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As Canadians, it’s inevitable that at some point during our lives we will have to make a move during the winter months. I say it’s inevitable, because in reality winter in Canada can stretch anywhere from 3-6months depending on your region, and Mother Natures’ temper. There are many advantages to a winter move that should be considered when you are making your decision, as well as extra preparations that should be taken into account when planning your move.

Moving in the winter does have a host of advantages to be considered. As with buying a home during the wintertime, moving is generally cheaper during these months as it is the “off-season” for moving companies. This allows you to oftentimes get a discounted rate. You also have extra time and attention given to you by your movers, as they are not on an extremely tight schedule as they would be during the peak season. The off-season also allows for a more flexible schedule in terms of moving dates, as the company is not as busy, and should a change need to be made, it can be accommodated much easier than it could be during the peak season. Generally, any set-back or delay caused by inclement weather can be easily rescheduled with this flexibility.

Tips for Winter Moves 

  • Check the Weather ReportsIt is important to continuously check the weather reports especially as the date of your move gets closer. Any inclement weather/storm or safety concern could cause a delay to your scheduled move-in date. Always allow for extra travel time during a winter move, especially with varying road conditions.
  • Winter-Proof Items – Winter-proofing items such as furniture and appliances to protect them from the elements when they are being moved from the truck to the indoors is very important to avoid damage. You can use extra sheets, or plastic to protect them. When moving fragile items and electronics, it is important to pack them with extra care, to keep fragile items from breaking due to the cold, and to stop electronics from breaking or being damaged. It is best to try and have these items brought with you in your vehicle, rather than have them transported in the moving truck, that way they have less exposure to the cold.
  • Light and Heat – Ensure that you get your utilities set up and turned on prior to your moving date, as it is impossible to safely navigate a dark house while moving furniture and boxes. Have your furnace running prior to your move in but consider turning it off during the actual moving portion of the day, as the doors will be open constantly and it will not be very efficient to attempt to heat the house at the same time. Plan for a morning move, as it gets dark earlier during the winter months. With the furnace turned off, consider running a space heater in the main bathroom during the move.
  • Take care of your movers – No one likes being cold and wet, and it is important to take good care of your movers during the move. Have hot coffee, hot chocolate, or a crock-pot of apple cider available to help keep everyone warm. Consider having a few extra pairs of gloves handy in case anyone gets their gloves soaked, as working in wet gloves in the cold is incredibly uncomfortable.
  • Snow Removal – Make sure that you have taken care of snow removal ahead of time for both properties. You want to ensure that all walkways, sidewalks, driveways, and steps are clear of snow, and well-salted to keep everyone safe during the move. Check the snowplowing schedule to make sure that your vehicles and moving truck will not get banked in by the snowplow during your move. You want to give the movers the easiest and closest access to your home, so be sure to clear off the laneway so the truck can park as close to the entrance as possible.
  • Rent a Storage Container – One idea to consider, especially for moving during the winter is to rent a storage container that can be placed at your existing property and loaded, then transported to your new home and unloaded. This may allow you to be better organized in your packing and is a convenient way to move.
  • Get a sitterWhether you have kids, pets, or a combination of both, it is best to get a baby-sitter, or board your pets for the duration of the move. Moving can be a stressful environment, and oftentimes children and pets can get in the way and slow down the process.

Whatever your moving plans may be, moving in the winter can be just as easy and oftentimes more efficient than if you were to move during the summer months. The important thing to consider when planning any move is to be organized and be flexible with your plan (especially during the winter months). As Canadians, we are made for winter and moving during the winter is just another part of our life.

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