We hate to be the bearers of bad news but winter is coming…and that means moving in the cold, rain, snow and ice. Moving is hard in nice weather, but when it’s miserable outside the challenge is magnified. In order to successfully move in the winter movers have to be prepared for all conditions and customers have to have a clear understanding of their responsibilities.
1. Hire a baby-sitter and/or pet sitter for moving day.
Moving is a busy time even in the best of weather. Snow, sleet and ice will slow down the process even more because the movers have to be careful to prevent slips, falls and damage. To make it easier for everyone, it’s best that customers make arrangements for someone to watch children and pets so that they don’t get underfoot. This is a best practice during every move, but it’s especially important when moving in inclement weather.
2. Prepare your home for the mess.
When it’s snowing and sleeting outside, it’s nearly impossible to not track in dirt and moisture.
Good movers will bring extra pads and draping materials for the furniture. They will also being materials to cover the floors and prevent damage from tracking in snow, water and dirt. Customers can help by identifying anything in the house that they feel should be covered BEFORE the movers get started.
If it’s snowing, your movers should wrap or cover the furniture in the house where it is dry before going outside. If they wrap inside, they should use an additional cover to ensure that the padding stays dry all the way to the truck.
3. Dress warm, even if you are inside.
One of the big things that people don’t think about is the fact that the doors will be open during the move, even in really cold weather. While it’s a normal reaction to crank up the heat, people should resist the temptation. The movers will be bundled up to work outside in the cold. When they come in to a very warm house, they get hot and sweat. Then they go back outside and freeze. Extreme temperature changes like this throughout the day is dangerous – our movers almost always end up pretty sick. You will be doing a great service to your moving crew if you plan ahead and wear clothing conducive to cold weather so that you don’t have turn up the heat.
4. Safety responsibilities of the mover.
The movers are responsible for wearing the proper footwear for bad weather. They are also responsible for ensuring any walking boards leading to the truck and into the truck are dry. Customers should refrain from going into the truck or stepping on the walking boards leading into the truck.
5. Safety responsibilities of the customer.
It is the customer’s responsibility to keep the walkways clear of ice and snow. Customers should ensure that the driveway, and any roads leading to the driveway, are shoveled and/or plowed.
6. Plan for weather related delays.
You should always hope for the best and expect the worst when it comes to weather.
People rarely plan for bad weather, which can cause a lot of problems. If you are moving in the winter, it’s important to follow weather reports. If there is a storm coming, be realistic about your mover’s accessibility to your home and any potential delays that can arise from traffic, accidents and unplowed streets.
It’s really important to leave buffer days on either end of your move so that a delay is an inconvenience, rather than a catastrophe. For example, do not plan your move on the absolute last day you can be in your home. If there is a storm delay, you will be in a bind and the movers won’t be able to help you.
If you are moving to a rural area or to a community off the main highway, which is most common, you should expect delays in case of a bad storm. Even if the highways are plowed, that does not mean that the back roads are safe. It’s in the mover’s best interest to deliver your goods on time. If they can’t make it, it’s for good reason.
7. Packing and unpacking in cold weather.
Most people don’t realize this, but furniture can sweat!
When wood furniture moves from very extreme temperatures, such as a very cold truck to a very warm house, condensation forms. Don’t be shocked if you have to wipe down your wood furniture upon its arrival. Although not as common, the same phenomenon can happen when furniture is moved from a warm house into a cold truck. Your mover should be aware of this possibility so that they can check and wipe down the furniture as needed.
Also, it should go without saying, but be careful about packing any liquids that can freeze and explode.
’s important to let electronics, such as televisions and stereo equipment, warm up before turning them on. The same goes for most appliances, including refrigerators and washing machines. Plan to let your delivered items come to room temperature before use.
If you are getting ready to move in the next few months, please plan ahead and be prepared for all kinds of scenarios. This will help expedite the move and create a safe environment for everyone involved.
Do you have any tips for moving in the winter? Please share them below.