Low Rates and Better Availability Can Outweigh the Inconveniences of Moving in the Winter.

| October 4, 2013 | 0 Comments

There are several advantages to relocating in October through March if you are properly prepared for a winter move. The peak moving season is April through September. Prices and rates are higher during this busy season which means they are lower during the winter months. During the busy moving season availability of trucks, vans, movers, supplies and open dates for when you need to move can be limited due to the high demand. One of the trickiest aspects of moving is being able to move out of your current residence when you need to and move into your new residence when it is available. When the demand is high in the summer months it may be difficult to have the movers arrive when you need them to be there. The winter months offer less stress with your coordination needs. If you are renting a moving truck, you will most likely have a better chance of getting the size truck you want as well. Also, during these busy months, moving companies may hire extra help such as students who may be inexperienced. In the winter you are more likely to have the professional experienced movers handling your shipment. So if you are a person who likes to avoid stress and save money a winter move may be for you. However, there are several inconveniences that go along with moving in the winter. Being properly prepared is a key to a successful winter move. Here are a few tips:

  1. Realize that the weather could be uncooperative on moving day and be prepared for it. Acquire a membership to a roadside assistance program and have their number with you. Have your travel route well planned. Locate hotels along the way in case the weather is too bad to continue. Decide way in advance who will be driving vehicles and rental trucks on moving day. Be sure that they can drive in poor weather conditions. In advance, ask your landlord, real estate agent and moving company if you can have a couple extra days to move in and out if the weather is inclement. Choose a friend or relative to stay connected with during your travel so someone knows where you are at all times.
  2. Have all vehicles that are traveling with the move winterized (winter tires, non-freezing washer solution, windshield washer fluids) and have a maintenance check on: interior and exterior lights, oil, power steering fluid level, windshield wiper blade operation, safety warning lamps, brakes, ABS, air bags, safety belts, cooling system, battery connection, transmission fluid level, air filter. Have your windows completely clean on moving day and have a full tank of gas.
  3. Have emergency supplies. When moving, it is nice to be able to take your most important valuables in the car with you instead of putting them on a moving van. When moving in the winter you should have emergency supplies with you in your vehicle and this may minimize room for some of your valuables. However, if you were to become stranded on the roadside in winter weather you would benefit from having these items with you: extra clothes, hats, gloves, a shovel, salt, spare tire, blanket, tire chains (if you have never put them on, practice before your move), road flares, first aid kit, snow brush scraper, toolbox, food, and water. Have these items easily accessible in your vehicle.
  4. Change your driving as the weather changes. Keep your eye on the weather as moving day approaches and although you may be busy the morning of your move, check the weather for your travel route. Blizzards and snow are not the only problem, check for rain storms, ice, wind, slush, and fog.  I’m from Pittsburgh, Pa and although everyone living here knows that winter is coming, it seems every year when the first “black ice” happens there are tons of collisions. When it rains in the summer the road does not normally freeze and one can continue driving the speed limit, however, when the temperature is in the low 30’s, slow down – there could be ice! Leave space between you and the vehicle ahead of you. Bright, sunny, snowy days can cause poor visibility, wearing sun glasses can help. Accelerate and stop gradually, easy on the brakes, and just go slower. Use extra caution when driving over bridges and passes because they freeze before roads do. Remember when driving in bad weather, safety is more important than being on time.
  5. Extra supplies and things you may have to do on moving day. You may have snow on the ground on moving day or the ground might be wet from rain. If so, you will need to have a shovel on hand so – do not pack it. When moving in the winter, your door will most likely be propped open so the movers can carry furniture in and out. You will want to have warm clothes on, possibly gloves and a hat. It is a good idea to have your heat shut off the day after you move if you are moving in the winter so that you can stay warm on moving day. If you are moving to a cold area you will want to make sure that the heat will be turned on there as well. Having someone (real estate agent or landlord) check it the day before to make sure it is working is a good idea. Waking up early to shovel any walkways will be helpful especially if you have rented a moving truck.  Time is money.  Have salt on hand to cover the walkways so no one slips while walking or carrying heavy furniture. If there is snow on the road where the moving truck will park you might want to clear that as well, otherwise pick up or delivery could be delayed. If you are taking items to a storage facility, consider that since no one usually resides at a storage facility. Thus, on a snowy day it may not be plowed. Keep your shovel on hand. For bad weather days, I recommend two men in and two men out on moving day which prevents wet, snowy, and or muddy shoes from tracking mud in the house. However, if you do not have enough movers, you should purchase carpet film protector or carpet cover for moving. The difference between regular plastic or sheets and carpet covering is that it is specific for moving and has a slightly adhesive back so the material will not slide which will help protect against accidents. Lastly, if it is raining or snowing heavily you may want to cover your furniture especially mattresses and upholstered furniture. You can purchase shrink wrap or use any type of water repellent material.
  6.  Hot chocolate, coffee and pizzas are a good idea on a winter move day too!  Planning ahead is crucial to make sure you have the pizza delivery number, coffee pot, and hot chocolate available!  Due to the possibilities of the weather being very cold on moving day, arrange for small children to be somewhere else (i.e. with a relative or babysitter)

Thanks for reading,

Jodi

Follow me on Twitter @Jodi_Velazquez

Order the Slick Move Guide: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=slick+move+guide

Read more helpful “relocation” blog posts here on my website:  www.slickmove.net

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Comparing Moving Yourself and Having a Moving Company Handle Your Relocation

Screening A Moving Company

Ten Tips That Will Make Moving Day a Breeze!

Tip for Moving Day

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