Winter is a great time to buy a home — there's less competition, so that often means you can get a better home for a cheaper price. Talk about a happy holiday! But moving in the winter? Not so great. There are definitely challenges that go along with packing up everything you own and moving it to a new location in the dead of winter — especially if you live in an area with extreme winter weather. But it's not impossible! Here are seven expert moving tips to make your winter move fast and easy (and have you settled into your new place with a nice, hot cup of cocoa before you know it):
1. Keep an eye on the forecast
This one should go without saying, but if you're planning on moving during the winter months, it's extremely important that you keep an eye on the forecast. Winter weather can be unpredictable, and snowstorms can hit with little warning. Check the forecast once a week in the month leading up to your move. The week of your move, check every day. If there's a significant amount of snow forecasted - the kind of snow that could close roads or make driving unsafe - consider postponing your move date until after the snow passes. The last thing you want is to get stuck on the side of the road with all of your belongings in the back of a truck.
2. Confirm with your movers (and then confirm again)
One of the best things about moving during the winter is that it's a slow time for moving companies — which means a better deal for you on your moving services. But if you do hire movers (or rent a moving truck), it's super important to make sure you confirm all the details (like the day, time, and location) of your move. You should plan to confirm the appointment a week before and then check in the day before your move to make sure there's no winter weather that will keep things from going as planned. You don't want to get stuck in a house with no heat or electricity, waiting hours for movers who have the wrong time. Make sure you reconfirm.
3. Hire a babysitter and/or petsitter
Moving in winter is tough. But you know what makes it tougher? Having a bunch of children and/or pets running around. If you're a parent (or a pet parent) do yourself a favor and hire a babysitter and/or pet sitter for the day. This will save you a ton of time and stress. Instead of trying to keep track of your children or four-legged friends as you lug boxes through the snow, you can focus on the task at hand, which will get you through the move (and into your warm home) faster.
4. Start your move as early as possible
Not only do the days get colder in the winter — they also get shorter. Because there's fewer hours of daylight during the winter, you'll want to get your move started as early as possible. That way, if you run into any speed bumps along the way, you still have daylight hours to figure things out. Even if you're not a morning person, get started early. A winter move can be tough, but a winter move in the dark is even tougher.
5. Protect your floors
If there's snow on the ground, that means when you move, you're going to get snow on your shoes. And, eventually, that will mean snow (and water) all over your nice, new floors. You don't want damaging your floor to be the first thing you do when you move into your new home. If you move on a snowy day (or the ground is wet from a previous storm), lay down plastic tarps to protect the flooring before you start moving things in.
6. Make sure the heat is turned on in your new place...
Before you move, make sure you've switched your utilities and the heat is turned on in your new place. The last thing you want to do is arrive and find you have to spend the first night in your new home bundled up because you have no heat!
7. But turn it off during the move
That being said, turn your heat off during the actual move. As you move things in and out, all the heat will escape through the door, which will not only make it cold inside, but will also stick you with a hefty energy bill. Moving in the winter can be a challenge, but with these tips you'll be moved and snuggled up by the fire in your new home in no time!