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15 Tips for a Stress-Free Autumn or Winter Move


While the weather can be a bit unpredictable during the autumn and winter, it shouldn’t be cause for alarm when it comes to moving into your new home. With a little planning and preparation, you CAN have an easy, stress-free and affordable move during this time of year.

Here are some tips to help you plan and prepare for your upcoming move!

TIP 1:  Days Become Shorter – Choose A Morning Appointment

As we approach winter, the days become shorter – leaving us fewer daylight hours to get things done. Scheduling your movers to start in the morning helps to ensure your belongings arrive safely at your new residence and are unloaded before it becomes dark.

TIP 2:  Don’t Be Left In The Dark – Ensure Utilities Are Turned On

Be sure to schedule utilities to be turned on at your new residence a few days before your move so you will have heat and electricity when you and your belongings arrive.

TIP 3:  Plan Ahead for Children & Pets

Open doors not only make it difficult to keep children and pets warm, they provide an opportunity for escape when your attention is on other things. Arranging for someone to care for children and pets the day of your move will enable you to focus on overseeing your move without worrying about the safety and comfort of your children and pets.

TIP 4:  Confirm Your New Home Will Be Ready

It’s always best to confirm your new home will be ready and available for you to move in before the day of your move.

TIP 5:  Keep Parking & Walkways Clear

Have brooms, shovels and de-icing material handy the day of your move. Leaves, snow and ice make walkways and parking spaces slippery and dangerous. Keeping walkways and parking clear means your movers can load and transport your belongings faster, saving you money on your move!

TIP 6:  Keep An Eye On The Weather

In some areas of the country, weather patterns can change suddenly and dramatically. Knowing about these changes ahead of time helps you be prepared and stay safe.

TIP 7:  Have A Back-up Plan

Be sure to discuss how your moving company handles sudden changes in weather so you can work with them to develop a back-up plan in case the weather changes unexpectedly the day of your move.

Once you have a back-up plan for your belongings, you can create a back-up plan for accommodations for you, your family and your pets. Can you stay with friends or relatives until your move can be completed?
Do you need to make hotel arrangements? If so, it’s better to make reservations and cancel them than be left without a place to stay. And what about your pets? Where will they stay?

TIP 8:  Choose Safety Over Speed – Don’t Rush

When we’re in a hurry, we’re more focused on getting something done than on our surroundings. This can put us at greater risk, particularly from late-fall to early spring when weather conditions reduce visibility and make roads and walkways slippery.

Reducing this risk can be as simple as slowing down, paying attention to our surroundings, allowing extra time and leaving more space between ourselves and other drivers when on the road.

It’s better to arrive safely a little later than anticipated than to have an accident.

TIP 9:  Remember Parking Spaces & Walkways

Wet leaves, standing water, snow and ice make parking spaces and walkways slippery and dangerous. Keeping parking spaces and walkways clear ensures your movers can safely move your belongings.

Be sure to keep an eye out for ice that may form as temperatures fall, and spread de-icing material if slippery conditions begin to develop.

TIP 10:  Protect Your Floors

To keep floors clean and dry, and prevent tracking leaves and other debris into your home, lay old blankets, towels or flattened boxes on floors before the movers arrive.

TIP 11:  Dress Appropriately

Dressing in layers will allow you to quickly adjust your temperature and remain comfortable throughout your move. Wearing water- and slip-resistant shoes or boots will ensure your feet stay warm and dry and reduce your risk of falling.

It’s also a good idea to have a change of clothes available in the event you do get wet.

TIP 12:  Heat A Small Space Instead of The Whole House

With the front door open, your heater will continue to run to try to keep your home’s temperature stable. You can save money by turning off the heater and using a space heater, set on LOW, to heat a small space where you and your movers can go to warm up, if necessary.

TIP 13:  Warm Beverages To The Rescue

Besides being soothing, sipping warm beverages helps to maintain body temperature. Plan to have plenty of warm beverages available.

Instant coffee, hot chocolate, and packaged dry soup mixes are wonderful options – and you can keep a coffee pot out to heat water!

TIP 14:  Be Prepared For Surprises With A Winter Preparedness Kit

A sturdy plastic bin is a great container for a winter preparedness kit that should include:

  • a tea kettle or saucepan,
  • hot drink mixes and/or dried soup mixes,
  • blankets,
  • a snow shovel,
  • a windshield scraper,
  • a change of clothes – don’t forget the socks and underwear,
  • dry winter gear (coat, boots, hat, gloves, scarf),
  • and hand warmers or hot packs.

Also be sure to keep an emergency contact list with you that contains the names and phone numbers of people you need to contact in the event of an emergency during your move.

TIP 15:  Use The Buddy System

Be sure that someone you know knows your travel plans – the route you will take, when you will check in, when you plan to leave your current residence and when you plan to arrive at your new residence – and check in with them as scheduled.

Click here to download the checklist.

You may also want to visit our Resources page to download other resources to help you plan and prepare for your move.