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11 Essential Moving In Winter Tips for Stress-Free Relocation

Two people moving boxes into a house during snowy winter.
Two individuals carry boxes into their new home on a snowy day, showcasing the challenges and determination involved in a winter move.

According to recent data, approximately 2.1 million Canadians moved in the two years leading up to 2021. The process is slightly different when you plan on moving during winter. In that case, you should know these moving in winter tips to make the entire experience more manageable.

If you’re planning on moving during the winter, there are some important things you should know to make the entire experience easier. Read on for a list of 11 tips that will ensure you experience an easy, stress-free relocation.

Two women packing clothes in a box long before their moving date.
Two women efficiently pack clothes into a box, getting a head start on their moving preparations well before the scheduled date.

1. Sort and Pack ASAP

This tip applies whether you’re moving during winter or in the summer. At least a month or two before your moving day, it’s a good idea to start sorting through your items and begin the packing process.

Now is a great time to go through your closets, cabinets, and pantry to determine which things you no longer need or want to bring with you to the new place. Once you’ve discarded, donated, or sold those items, you can start packing.

Since you’re packing well in advance, only pack the things you can live without until the move is over. Remember to place your non-essentials in boxes you can label or write on, and keep everything separated by different rooms. This will make unpacking much easier.

A man meditates in the snow, mentally preparing for the challenges of a winter move.
A man meditates in the snow, mentally preparing for the challenges of a winter move, finding calm and flexibility in the serene, cold environment.

2. Prepare to be Flexible

Moving in the rain is tough, but moving in the snow is even tougher. Make sure you’re mentally prepared to push your date back if the weather conditions get too rough.

Canadian winters can be extremely cold and snowy, so you might not be able to move on the exact date you’d planned in advance. The key is to make sure you keep a close eye on the weather and stay in communication with your moving company.

If possible, set aside several days for your move just in case you need to reschedule. This will ensure that you’re prepared no matter what the winter weather brings.

A couple shovels snow to clear the entryway in preparation for moving day.
A couple diligently shovels snow to clear their entryway, ensuring a smooth and safe path for moving day.

3. Prepare Your Home

Before you start unloading items into your car or the truck, it’s important to make sure the path is clear. Try to shovel all snow away from sidewalks, driveways, and walkways so you can safely and easily maneuver to and from the house to the truck. You should also apply a de-icer on your steps and sidewalks to prevent a slick surface from forming.

The last thing you want to deal with is injuring yourself, your family members, or the moving staff, so make sure that you put safety first beforehand. Consider placing a large tarp or tent over the area between your home and the truck to provide extra shelter and cover.

Don’t forget to protect the inside of your home from wet mud and snow. Place some plastic sheeting on the floors to keep muddy footprints from damaging the surface. This will also protect them from scratches and will save the next person from having to clean the floors when they move in.

A woman double-wrapping her belongings for extra protection.
A woman meticulously double-wraps her belongings, ensuring extra protection for safe transport during the move.

4. Take Care of Your Belongings

When you think about moving in winter tips, you might not think your belongings. However, cold temperatures can affect delicate items, particularly things made of glass such as vases or dishware.

Extreme temperature changes from warm to cold and vice versa can cause the glass to break or crack. One easy way to prevent this is by double-wrapping your items using thick bubble wrap and/or thick blankets for protection and insulation.

Another tip for breakables is to try to load them into the truck or container last. Then, make sure you unload them first to keep the exposure to cold temperatures to a minimum.

You can also pack these items in your vehicle instead of the truck. Aside from glass, electronics are another item that you should give extra special care to when you’re moving during winter.

A family bundling up in winter clothes to stay warm for their winter move.
A family dresses in warm winter clothes, gearing up to stay cozy during their winter relocation.

5. Stay Warm and Dry

Of course, you want to protect your valuables, but don’t forget to protect yourself as well. Make sure you dress appropriately by layering your clothes and wearing items like hats and gloves to protect your extremities.

It’s also crucial that you stay dry when you’re moving during the winter season. If it starts to rain or snow, take a break and wait until the weather improves if you can. Never hesitate to take a break if you’re feeling fatigued, thirsty or if you get too cold to continue.

Try to start as early in the morning as possible. This way, you’ll have more daylight, which can help to keep you warm. It also ensures you get as much done as you can before the sun goes down and temperatures start to drop.

A person using a laptop while turning utilities on.
A person efficiently uses a laptop to turn on utilities, ensuring a seamless setup for their new home.

6. Remember Your Utilities

You’re probably planning to leave the utilities in your old place on until the move is complete to help you stay warm. However, don’t forget to turn the utilities on in your new place, either.

The last thing you want is to arrive at your new home only to find out that it’s freezing cold inside. Set a reminder on your computer or your phone so that you don’t forget to have the utilities turned on well in advance of moving day.

Most utility companies let you turn on service remotely either via the Internet or by telephone call. Doing this ahead of time will ensure that you’re warm and toasty in your brand-new place.

A man is giving his car a check up before moving day.
A man gives his car a thorough check-up, ensuring it is fully operational and safe for the upcoming moving day.

7. Check on Your Car

Winter temperatures and cold weather can wreak havoc on your vehicle, so it’s important to do a checkup before the big day. Take your car to a mechanic you trust to ensure that it’s ready to tackle winter travel.

This is a great time to get an oil change, do a tune-up, and check on your tires before the big move. When your car is in good condition, it will not only give you peace of mind but will ensure you have a safe, stress-free trip.

Pack an extra ice scraper and some wiper fluid with you just in case you need it. Don’t forget to fill your tank with gas before the big day.

Important essentials inside a box filled with medical supplies and other items.
A box thoughtfully packed with essential medical supplies and other critical items, prepared for easy access during the move.

8. Bring Essentials with You

No matter how far your move will be, it’s a good idea to keep the most important essentials close at hand. Pack things like prescription medication, toiletries, and pet essentials with you in your vehicle.

You can also grab some snacks, drinks, and sandwiches so you can stop for a meal or grab a quick bite as you travel. If you’re bringing kids alone, don’t forget to pack their favourite toys and blankets as well.

Keep a list of emergency contacts in your vehicle so you have access to important phone numbers if you need them. Write down a list of the most crucial items you think you’ll need, and add them to a carry-on bag in your car.

A map and GPS to help plan your route conveniently.
A map alongside a GPS device, providing convenient and reliable assistance for planning your travel route.

9. Plan Your Route

Before moving day, go ahead and plan your route in advance. Look for the easiest and least busy roads to travel to your new location just in case it snows.

Set up the route on your smartphone using a GPS app so it’s ready to go on the day of. Don’t forget to check the weather frequently and keep a close eye on traffic conditions.

You may need to be prepared to change the route if the weather gets too bad. The key is to be prepared yet flexible when it comes to moving in winter.

A set of safety-related supplies.
A collection of safety-related supplies organized into a comprehensive preparedness kit, ensuring readiness for any situation.

10. Pack Extra Safety Items

You may need to bring some additional safety-related items with you. Pack your trunk with things like jumper cables, flares, and other emergency must-haves in case you get stranded.

Another crucial thing to stock up on is medication, particularly if you, your pets, or someone in your family has a medical need. A gallon of water or two, extra blankets, and some extra hats and scarves can’t hurt.

A woman is preparing her pet dog for a winter move.
A woman carefully prepares her pet dog for a winter move, ensuring the animal’s comfort and safety during the transition.

11. Prepare Your Pets

Moving to a new home isn’t just stressful for you, it’s also stressful for your pets. Make sure they have everything they need, including their favourite toy and a warm blanket for their crate while you travel.

Be patient with your pets, and slowly introduce them to the new place so they can “sniff” things out. If you’re travelling a long distance, try to stop every so often so that your pets can have a potty break and stretch their legs.

Set up a new patient account for your pets with a veterinarian in your new area so they already have access to medical care. When the moving company arrives at the home, keep your pets safely contained or on a leash until they’re gone.

A family in a packed car, ready for their winter move.
A family sits in their fully packed car, bundled up and ready to embark on their winter move, filled with anticipation for the journey ahead.

Prep for Your Winter Move Today

Remember these helpful moving in winter tips so that you have an easy, stress-free relocation. From preparing your vehicle to planning your route, each of these tips will ensure that the entire experience is easy and seamless.

If you’re looking for a reliable Ottawa moving company, contact Parkview to get a quote today!

Ready to Experience the Parkview Moving Co. Difference?

Whether you are moving across Ottawa or across the country, you are in good hands when you choose the team at Parkview Moving Co. Contact our local moving company in Ottawa today for a free quote on all our moving services.

Or call 613.425.0020 to book your free in-home estimate.

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