Moving in winter is very different than moving in the summer, spring or fall. While you'll find it easier to rent a moving truck or hire movers (and often, it's cheaper), there are other considerations you need to make, including inclement weather. Use this list as a guide of what you'll need when moving in winter.
What You'll Need to Have on Hand for a Winter MoveIf you live in a cold climate, you'll probably have the following items on hand; however, if you don't check through this list. You may find that you've packed these winter moving essentials and don't have access to them on moving day. So make sure you keep these items available, just in case.
- Snow shovel: I know this is obvious, but I can't count the number of times that I couldn't find our shovel on moving day as it had been removed from the garage and put in one of the rooms so it wouldn't be missed by the movers. Keep your shovel handy even if your walk is perfectly shoveled as the weather may change or the movers may need to remove snow from around the truck. The shovel can always be loaded onto the truck once the move is over or pack it in your car if you're moving long distance. You never know when you'll need to use it; you may need it at your new home to clear walks or steps for the move-in.
- Salt or sand: I also keep an extra bag of sand or salt on hand for moving in the winter. The weather can change quickly and sand or salt will ensure icy spots are safe to walk on. It's important that everyone who's helping with your move has a safe-footing. Again, once the move-out is complete, store the extra salt or sand in your car just in case you need it while traveling to or once you arrive at your new home.
- Large pieces of cardboard: Cardboard is the perfect material to use for entrance-ways and carpeted areas that will see a lot of foot traffic on moving day. Place it on areas where people will be walking to save having to clean off boots when entering your home. Also make sure you have enough cardboard to use in your new home, too.
- Extra gloves, sweaters and warm clothes: Keep extra clothing on hand, especially gloves, hats, socks and sweaters. The weather can change and it's important to ensure the people that are helping you move are kept warm and dry. Again, wet clothes can be packed at the last minute as can extra clothing that you didn't use. If you're moving long distance, keep some extra gloves, hats and socks in the car, just in case.
- Hot chocolate, tea and coffee: Keep hot drinks on hand and a warm space in the house for people to retreat to for breaks and to keep warm. Usually when we move during the winter, our tea kettle is kept out (then loaded into the essentials box right before we lock the house door) and always plugged in. To save having to pack mugs and spoons, invest in some paper cups (recycled) and wooden spoons. You'll also need to provide hot drinks at your new home, too, so make sure you have enough supplies on hand for both the move out and the move in.
- Hot snacks and food: Whether I've hired movers or have friends to help, I always make sure we supply snacks and food. In the winter, I try to provide hot foods that will help keep people warm. Instant soup mixes, chili served with hot rolls makes for a great lunch or quick snack. I always keep my essentials box in the kitchen, ready to pack the last minute items after a move, such as a pot, kettle, and oven mitts. Always make sure you water on hand as well.
For more information on packing an essentials box, see the following articles:
- Rags, cleaner, mop: Before you lock the doors, you'll need to clean up the mess movers have made. Keep rags, a mop and cleaner on hand to give the floors a quick wipe. Again, these items can be packed into your essentials box after you're finished moving out.
- Extra plastic sheeting: The weather forecast will give you a good idea of whether you'll need some plastic sheeting for household items that need protection from wet snow. Items such as electronics (if not being packed in a box), fragile or unfinished wood furniture or plants may need extra protection from the elements. Clear garbage bags (leaf bags) work well for smaller items.