Moving in winter? Stay warm and stress-free with our expert tips.
Moving in the winter can be both advantageous and challenging. On the other hand, you have less competition for moving services and lower rates. But you must also deal with inclement weather conditions that make driving more difficult.
Each season comes with its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages, and winter is no exception. Preparing and planning can help one have a successful, stress-free move despite the challenges of the weather, ongoing school schedules, or the upcoming holiday season.
9 Reasons Why You Should Consider Moving in the Winter
Cheaper Moving Rates: Moving in the winter months is more affordable due to the lower demand for moving companies.
Lower Storage Costs: Storage unit rental fees are also cheaper during winter.
Scheduling Flexibility: Moving companies have more availability in the winter and can accommodate your scheduling needs.
Limited Inventory: With less demand for homes during the winter, there is less competition and more attention given to your home as a seller.
More Motivated Agents: Real estate agents are motivated to help you sell your home during the winter due to limited inventory.
Lower Rent Rates: Competition is limited during the winter, making it an excellent time to find reasonable rental rates and move-in specials.
Vacation Time: You can coordinate your move with the winter holidays and take advantage of vacation time.
More Comfortable Moving: Moving in the winter means less sweating and more comfort than in hot weather.
Energy Efficiency: Highlighting a home’s energy efficiency during a winter move can make a good impression on potential buyers. Energy-efficient features to emphasize are smart thermostats, solar panels, dual-pane windows, quality window treatments, new attic insulation, a newer HVAC system, and a tankless water heater.
6 Reasons to Reconsider Moving in the Winter
Winter moves can have disadvantages, too. But if you know the risks, you can plan for them.
Risk of Inclement Weather: Moving in the winter means dealing with frigid temperatures, ice, snow, and rain. It can create extra steps in the process and dangerous driving conditions. There’s a greater risk of injuries due to slips and falls.
Fewer Daylight Hours. Daylight savings time starts in early November, which means it will be dark by 5 PM in most areas. It can make loading the truck in the dark difficult, so you must plan and start the move early.
Extreme Temperatures Can Damage Belongings. Extreme temperatures can damage delicate electronics, dishware, plants, and musical instruments. You’ll need to take extra precautions when moving these items to protect them from the cold.
It might take more work to make your home appealing to buyers. During the winter months, curb appeal can often be lacking. However, you can enhance it by removing dead plants and branches from your property, clearing snow from the driveway, and spreading salt on slippery walkways.
Your kids are currently in school. Moving to a new home with school-age children in the middle of the school year can be stressful and challenging for them. They might miss days or even weeks of school while the move occurs.
6 Tips for Moving in the Winter
To ensure a well-prepared and stress-free winter move, you should check out these tips for relocating in the winter.
Hire a professional moving company. Residents in harsh winter areas should hire professional movers to reduce weather-related accidents. Plan a backup date with the movers if inclement weather affects the original moving date.
Make sure you have the utilities set up in the new home. Ensure your new home is warm and well-lit for your move-in by setting up electricity, water, and heat beforehand. Contact your utility providers three weeks before the move and have the utilities operational at least two days before moving in.
Keep an eye on the weather forecast. Monitor weather forecasts at both locations during the move, especially in winter.
Stock up on winter supplies. Keep a supply of salt and sand at both homes, and have a shovel on hand. For areas that receive significant snowfall, consider investing in a snowblower to make the process easier and safer.
Try not to move during the holidays. Balancing the stress of moving and preparing for the holidays can be challenging, especially if you must travel. To make things easier, moving either before the holiday season or waiting until after the New Year.
Get at least three moving quotes in advance. Winter is an excellent time to move as it offers more flexibility with movers and lower rates. It allows you to compare costs and negotiate moving estimates more effectively. To ensure you’re making the best decision, obtaining at least three quotes from different moving companies is advisable before finalizing your plans.
5 Tips for Packing in the Winter
If it’s snowy, icy, or slush outside, weatherproof your move as much as possible using these suggestions. Weatherproof packing is critical for protecting your belongings from freezing temperatures and precipitation.
Pack for the season. Together, organize and label your winter clothing and accessories, such as jackets, scarves, boots, and snow-clearing tools. Ensure that the essential items for the season are easily accessible when you reach your new location by properly labeling everything.
Use water-protective packing supplies. Protect items from water damage using water-resistant packing supplies like plastic bins, mattress bags, sealed plastic bags, plastic wrap, waterproof labels, and bubble wrap. Seal small electronics and cables in plastic bags before packing them in boxes. Consider hiring a moving company for larger electronics like TVs.
Use plastic wrap, towels, or blankets for more oversized items. Yes, wrapping wooden furniture, artwork, and mirrors in heavy plastic wrap or thick towels is an excellent way to protect them during a move. The plastic wrap helps to keep the moisture out, while the towels or blankets provide an extra layer of padding.
Shrink wrap clothing before packing it. Yes, shrink-wrapping clothing is a good idea not only for vacation packing but also for moving. By shrink-wrapping your clothing, you protect it from water damage and other elements that can damage or stain your clothes, such as dust, dirt, and mold.
Double box fragile items. Protect fragile items during winter moves by double boxing them. Placing the item in one box, surrounded by packaging materials, and then putting that box in another. Its added protection ensures safe arrival.
8 Tips for Cross-Country Moving in the Winter
Carefully planning a cross-country move is essential for those moving during the winter. Here are a few pieces of advice before you hit the road on a moving day.
Service your car ahead of time. Service your vehicle in advance to prevent overheating or breakdowns in harsh weather.
Plan your preferred route and an alternative route. Prepare two ways: one for favorable and the other for severe weather. Avoid back roads during treacherous weather; stick to main roads and highways clear of snow and ice quicker.
Buy or rent snow chains. If you’re moving to an area that doesn’t usually have snow, you may still face it on the way or after you arrive. Carry snow chains and learn how to put them on tires in advance.
Try to plan for road closures. Although unexpected traffic delays can occur during cross-country driving, you can anticipate potential road closures caused by snow or ice.
Pack extra blankets and winter clothes. Apart from your moving essentials, pack extra blankets or warm clothing in case of an unexpected cold. Be prepared, as you may need additional layers despite having a working car heater.
Give yourself spare time for delays. Winter moves can be affected by blizzards, snowstorms, or icy roads, causing delays. Stay patient and flexible since stressing won’t help.
Pack a winterized emergency kit. An emergency kit is always a moving must-have, particularly during winter. It should include the following:
A first-aid kit
Plenty of blankets
Have an emergency contact list with you. Keep all significant phone numbers in a designated contact book or your phone’s contact list during a move. Include roadside assistance, insurance provider, and other vital vehicle-related contacts.
How to Winterize Your New Home
Now that you have relocated, it’s crucial to winterize your new home to save on utility bills, avoid costly repairs, and enhance your property’s overall condition and value. Here are some steps you can take:
Home Energy Audit Hire a professional to assess your home’s Insulation, ductwork, and more to identify areas for improvement.
Cold Air Leaks Block air leaks around doors and windows by installing a sweep and caulk.
Air Duct Leaks Seal circulates in your air duct system using Energy Star suggestions.
Attic Sealing Prevent heat loss by sealing your attic through DIY or hiring a professional.
Carbon Monoxide Detector Install a carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home and regularly change the batteries.
Smoke Detectors Replace batteries in smoke detectors to ensure safety during winter fires.
Appliances Check appliances for any health or fire hazards and pay special attention to the stove and space heaters.
Furnace Filters Regularly change furnace filters during winter and have a professional inspect the furnace for proper functioning.
Piping Insulation Insulate pipes to prevent them from bursting and causing flooding during cold months.
Chimney Inspection Have a professional review your chimney before using it.
Gutter Cleaning Keep gutters clear of debris to prevent water buildup and freezing.
Tree Limb Removal Remove any tree limbs that may fall during winter storms and pose a danger to your home.
The Bottom Line
Winter can be a suitable time to move, with benefits like off-season moving companies, potential holiday breaks, and the chance to use vacation time. However, winter brings its challenges. The decision to move in the winter ultimately depends on personal factors such as needs, budget, and preferences.
Tips for Moving in the Winter: The FAQs Is it okay to move during winter?
Yes. During the winter, moving costs tend to be lower due to reduced competition. However, it’s essential to consider the weather conditions and prepare accordingly.
Why is it harder to move in the winter?
One of the significant difficulties of moving in winter is the inclement weather, such as rain and snow, which can increase the risk of slips and falls. But with the tips provided, overcoming these challenges and having a successful winter move is possible.
What is the best week during the week/month to move?
If possible, schedule your move in the middle of the month, as this period is typically less busy with fewer demands. Moreover, to save some extra cash, moving between Monday and Thursday is recommended, as the need for moving services tends to be higher on weekends. You can negotiate a better rate with your moving company by avoiding these peak times.
Ready to Move This Winter?
Make your winter move a breeze with the help of professional movers. Knowing that our company is fully licensed and insured, you can have peace of mind, ensuring a safe and stress-free move, regardless of size, distance, or services required.