Norton Seal moving box on dolly moving in the snow

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Tips for Moving in the Winter

Although the weather can be a turn-off for some, moving in the winter can actually be good timing! The challenges you face with a winter move are many, but you may find that if you plan ahead and don’t mind the cold, relocating during the winter is easy.

Before you hit the road to your new home, check out these useful tips to help make this your best move ever!

Stay Focused and Flexible

When a move is just around the corner, it pays to make a list, stay focused and write down everything you need to get done. Once that list is in place, sort these items by importance and work from the top down. Remember it’s important to be flexible, so roll with the changes and keep moving!

Contact your movers and confirm. A day or two before your move date, check in with your movers and confirm dates, times, contingencies and costs. Be sure you review how the movers plan to deal with snow or rain, too. Keep a few old sheets and blankets on hand to cover furniture if the weather should turn on your move-out date.

Watch the weather. Your best move of the day will be staying on top of all weather reports. Mentally prepare for everything so you can act quickly if snow and ice are on the way.

Have a pet plan. A move can be very stressful for your furry family members. Make the move a little more comfortable by finding them a place to relax while your home’s doors are open during the move. Board them or bring them over to a friend’s home — they’ll be better for it.

Manage your change of address. At least a month before you move, remember to file a change of address with the post office. Also remember to notify banks, utilities and all your other important contacts of your new address.

Start Packing Early

One of the biggest moving challenges is managing how everything’s going to get from point A to point B. Packing early can really help offset the stress of having to get everything done the weekend before your move. Here are a couple things to keep in mind when packing.

Pack one box each day. Rationing how much you get done may make you feel like you’ll never finish, but if you start two months early, you’ll have 50 boxes packed 10 days before your move.

Designate a box storage area. Once boxes are packed, you’ll need a plan to store them on site till the move date. Place them all out of the way but in an area near the door that the movers will be using when loading out your home.

Ready Your Home(s) for the Big Day

Remember, you’re not just moving out, you’re moving in, too. The items below apply equally to readying both the home you’re leaving and the one you’ll be moving into when the big day comes.

Turn the heat off. Save yourself some money by turning off the heat. During the move the doors will be open for quite a while and there’s no reason to heat the outside.

Learn the plow schedule. If snow is going to be an issue, find out when the plows come through both old and new neighborhoods so you can adjust your timeline if needed.

Clear walkways. Shovel and salt all walkways that will be used — no one wants to start the day with a fall.

Protect floors. Protect your floors as much as possible with plastic tarps and cardboard. This way you get some water protection with the tarp while the cardboard provides a little more traction.

Take Care of Your Movers

Remembering your movers is one good way to help motivate them to carefully move the things you’ve worked so hard for. You'll find that investing a little time and money to improve their creature comforts as they wrestle with your couch can really pay off. They’ll see you’re thinking about their well-being.

Offer hot drinks to your movers. Keep hot coffee, hot chocolate, warm apple cider or tea at hand. A little hospitality goes a long way and a hot drink not only warms you from the inside, it also thaws frozen fingers.

Warm up the bathroom. When the movers get moving, they’re going to prop your doors open to get items to the truck, and that’s going to quickly pull all the cozy warm air from your home. So place an electric radiator or space heater in the restroom and keep the door closed. Your movers will be glad to have a spot to warm up, and you will too.

Winter Weather Makes Fragile Items More Brittle

Cold weather does more than just freeze your fingertips, it can cause items like your plastic totes to break more easily if dropped. So be generous with the bubble wrap — it just might save your precious items from breaking when they’re cold and brittle.

Use extra padding. Many items become more fragile in cold weather, so a little added padding can go a long way.

Glass and dishes don’t like temperature changes. Double wrap all of your fragile china, dishes and cups to protect them from shock. It will help insulate them from the cold. Big shifts in temperature can crack these more fragile items, so treat them to a little more TLC.

Ready Your Car for the Ride Ahead

Winter traveling can be tricky. From snow to ice, treacherous conditions can slow down your moving day. Follow these recommendations to be ready for the ride ahead of you.

Get your car serviced. This may seem unnecessary, but a tune up before you hit the road may be just what your car needs to make it through the winter weather safely.

Be ready for anything. One of the most important things you can do to prepare your car for an extended road trip is to prep a winter weather emergency survival kit. With it, you'll be prepared if you need to hunker down in your car when you’re on the road.

Enroll in roadside assistance. Another way to help fend off winter travel pitfalls is to add American Family Insurance’s emergency roadside service to your car insurance policies. You’ll have help on the way when you need it, in all 50 states.

Remember to Breathe During Your Winter Move

Let’s face it, moving can be stressful. But with the right preparation and planning, you can help curb that anxiety and actually begin to enjoy this transition as you relax and look forward to your new life ahead.

Be patient. While you should always take a deep breath and go with the flow on moving day, you can expect a winter move will be a little more stressful with Mother Nature at the helm. A little patience and extra time worked into your schedule will go a long way toward keeping everyone safe and happy.

Stay mindful of others moving with you. Moving can tax more than just you. Check in with others making this journey with you and remind them that you’ll get through this together.

Your moving day is the beginning of your next chapter, no matter what time of year it is. It’s the perfect time to connect with your American Family Insurance agent to make sure you’ve got homeowners insurance in place and the right protection for your move. You’ll find you’ve got greater peace of mind knowing that you’re carefully insured. And that’s definitely the right move.

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