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Tips For Moving in the Winter

By Jen McCann, Realtor

One year we had more clients move over the winter months than we did any other month. There are a few advantages to moving during the winter. For example, most people tend to move during the spring and summer so there will be less competition for homes. With less competition for homes, sellers are may be more motivated and willing to negation the terms in order to sell their home during the winter months. So, if moving during the winter is when you decide to move, here are tips to make the move go smoother:

Plan Ahead
Make sure you plan early and have backup plans. If snow is in the forecast, ask about snow removal procedures in your community. Have alternative routes mapped out in case roads are closed. Set aside a “rain” (or snow) date in case the weather conditions are unsafe or too treacherous to move. Have your car serviced before your move date, and fill the gas tank to full for the day of the move.

Start Early
From packing preparations to the day of the move – start early. People tend to be more tired in the winter and can have more colds, so start packing and purging as early as possible to have extra time built in for the dreaded winter cold. The day of your move should also start as soon as possible. With less daylight available, you will want the bulk of your move to happen during the day, while you can unpack or rearrange boxes and furniture in the warmth and lights of the inside of your new home.

Turn on the Heat & Lights
Make sure the utilities are on at the old place and the new place. The last thing you want is to arrive at your new home with no heat or lights. Don’t try to save money by turning off the heat at the old place while you are moving (see my “Tips for Saving Money while Moving” for better ways). If the move is delayed for any reason, you will need the heat to keep you and your belongings safe and warm.

Prepare the Outside & Inside
Be sure to clear the sidewalks and entryways to both homes with shovels, salt, and/or sand. Most communities will clear the parking lots, roads, and sidewalks; however, it is usually the responsibility of the homeowner to clear the driveway, walkway, and entryways of the home. You will want these clear of snow and ice free for the movers to safely and easily move your belongings into the home. Once inside, use cardboard secured to the floor to prevent the elements from the outside from ruining the inside of your home. Use the garage or another area of the home as a staging area to limit the traffic and potential mess throughout the home (also can help save time and money).

Keep Warm & Hydrated
Try wearing layers of clothes rather than a winter coat. It will be less bulky, and you can take off layers if you heat up while moving boxes around. Body heat tends to escape from the head first, so be sure to wear a hat to help keep your body warm. Have warm drinks on hand, too. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate will be welcomed by any friends, family members, or movers helping. Remember the dry air of the winter can cause dehydration just like the hot sun in the summer, so don’t forget about staying hydrated with water, too.

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