Home / Categories / Moving Tips / Moving in the Winter

Moving in the Winter

December 5th, 2014 - 4:06 PM

Oh the weather outside is frightful…

And moving in the winter can be far from delightful. There are a handful of reasons people choose to bundle up and move their belongings in cold, snowy conditions—and lower moving rates is the big one. Winter is considered an “off-peak” moving season, which means when the temps start dropping outside, fewer people move, and so the price to move drops, too. It’s a benefit that makes the thought of a winter move a little more bearable.

Tips for moving in the winter.

Who offers low rates?

Truck rental might be the first thing that pops into your head. But before you go down that road, consider this—some people have difficulty driving a large rental truck in ideal conditions, so driving one in snowy/icy conditions could prove to be more trouble than it’s worth. U-Pack®, on the other hand, is a great alternative to truck rental, especially in the wintertime. You don’t have to drive (we take care of that for you), and you can still pay a low rate, often comparable to or even cheaper than truck rental. It’s a win-win! The easiest way to see if U-Pack is best for your move is to get a free moving quote online or by phone at 800-413-4799.

Tips for preparing for your winter move

  • You can’t move in the winter without some preparation. After all, you’re going to be dealing with elements like snow, ice, sleet, and frigid temps. Take a look at our best winter moving tips, and add some of your own to our list in the comments section.
  • Constantly check the weather conditions because they can change in a moment’s notice. Check your state’s (and any states you’ll be traveling through) Transportation Department website for road condition updates. You can find your state’s DOT website here. You can also check weather conditions on your phone or through the local radio station.
  • If you’re moving with U-Pack, keep tabs on our Facebook page and Blog. We’ll let you know if there’s any inclement weather that could delay your move. In addition, our Service Terminal will notify you if they’re unable to deliver the equipment due to bad weather.
  • Winterize your car before the move. Make sure your tires and brakes are in good condition, all fluids are full, your battery is fully-charged, and the heater is working well. It’s also important to keep an emergency kit, blankets, windshield scraper, snow shovel, sand/salt, and bottled water and snacks in your vehicle. It would also be wise to get 24/7 roadside assistance if you don’t have it already.
  • Drive slower, leave plenty of room for braking, and exercise caution on overpasses and bridges. Stop frequently to check the vehicle and remove built-up snow. Click here for more safe winter driving tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • Have a back-up plan in case inclement weather threatens your move. Remember, moving in the winter takes time, so give yourself some wiggle room and you won’t worry as much if you do end up running behind.
  • Winter days are shorter and colder, so leave the light and heat on in your old home until 1-2 days after the move, and turn them on 1-2 days before you move into your new home.
  • Stock up on shovels, sand, salt, or melter mix before the move so you don’t have to make a run on moving day.
  • Guarantee your delivery day so you know exactly when your items will arrive (like all your warm winter clothing or cool summer clothing).
  • Use large pieces of cardboard or plastic to protect the floors in your home from sand, snow, and water.
  • Put towels by the front door to wipe away snow from the dolly wheels.
  • Create an obstacle-free route from the house to the moving equipment. Think parking lots/areas, driveways, walkways, sidewalks, stairs, and porches. Use sand, salt, or snow and ice melter if necessary.
  • Avoid wearing clothing with strings (like hoodies) that can get caught while carrying heavy furniture or boxes. Also watch out for clothing that could snag. You don’t want to hurt yourself or ruin your clothes.
  • Dress in layers so that if you get hot or cold, you can remove or add clothes as your body sees fit.
  • Protect your lips with chap stick! Use moisturizers and lotions to prevent dry skin from the cold.
  • Wear water-resistant boots with good traction. Also wear waterproof gloves with a good grip, a hat to keep your head warm, and ear muffs to protect your ears.
  • Don’t forget about your pets! Make sure their winter move goes as smoothly as yours with these pet travel tips.
  • Use a spotter when moving in icy conditions. Just one slip and you may be down for the count.
  • If you need help moving your belongings, make sure that you use a mover that has personal liability insurance.
  • Have hot drinks like tea, hot chocolate and coffee available for anyone helping you on moving day. Snacks and soups can help provide a boost of energy, too!
  • Even though it’s cold outside and you may not feel like drinking water, it’s a good idea to stay hydrated. Be sure to provide water to anyone helping you move.
  • Take your time when moving in snowy conditions. It’s okay to be a little slower to ensure the safety of yourself and your belongings.
  • All items that could potentially be damaged by extreme cold temps should be put in your personal vehicle.
  • Don’t pack liquids. They can freeze, burst open, and possibly ruin your other belongings. Don’t forget to drain all fluids from items like ATVs, lawn mowers, motorcycles, weed eaters, etc., before you load them. Click here for our complete Do Not Ship list.
  • Cover furniture with moving pads to protect them from the cold. Keep the moving pads as dry as possible.
  • Keep extra towels and salt/sand by the back of the moving equipment to keep the ramp dry or the area around the moving equipment dry.
  • If moving from a warmer climate to a colder climate, load your warmer clothing last on the moving equipment so you can change into them when you arrive. On the other hand, if moving from a colder climate to warmer climate, load your cooler clothing last.
  • Let your electronics (washers, dryers, refrigerators, TVs) and breakables acclimate to room temperature before using them. The cold can cause glass to crack and break!
  • If you’re moving to a place with lots of snow, get out and have fun in it! It can be a great way to take a break from unpacking and meet your new neighbors.

Have you moved in the winter before?

We’d love to add your tip to our list. Just leave a comment below! And if you have questions about moving in the winter with U-Pack, give us a call. We look forward to hearing from you.