your new one with the information gathered from them. The last thing you need or want is to be caught in stalled traffic.
3. Avoid Packing Winter Supplies.
It may be easy to throw those winter accessories and ice scraper into a box, but you'll want to avoid that. Or, if you do put them in a box, put them in their own box that can be put in the car with you. This also includes a shovel and some salt, in the event that you need to shovel some snow at either location (which is highly likely this time of year) or melt some ice.
4. Shovel the Driveways and Sidewalks.
Whether you're moving yourself or hiring movers, make sure to shovel any snow out of the walkways and driveways before the moving truck arrives. Be sure to shovel snow from any drop-off areas and stairs, as it can be easy to misjudge their height when snow is obscuring the view. It may take a bit of time to do this, but it will make moving easier and safer for everyone. Don't forget to throw down some salt or sand on areas where movers will be walking to avoid any unnecessary falls.
5. Don't Forget to Dress in Layers and Add Accessories.
It's cold outside, so you are going to want to dress in as many layers as you can. You may even want to put on an extra pair of gloves, if you can. Remember, if you start getting hot, you can always remove a layer and add it back when you get cold again. Make sure you also have on a good pair of boots that have good traction and are waterproof. Wear a pair of earmuffs to keep your ears warm and a hat to protect your head.
With a few precautions, you can safely and easily move during the winter. If you start feeling overwhelmed and haven't already hired movers, call a local moving company to see when and if they can squeeze you in. However, it is always better to make this decision ahead of time so that everyone has an adequate amount of time to plan ahead.
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