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20 Winter Moving and Storage Tips

Female hands holding tiny house in snowy weather
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The good news is you’re moving. It means a fresh start, a chance to explore new surroundings. The somewhat challenging part is you’re about to partake in winter moving. With moving in the winter months, you could encounter cold weather, snow, and possible travel delays.

While it might not sound glamorous or comfortable, there are things you can do to make winter moving and storage more enjoyable.

10 tips to help if you’re moving in the winter months

Be flexible when preparing to travel.

Winter weather can be unpredictable. If you plan to make a significant move involving driving in areas with winter weather, give yourself an extra day or two of wiggle room when planning. That way, if there is a bad storm, you can stop and wait for the roads to clear.

Make sure your vehicles are winter-ready.

Do inspections on your vehicles before leaving. Doing so ensures your vehicle’s tires, engine, battery, heating system, suspension, and more are ready for the rigors of winter driving.

Pack an emergency kit.

If you’re doing a long drive, you want to have an emergency kit in your vehicle. You should include items like a first-aid kit, granola bars, bottled water,  jumper cables, a shovel (to dig out if you become stuck), and plenty of blankets.

Keep a close eye on the weather forecast.

Winter moving involves keeping a close eye on what you encounter as you travel. By keeping a close watch on the weather you encounter as you travel to your new home, you can plan the best time to travel.

Know your resources.

Along with having a roadside service like AAA, add the help numbers provided by highway troopers for all the states you plan to drive in. That way, if an emergency strikes, you have another lifeline to help.

Practice driving a rental truck.

Anytime you’re driving a new vehicle in the winter, it’s ideal to see how it handles. Once you rent your truck, go to an empty parking lot and test the braking and steering. Doing this allows you to gain a better feel for how it handles when you do winter moving.

Hire a pro.

You can save money, as not as many people move in the winter.  Shop around for quotes to see what services and rates providers in your area charge.

Do a pod delivery.

Instead of hiring movers, renting a truck, then driving across the country in a vehicle you’re unfamiliar with, have pods delivered to you. Once loaded, they pick them up and transport them to your new address.

Save on movers.

Many moving companies offer discounts. Whether you’re a student, first-responder, senior, member of the military, or more, be sure to explore all the incentives the provider offers.

Shovel and salt the entry points.

Whether you load your items or have pros do it, make sure to salt and keep all walkways leading to entry points clear of snow and ice. It allows you a faster and safer move. And if you have movers, they’ll appreciate the gesture.

moving in winter monthhs
Johner Images/ Getty Images

10 pro hacks if you’re dealing with storage during cold months

Use climate-controlled storage.

One of the best winter tips when moving is to use climate-controlled storage. Doing this shields your valuables from the colder weather, and some moving companies offer this as part of their moving packages.

Keep an inventory of items you’re moving.

Winter moving means some of your belongings could experience colder temperatures during transport. If you can, keep electronics and battery-powered items with you in a warmer vehicle during the move.

Organize and label your items.

Winter moving and storage requires you to keep things organized to ensure the process goes smoothly. To accomplish this, label each box with the room it’s going to and the items in it. Doing so makes it easier for the movers, as they can be extra careful with those boxes labeled fragile.

Keep your belongings separated.

Are you packing fragile items in the same box? Wrap your fragile items in bubble wrap, as it can keep them from smashing into each other while in transport. It also adds another protective barrier if water seeps through the moving box.

Wrap items.

Wrapping items in wool or cotton blankets can help to keep them from becoming damaged due to colder temperatures. Moreover, weather-proof tarps will protect your outdoor furniture during transport. Drain liquid from equipment.

Liquid can freeze in colder weather. Therefore, you need to remove the fluid from items or store them in dryer, warmer areas. You’ll also want to drain fuel safely for gasoline-powered equipment like lawnmowers, snowblowers, and more.

Position furniture properly.

Winter moving and storage requires you to try to keep all your items as safe as possible. For furniture, you want to load them into the moving truck first. It prevents them from being near the loading door, where water can seep through, causing damage.

Wax wooden furniture.

Wax your wooden furniture before storing them. It can create another layer of moisture resistance, which, together with being double-wrapped, can protect it when doing winter moving and storage.

Clean items before moving.

For furniture like mattresses, sofas, and more, you need to clean them before having them loaded into the truck or pod. Doing this reduces the risk of your furniture incurring mold or mildew due to the cooler weather.

Set barriers

One of the biggest concerns when doing winter moving and storage is keeping your items dry. You can set a barrier by laying a plastic sheet down in each pod or trailer you use to move your items. Speaking of plastic, you want to store as many of your items in plastic storage containers as you can since they can be more moisture-resistant than cardboard boxes.

Frequently asked questions

Q:

Can you move in the winter?

A:

You can do winter moving. To do so, give yourself plenty of time when traveling, keep an eye on the weather, and even consider hiring pros to make the job easier. Also, use our winter moving and storage tips to keep your items safe.

Q:

Is it cheaper to move in the winter?

A:

Yes, as moving companies are not as busy during the winter months.

Q:

What is the cheapest day to move?

A:

The weekdays (excluding Friday) are the cheapest because people tend to move more often on weekends when they’re off work.

Q:

How do you move in the winter?

A:

You should be flexible when scheduling your move, as winter weather is subject to change. Additionally, consider keeping items stored in a climate-controlled facility and use plastic containers instead of cardboard boxes to reduce moisture damage.


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