By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
Moving in the winter can be invigorating. The cold winter air can feel refreshing when you're hauling boxes and it's nearly impossible to overheat as you might in a summer move. But winter moves are also more potentially dangerous to you and your possessions. Icy walkways can cause slips, and freezing rain or snow can soak your possessions. At the same time, you need to keep yourself warm and safe and avoid working too hard in extreme temperatures.
Today, we're here to share a few ways that anyone moving can prepare to move safely in cold and icy winter conditions.
Turn on the Utilities Before Arrival
The most important preparation step to take is your utilities. Make sure the power, water, gas, and internet are all on before you arrive to your new home. Before the moving company arrives or the truck is unloaded, turn on the heater and let the home warm up. This creates a warm place for both you and your possessions as you unload the truck. The last thing you want is to start unloading into a freezing house.
Traction Shoes and Salt to Prevent Slips
Wear practical winter-time shoes with good traction. This will help you avoid slipping on any ice in the walk or frost on the grass as you pack or unpack the truck. We also advise that your footwear include a sturdy, reinforced toe. Not only does this protect your toes from boxes and furniture, but you can also use sturdy-toed shoes to safely prop a load mid-haul.
If the pavement is perceptibly icy, we advise sprinkling the path with salt or putting down traction mats to ensure loading is done only with sure footing.
Prepare Towels and Mats to Protect the Floor
Indoors, protect your floors - especially carpet and hardwood. The snow, ice, or damp mud that clings to boots during a move can cause stains or moisture damage. No one wants to damage their floors when moving out or on their first day moving in. Fortunately, prevention is easy. If you have rugs and mats, throw them down to protect the main walkways where you or movers will be carrying boxes to or from the truck. If you don't have mats, don't worry. Throw down your oldest towels and keep a few towels handy for arrival at the new home.
Cover Boxes and Furniture Against Snow
If there is cold water falling from the sky in the form of rain, sleet, hail, or snow - protect your objects and yourself. While people can throw on coats and ponchos, you can also give your boxes and furniture ponchos as well. Towels are a good solution if the precipitation is light, while tarps and trash bags are more effective for heavy rain or sleet. If you are using a professional moving company, they’ll take care of protecting your items.
Dress Warmly in Layers
Moving in the winter, you'll experience a wide range of body temperature. The outdoor temperature is cold, and you should keep yourself safely warm. At the same time, we realize that you can really heat up when hauling boxes and furniture. So, dress warmly in layers. Wear a long-sleeve shirt and a sweater, sweatshirt, and jacket - or however many layers you need to be warm when standing still outside. Then as you warm up, take off the extra layers and put them right back on when you get cold again. This is the safest way to stay warm when working hard and moving indoors and outdoors during the move.
Drink Plenty of Water, Tea, or Cocoa
Stay hydrated. Winter air tends to be extremely dry as well as cold. Indoor air that has been heated is also quite dry. You need to stay hydrated both for your health and to keep up your strength for the move. Water from the tap might be too cold, so keep a kettle of hot water for tea or instant cocoa ready instead. Invite everyone to constantly take sips or stop for a tea break to stay hydrated.
Take Breaks and Stay Warm
Finally, remember to take breaks. Even if you want to finish the move fast, stop whenever you get too tired or too cold. Be sure to sit down for five to twenty minutes. Truly take a rest and drink a cup of water, tea, or cocoa during the break. If anyone starts feeling exhausted, let them take a longer break or sit down and start unpacking for a while instead.
Rely on Pros to Do the Winter Heavy Lifting
You don't have to take on a tough winter move on your own. Hiring professional movers can help you with the hardest parts of the move: loading and unloading in the cold, driving the packed truck in icy conditions, and furniture assembly should you have any large, unwieldy pieces. If you are worried about your health or safety, or just want to focus on unpacking when the boxes arrive, we can help.
Contact A-1 Freeman Moving Group today to discuss the winter moving services that you need to move safely and happily this season.
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