Although it may not be ideal, moving in the winter is sometimes necessary. Moving can be stressful in itself but when you add winter weather to the process it can turn from stressful to dangerous. Here at Andrews we follow a variety of winter guidelines to ensure the safety of your belongings and our crews and equipment. Even if you’re planning to move yourself you can utilize many of the tips below to ensure a safe, successful winter move.
First and foremost, if you are scheduled to move in the midst of a bad snow or ice storm, there is a strong chance your move will be delayed due to slower travel conditions. Check with your mover to see what the delay will be. If you are moving yourself you should strongly consider putting off the move until after the weather improves. If you cannot wait, use extreme caution – especially if you will be operating a large vehicle that you are not familiar with.
If you do move on a day when there is snow or ice present it’s critical that you prepare a safe walkway at the residence to minimize the risk of anyone slipping or falling. This is for your safety as well as the safety of the movers if you have hired help. Remove any existing ice or snow from your driveway and any walkways that will be used. Once you have cleared these surfaces, you will need to apply a thick layer of salt. If available you may use heavy duty winter mats that can be applied to the surface to help keep the surfaces clear from ice or slush.
Protecting your home from damage from the elements is also important. To keep the inside of the home clean it is a good idea to protect the floors by covering them with cardboard, plastic, old sheets or some other kind of barrier. At Andrews we often have one or two of the crew members designated to doing the outside work and then handing items off to a crew member inside of the home. This helps minimize the risk of tracking in any snow, ice or slush. Additionally all upholstered furniture should be wrapped with blankets or heavy duty plastic to prevent soiling from the elements.
Making sure that the moving truck or vehicle being used if it’s a self move is winterized is important as well. Breaking down in the winter can be uncomfortable and hazardous. Be sure to check that the vehicle has plenty of fuel, window washer fluid and air in the tires. If it is an extremely cold day you should warm the vehicle up with ample time before driving to ensure that doors, windows and locks are not frozen and the engine runs smoothly. Don’t forget to bring snow removal tools with you in the vehicle. It is also a good idea to carry jumping cables and flares with you in case an emergency situation arises.
Use extreme caution when driving in winter conditions. Use extra caution if you’ll be operating a large vehicle that you are not familiar with. A large vehicle can be more difficult to control than a standard car or SUV. You may want to drive the vehicle before loading the items just to familiarize yourself with how it operates. Allow yourself extra time to travel to your destination. Stay alert to other drivers and changing weather conditions. If at any point you lose visibility consider turning on your hazards and pulling over until visibility improves.
Upon arrival at the new destination residence the same safety precautions for the driveway and walkway should be followed to minimize the risk of any injuries and/or damages to items. Again, protect the floors and furniture to avoid damage to the home or your items. You should also make sure that the heat is turned on before you begin unloading the items.
While moving in the winter may not be ideal, it is sometimes necessary and can be managed by using caution. Follow the winter guidelines described in this post and you will ensure a safe and successful winter move.