How to Move Safely During the Winter

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While many aspects of our lives are based on the time of year, all too often the big changes like moving into a new house simply don't take the weather into account. If your new home is ready for you in the middle of winter, it's time to move whether it's the easiest time of year for the task or not. While the good news is that sweat won't be pouring down your face during the move, it's also important to take into account the special safety precautions required to ensure that you, your helpful friends, and your professional movers are both safe and efficient in the icy conditions.

What You'll Need

  • Snow Shovels
  • Rock Salt
  • Plastic Sheeting or Tarps
  • Kettle, Tea Bags, and Several Mugs
  • Pitcher and Cups

Preparing for Icey Sidewalks

The first thing to remember is that icy sidewalks, driveways, and streets are dangerous enough under normal conditions but become much more problematic when you're moving heavy boxes or furniture and can't watch your feet or step as carefully. If it's icy where you live, shovel the walkways as thoroughly as possible and salt the entire walk between your front door and the back of the moving truck. When you're done, pack up your shovels and bag of salt in the trunk of your own car or make sure they are packed last in the truck. This will ensure that you can clear driveways and sidewalks at your destination as well.

Protecting Your Floors

The second ice and snow related concern is the state of your floors. When people are tromping through ice or snow to get into your home, that slush will stay on their shoes and can be tracked all over your nice clean floors or, worse, soak dirty slush into the carpets. To protect both the home you're leaving and the one you're moving into, use tarps and plastic sheeting to keep ice-covered shoes off your floors.

Planning for Icy Roads

The next consideration is the fact that the roads you'll be taking are likely to also be covered in ice and possibly people traveling for the holidays. Expect heavy traffic, accidents, backups, and all manner of delays. This means that if you have a moving deadline, you'll want to leave early to ensure that you have an extra few days to both make the trip and get everything unloaded in the snow.

For efficiency and safety's sake, you may also want two or three alternate routes or an app ready to help you plan detours just in case there's a bad traffic or weather situation on your primary planned route.

Landing Somewhere Warm

After a long drive in the moving truck or your own car in a caravan with your moving trucks, you're going to want to warm up in the new home pretty fast. This means that any delays getting the house open and the heater own can be problematic, especially if the utilities aren't ready yet. Make sure to have water, electricity, and gas if relevant turned on at the new place. Try to arrive ahead of the trucks or ask a local contact to access the house and get it warming up before the convoy shows up and starts unpacking.

Take Care of Yourself and Your Movers

Moving in the cold is hard work with a combined risk of freezing, overheating, and getting dangerously dehydrated as your body loses moisture to the cold. After you get the heater started up, consider making a big pot of hot tea or cocoa along with a pitcher of room-temperature (not freezing cold) water. Keep yourself hydrated and warm with cups of tea and pass mugs or a thermos around for the movers and any friends who are lending a hand. This way, everyone stays energetic and unlikely to get too tired or catch a cold during the process.

Moving in the winter is tricky business, but something you can easily accomplish with a little forward planning and consideration for everyone involved. By making sure all walkways have plenty of traction, the destination home is ready to be hospitable, and everyone drinks warm tea, you should be able to get all your possessions safely from one icy home to another.