9 Essential Tips for Moving in Winter

Updated January 15, 2021
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Moving in the winter is already a pain, with snow and cold weather making less than optimal conditions for moving day. But there are some essential steps you can take to make that day easier and avoid any disasters. We’ve got the 4-1-1 to make your mid-winter move a success.

Pack Early and Pack Well

One thing is for sure; winter is unpredictable. In Minnesota, we are no stranger to sudden snowstorms and poor visibility in blizzard conditions, so you want to be ready for anything and keep your schedule flexible. This means prepping ahead of time for any issues winter, and moving in general, may throw at you.

First, be 100% packed and ready to move when the day comes. If inclement weather comes and you only have a small window of good weather, you won’t be wanting to do any last-minute packing or organizing. Properly label your boxes and organize each room into the right piles, in places that will be easy to grab and move on that day. If you are moving yourselves, pack up your cars ahead of time so you can get a load over right away in the morning.

Have Flexible Dates

In addition to being prepared, packed, and ready to go, you also want to have some flexibility in your moving dates. If a storm completely halts your plans, it might be important to have flexibility with when and how you are moving.

When you move from one apartment to the next, there is often some time restraints for when you can or cannot move into and out of your place. However, if you are moving on your own, without movers, it can help keep your crew of friends and family helpers in the know of any sudden changes. The last thing you want is for people to come down and stand around doing nothing because you can’t move yet. If you can negotiate even a day or two more, it can be super helpful and create a stress-free winter move.

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Shovel and Salt

Ensure both locations—the place you’re moving from and the place you’re moving to—are shoveled and salted, and there is no slippery ice. The very last thing you want to have is an injury in either the movers or you and your friends. If you are moving out of an apartment complex, communicate this closely with management to ensure everything is set for move-in day. And if it’s currently snowing, keep up with the snow clearing.

Allow More Time for Travel

A couple of miles in the snow can take a long time in the winter if roads are slick. Particularly, if you are driving a fully loaded up Uhaul or moving van, that thing will not easily come to a stop. Your travel is going to be low and slow to make sure you get there safely. So definitely plan for a much longer travel time than expected, and then even add more time. Also, have plenty of shovels and sand on hand to dig out of any snowbanks or slick parking spots.

Dress Appropriately

This may seem obvious, but dress appropriately! It can be a little more complicated than just putting on your usual winter gear. You want to be mobile and warm, but not too hot where you’re sweating and getting too cold, and you want your hands to be warm, especially, but with added grip.

So your best bet for moving attire in the cold weather is going to be thermal wear, whether fleece-lined jeans or leggings and a wicking thermal shirt or sweatshirt. A vest can add warmth to your core to keep your body warm but without bulky sleeves and cumbersome coats. Also, wear a warm winter hat, and maybe a neck gaiter, plus some work gloves with plenty of grip to carry boxes and furniture but stay warm. And, of course, have your warmest winter boots on with a no-slip grip on the bottoms for safety. However, keep your warm winter jacket and other gear in your car or nearby if you stop moving and need to bundle back up.

Protect Your Furniture

Moving in the snow may as well be like moving in the rain. It will be cold and wet, and the chance of damage to your boxes and furniture is quite high. So it’s imperative to wrap your most valuable items and furniture in moving blankets, plastic and keep them covered and off the ground. And it’s always a good idea to double wrap your fragile items!

A good idea for keeping your things off of the wet ground and snow is to pack a few wooden pallets that you can set near front or back doors. The pallets can allow you to set down items when opening or closing doors to ensure you can prop things open but not set anything on the ground.

Ready Your Vehicles for the Move

Cold weather can wreak havoc on vehicles, and the last thing you want is to have to jump your car or have it stall during your move. Get an oil change, fill the tires, and get it serviced for winter weather before your move. You can feel safe and sound, knowing your vehicle will make the trip with no issue.

Hire Movers + Tip Them Well!

To really make things easy for a winter move, why not sit back, relax, and hire some movers?! With so many things to consider, it can be really nice to let the pros handle it. And moving in the winter is a pain even for the professional movers, so tip them well!

Follow these tips, and you should be in good shape! All in all, make sure you have a plan, some help, and stay warm. Looking to move this winter? Please check out all of our available listings here.

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