Car driving down a snow-packed road towards a set of mountains.

Moving is never easy, but adding snow and ice definitely turns your move into a real challenge. From loading and unloading to driving your moving truck, winter weather can make every step of your move stressful. If you’re making a winter move, here are four tips to help you make sure you’re prepared!

Make multiple trips if possible

We often feel like making fewer trips is the way to make a move go more smoothly (and it’s so satisfying to get everything packed in the truck like the perfect game of Tetris!). However, there are a couple reasons to consider taking more trips with smaller loads.

A heavier car will be harder to stop—that’s basic physics. In your own car, you probably have muscle memory based on how it normally stops, and if it’s loaded up, you may not be quick enough. If you are driving a rented truck, you’re also operating a vehicle you aren’t accustomed to. In either case, adding icy roads to the mix can make for some stressful travel.

Obviously, if you’re moving a long distance, multiple trips might not be possible, but if you can, it may make the whole process much smoother.

Make sure you dress right

Finding the right clothes for your move is always complicated, and cold weather makes it even more difficult. You need to make sure you keep warm enough, but also account for physical activity. In many cases, you’ll be going in and out of a warm house a lot, which makes the process even more complicated. Dress like you’re going skiing or snowshoeing—and make sure that your hands are warm enough! 

Sand & Salt are your friends!

If you’re just popping out to your car, you can probably skimp on the road prep, but when you’re moving around with heavy boxes, you don’t want to take chances. Both when loading and unloading, get heavy duty sand and/or de-icer, more than you think you need, and treat the sidewalks, driveways, and stairs liberally before you move a single box. Your joints and your fragile items will thank you!

Consider having a staging area (garage, etc.)

If at all possible, try to set up a staging area so that you can unload items out of the elements without having to rush. If you have a garage, move all the boxes there before going to the next stage of the process. If you don’t, and you’re expecting snow or sleet, consider renting a pop-up tent like you see at farmers markets. This way, you can have different people at different ends of the staging process, which reduces how much people are moving around and lowers the risk of slipping and falling. In addition, it can protect your belongings from snow and slush.

Don’t forget that steps like protecting your floors and turning down/off your heat during the move can help protect not just yourself, but also your new home from the elements! Moving during wintertime might not be anyone’s favorite, but with a little careful planning, you can ensure a smooth moving process!

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