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Your Survival Guide - Planning and Preparing for Your Winter Move

In the perfect world, everyone would move on a sunny spring day, with a backdrop of lovely blooming trees and tulips, with birds singing you along your merry way. In reality, many moves take place on treacherous icy roadways amid soiled snow drifts, with the sounds of horns blowing while sand trucks churning out their rust-inducing concoctions. If your move sounds more like the second scenario, take heart! Your moving survival guide has arrived.

Lights, Heating, Action!

There is one place where you should not try save money on a move, and that's by not turning on the power in your new home early. Schedule the switch-on a couple of days ahead of your move, so that any weather delays won't inhibit your ability to move into a warm, cozy abode. If possible, visit the home and turn on the heater the day or evening before the move, so it's toasty when it's time to haul in the boxes. Perhaps your realtor or a friendly new neighbor can do this for you if you can't. Remember, winter days get dark earlier, and those lights will be crucial as you lug in the last of the loads and try to unpack.[i]

Heed the Warnings

A weather radio is essential for a move any time of year, especially when ice and snow or sudden temperature drops are likely. Stay tuned and heed any alerts you hear. Keep a map handy, if you're not familiar with the area, so you can check counties that are under warning.

Sand, Salt, and Shovels

Don't pack these essential winter weather items; instead, tuck them into an easily accessible place like your car trunk so you can grab them if needed. People moving from warmer climates like the Southwest and Deep South are well advised to purchase these items if moving to the colder areas of the Northwest, Midwest, or New England. Be prepared to do some shoveling at the new place before starting to unload. If you know anyone in the new neighborhood, see if a teenager there would like to make a few extra bucks by shoveling your snow for you before the moving truck arrives.

Plan Your Route Wisely

Bridges and overpasses tend to ice over before the roadways, because the air flowing underneath causes the temperatures here to plummet faster.[ii] When planning your route, consider safer routes that don't cross over waterways or roadways, and look for routes with as few treacherous turns, slopes, and other places that become dangerous in bad weather.

Prepare Your Vehicles for Cold Weather

If you haven't winterized your car yet, now is the time. Make sure the antifreeze is clean and full, check the oil and change if it's time, check the battery capacity, and toss in an emergency kit. Add some antifreeze into your windshield washer fluid, and consider a new set of snow tires or chains.[iii] 

Dress for Success

Dressing for winter weather is all about layers. The moving and unpacking will make you heat up, so it's nice to be able to peel off a layer or two. But keep those outer layers handy so you can suit back up before heading out into the cold for another load.

Get Good Moving Insurance

Moving insurance is always a good idea, but this becomes of paramount importance when moving all your precious belongings over slick ice and snow. Be sure to purchase enough insurance to cover valuable collections, kitchen wares, and expensive electronics systems.

Consider Storing Temperature and Weather Sensitive Items

Some items, such as electronics, sensitive musical instruments, and potted plants, don't fare well in extremely cold temperatures. It might be best to invest in a climate-controlled storage unit to keep these things safe during the cold weather move.

Make Arrangements for Kids and Pets

Small children and pets are especially sensitive to cold, and shouldn't be expected to stand outside and endure brutal temperatures like everyone else. See about boarding pets and finding a warm, safe place for youngsters, like grandma's house or the home of a classmate they'll miss seeing after the move.

Put a Backup Plan in Place "Just in Case"

Though most moving companies are used to dealing with all types of weather conditions, sometimes storms and blizzards derail even the most seasoned professionals. Ask your moving company what backup plans are in place if the move is not possible due to inclement weather.

Above all, keep your wits about you during a cold weather move. Don't let the excitement over the new house or the stress of the move interfere with your ability to make good decisions. Stay rested, drink plenty of warm liquids, and have a safe, enjoyable winter move!

Company Bio

The year Shleppers Moving & Storage opened for business, New York experienced three snowstorms of record proportions. This is how Shleppers' movers cut their teeth, and the same commitment to safety, quality, and reliability is still the guiding force of this leading NYC moving company. Shleppers has moved some of New York's most prominent businesses and celebrities, and puts just as much time, effort, and pride into moving their not-so-famous customers. See why NYC has trusted Shleppers movers for more than 30 years!

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