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Guide to Winter Moves
It’s no secret that moving requires a lot of planning for it to go as smoothly as possible. You may not realize it, but winter moves bring their own set of additional challenges. Cold weather, icy roads, and snowfall can all contribute another layer of complexity to your move. If you are considering or planning a move to a cold climate during winter, read on to ensure you are as prepared as possible.
Planning Ahead: What to do in Advance of Your Move?
● Your Weather App is Your Friend: Monitor the weather report for days prior to and the day of your move. If a storm or other adverse conditions appear in the forecast that could shut down roads or adversely impact your movers, call your moving company.
● Clear the Path: Know that you are responsible for your driveway and walkways. Make sure to shovel, clear, and salt all outdoor areas that the movers will need in order to access your home. Doing this will avoid any additional delays and fees that could be incurred otherwise.
● Plan For Your Pets: Moving can be stressful for you but imagine how your pets feel. Pets can panic and become stressed to the point of becoming seriously ill or run through an open door on move day and get hit by a car. We strongly recommend making arrangements for your pets to stay with friends, family, or at a pet daycare on the day of your move no matter the time of year.
● Ask Friends or Family to Watch the Kids: Children, especially young children don’t pair well with moving. As the moving process will likely demand most of your attention on move day, be sure to secure childcare outside of the home for your children if possible. The kids will be more comfortable and you will be able to concentrate on your move.
● Access Granted: If you live in a gated community or a neighborhood with an active homeowners’ association, be sure to check ahead of time that your community does not have any deed restrictions for moving trucks. Some communities have policies or by-laws that do not allow moving trucks direct access.
● Warm Reception: It’s cold out there. Make sure that you have electricity and heat turned on in your new home a couple days ahead of your scheduled move day. This gives you a cushion in case the utility company is delayed. Unpacking is tough enough without doing it in a dark, frigid home.
● Extra Space: If your street plow sometimes leaves mushy, dirty banks of snow on your property be prepared ahead of time to shovel the morning of your move or have parking available that is not directly on the plow route. While you may have cleared and de-iced paths ahead of time, a big bank of snow overnight could throw a wrench into you and your movers’ plans.
After Your Move, Hold Off on Handling These Items:
● Washing Machines: While the water should have been drained from the pump prior to being loaded on the truck, washers always have some water still inside the mixer valve, pump, and hoses. Hold off on operating your washing machine until all frozen moisture has thawed completely and your appliance is room temperature to avoid damaging your appliance.
● Grandfather Clocks: If grandfather clocks are exposed to extreme cold, pivot points and other small components will contract and tighten. Do not set your grandfather clock until all components have reached room temperature to avoid damaging the clock’s mechanisms.
● Waterbed Mattresses: Some moisture inside the mattress may freeze in the cold. To avoid cracking the vinyl casing, waterbeds should be kept in their boxes and not handled until at least 12-24 hours have passed since being unloaded at your destination.
● Dryers: Like some of your fragile items, the cold can make igniters and other dryer components brittle. Avoid operating them until all parts have reached room temperature to keep your dryer in proper working order.
● Icemakers: Prior to being loaded on the truck your icemaker’s solenoid valve should be drained to reduce excess water and limit freezing. However, residual moisture may still remain within the valve and may freeze in transit. As with your other appliances, be sure you let your ice maker get all the way to room temperature before hooking it up and perform a systems check before operating it.
● Water Softener: Water softening tanks can be negatively affected by freezing of remaining moisture. Let your tanks warm to room temperature before setting them up at your new home.
● Electrical Equipment: Electricity and water do not mix. Exposing televisions, computers, stereo systems, and other electronics to extreme temperature changes may create condensation. Make sure all electronics have warmed to room temperature before connecting to power.
Moving in the dead of winter to areas with subzero temperatures is no easy feat. While being prepared helps both you and your movers when the big day arrives, no amount of preparation can control the weather. Err on the side of caution and stay flexible. As stressful as moving can be, safety should always be you and your movers’ first priority.
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