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Winter Moving Tips for a Successful Move
In a dream world, all moves could be executed in perfect sunny weather with a gentle breeze. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out that way. Whether your lease is up, you got a new job out of town or you have to move for family reasons, you can’t always pick the time of year that you move.
The Challenges of Winter Moving
Of the four seasons, winter certainly presents the most challenges when it comes to moving. In addition to the discomfort of moving in sub-zero temperatures, icy conditions can make moving hazardous both for you and your movers. If there’s any time not to attempt a DIY move, it’s definitely in the winter season. Slippery boots and icy conditions put you and the family and friends willing to help you out with your move at risk of serious slips and falls in addition to other common moving injuries to the back, knees and neck. They also increase the risk of damage to your furniture and belongings which can be extremely costly, not to mention the slushy mess wet boots may leave on the floor.
If bad winter weather strikes, snowy and icy road conditions can result in traffic that can put your move behind schedule. Winter moves can be further complicated by the fact that if your kids are on winter vacation from school, you will have to keep them entertained indoors while trying to prepare for and execute the big move.
Needless to say, moving is stressful enough without all these additional factors. But if you do have to move this winter, don’t panic just yet. Below are some recommendations to help minimize anxiety and ensure a successful winter move.
Find a Mover You Can Trust. Without question, the most important step you can take to ensure a low stress winter move is to hire a reputable moving company. Ask friends and family for recommendations, do some research and check online reviews to find a well-established, highly professional moving company. Look for customer endorsements and membership of associations and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). All Jersey Moving & Storage has been serving the community since 1992 and earned an A+ rating from BBB and the “Circle of Excellence” designation from the New Jersey Warehousemen and Movers Association.
A professional moving company like All Jersey Moving and Storage will
- help you plan in advance
- anticipate weather-related problems
- know how to protect your possessions from the elements
- have detailed knowledge of the roads, buildings and areas it serves.
We have decades of experience navigating moves in all types of weather. Based in New Jersey, we specialize in regular local moves and offer expedited service on long distance moves within a 500-mile radius, up and down the East Coast, including all points between Maine and the Carolinas.
Schedule Your Moving Dates. Despite the challenges of a winter move, there are some upsides as well. Because winter is the off season of moving companies they are more likely to have greater flexibility with moving dates. Still, it’s wise to schedule your moving dates as far in advance as possible once you have chosen your moving company. You don’t want to wind up moving on a less than ideal date because your preferred movers are booked (and you certainly don’t want to be forced to work with second-rate movers because your first choice movers aren’t available). While All Jersey Moving & Storage recommends booking as far in advance as possible, we do our utmost to accommodate last minute moves and weekend moves.
Keep checking the weather. When it comes to winter moves, weather conditions make all the difference. Check the weather every week leading up to the move, and then every day the week of the move. Call your movers to express any concern you may have about roads being shut down due to weather or the movers being hindered from doing their job. Sometimes it is preferable to delay your move rather than have movers stuck in a blizzard.
Consider Using Packing and Unpacking Services. Problems with badly packed or sealed containers spilling their contents are worse when it’s snowing and freezing outside and you want your move to be speedy and efficient. Surfaces may be muddy or slushy, which could seep into boxes or damage your furniture. A good moving company like All Jersey Moving & Storage can pack and unpack your belongings to ensure they arrive clean, dry and intact. If a spell of bad weather has made it difficult for you to shop for the right packing materials and you’re running out of time, our company can step in and complete the job for you.
Clear the sidewalks, driveways, and street. Salt, shovel or snow blow major walkways that your movers will be using so they can navigate them safely and keep your furniture and belongings safe from damage.
Check the snowplow schedule. If snow is on the weather forecast, check your city’s snowplow schedule. Make sure parking is available for your movers that isn’t on the plow route.
Ensure That Surfaces are Safe and Accessible. As the homeowner, it is your responsibility to:
- Clear and salt driveways, walkways and stairs before the movers arrive
- Cover your floors by laying down old bed sheets or buying adhesive carpet protectors
- Purchase adequate insurance
We advise against laying down paper or plastic tarpaulins as they can become hazardous.
Your movers should:
- Provide runners
- Wear protective shoes
- Ensure that walkways remain clear
All Jersey Moving and Storage has a workers’ compensation policy which protects our employees in the event of a slip or fall. Without this coverage, the worker could sue the homeowner. This is why it’s essential to use a licensed reputable moving company like us.
Think About Your Pets. It’s a good idea to board your pets on moving day. With doors being opened and the amount of activity, it’s easy for them to slip out unnoticed and be exposed to freezing temperatures. If you can’t board them, move them first and have someone stay with them in your new destination if possible. Pack food, treats and toys in case they feel unsettled.
Sell things you no longer want or need. Moving is the perfect incentive to take stock of your furniture and other belongings and decide what you do and don’t want to take with you. The earlier you do this, the better, especially if you want to sell pieces of furniture at a reasonable price. Leaving this until the last minute could result in you taking unwanted furniture with you that you couldn’t sell in time or having to give it away for free. Keep in mind that you during the winter months holding a garage sale is probably not an option, so give yourself plenty of time to post items on Craigslist or spread the word to friends and family. You can also donate unwanted furniture and other items to charity.
Turn down the heat. Because you will have movers entering and exiting the house all day, the heat will escape and your furnace will be working overtime. If you turn the heat down or off for the day, you’ll save on your electric bill. Have a coffee urn plugged in to help warm you up and put on a second layer of clothing. If you turn the heat in the house off, it’s also a good idea to run a space heater in the main floor bathroom and keep the door closed.
Keep a stockpile of sheets, towels and blankets. If it starts snowing before or part-way through your move, your furniture and other possessions can get wet as they are carried between your home and the moving truck. Sheets and towels can come in handy to protect items from the falling snow or freezing rain, such as artwork, electronics, suede furniture and antiques.
Don’t pack your winter gear. To keep warm on moving day, be sure not to pack your winter coat, a warm winter outfit, a hat, boots and waterproof gloves. It’s also wise to keep a few clean towels easily accessible so you can jump into a warm shower when you arrive at your new home.
Protect your electronics. Certain electronic devices such as digital cameras, game systems and laptops or desktop computers don’t fare well in bitter cold temperatures. To keep your electronics safe, pack them all in a box or two and keep them in your car where you control the heat.
If you’re moving out of or into an apartment, reserve the elevator. This is especially important because you don’t want to reach your destination in the freezing cold only to discover you can’t move your possessions inside because the elevator is tied up. Apartment, condo and office buildings have strict rules about when in the day and month moves are permitted. The elevators have to be reserved well in advance and often there are special loading zones reserved for moving trucks. Often people are forbidden to move even a few items through the main doors. Don’t book a move too late in the day in case the superintendent is only available until 5 p.m.
Turn on the utilities at your new home. After a long moving day, you want to arrive to a warm, comfortable new home. Nothing is worse than arriving to an icy cold home after a cold winter move. Ensure that all of the utilities at your new home are turned on and are working before you start moving. If possible, have the utilities turned on a few days in advance of your move so you don’t have to deal with frozen pipes.
Keep a Kettle On. When you’re moving in the cold winter weather, having a kettle on for hot drinks is a must. In addition to keeping your kettle on until your about to leave your old home, create a kit of tea bags, hot chocolate, instant soups, sugar cubes and polystyrene cups. This way, you can enjoy hot treats on moving day as well as when you arrive at your new home. You’ll also be able to offer a cup of coffee to your movers and friends and neighbors who drop by to say farewell.
The good news is that there are practical action steps you can take to ensure your winter move is a success. At All Jersey Moving & Storage we have been helping families move during winter season and year-round for over 60 years. Our moving experts understand that moving during the winter months can come with added stress.
Contact All Jersey Moving and Storage now for a free quote and look forward to a warm reception and personalized service.