No one can say that winter is the best time for a move, especially in Quebec.
Besides cold weather and tons of snow that need to be cleared out, the light days are much shorter, and every task takes almost twice the time.
However, the circumstances people have are always unique and quite often require fast relocation. So, if you happen to need to move in winter, follow our 9 winter moving tips to make sure your move doesn’t turn into a disaster.
Without further ado, let’s jump right into it!
#1 Plan Your Move Date
The most important step of every move is careful planning. This is really a make-it-or-break-it point because the relocation of a house or a large apartment always involves multiple people who need to know the date and time beforehand to plan their schedules and help you.
The dates you choose also need to be flexible. Since the weather in winter months can change fast, you need to leave some wiggle room to make sure you don’t put yourself and others in danger by deciding to make the move during the snowstorm.
#2 Keep an Eye on the Weather
Winter weather in Canada is notorious for its unpredictability.
A sunny morning can quickly turn into a blizzard by afternoon. Therefore, it’s essential to know what the weather forecasts projected for the days you’d chosen for a move.
This practice will help you anticipate any potential delays or hazards that might arise due to bad weather. Being well-informed gives you the flexibility to make real-time decisions, ensuring the safety of your belongings and everyone involved in the move.
#3 Start Packing in Advance
Packing is the second most important step in any move because it can save you a lot of money when done right and lose you a lot of money when done at the last moment.
Any move, whether it’s a residential or a long-distance one, requires careful packing. This is especially true for a winter move because the ice, melted snow, and cold temperatures can damage a lot of your items if they’re not properly protected.
Traditionally, you have 2 options for packing: you can either pack yourself or hire professional packers.
#4 Prepare Your Home For Moving in Winter
Safety should be a top priority during your winter move.
To decrease the chances of anyone getting injured during the loading process, clear any snow or ice from walkways, driveways, and entryways. Keep shovels, ice melt, and sand handy to maintain safe pathways throughout the moving day.
This not only prevents accidents but also makes the moving process more efficient.
Aside from the measures you take at the entrance, make sure to put floor runners or old blankets at the entrance to prevent someone from slipping due to the wetness of their shoes.
#5 Get Winter Essentials
Winter weather can be unpredictable, so it’s wise to pack a “winter survival” box containing essentials.
The items you must have in your kit will depend on how bad the weather is, but in general, you need:
- Additional warm clothing: hats, gloves, scarves & mittens, jackets
- A small snow shovel in case you get stuck on the way
- Car ice scrapers or snow brushes (for long-distance moves)
- Pocket hand warmers
- Pack warm blankets
- Jumper cables
- First aid kit for emergencies
Having these items readily available will ensure everyone stays warm and comfortable, regardless of the weather conditions.
#6 Prepare Your Car
In addition to safeguarding your belongings, it’s important to prepare your vehicle for the winter move.
Whether you’re driving a moving truck or your own car, winter conditions can impact vehicle performance and safety. Here are some steps to ensure your vehicle is ready for the journey:
- Check your vehicle’s mechanical health with a mechanic
- Equip your vehicle with winter essentials from step #5
- Make sure your winter tires are in good condition
- Top-up fluids (especially antifreeze)
- Keep your gas tank at least half full
A well-maintained vehicle can navigate the challenges of winter weather with greater ease, making the moving process smoother and more efficient.
#7 Prepare Your New Home For Unpacking
Moving during winter means dealing with not just the weather outside but also the potential mess that can be brought indoors.
Snow, slush, and salt can easily be brought into your new home, potentially damaging floors and carpeting.
To protect your new space, consider investing in floor runners, plastic sheeting, or even old blankets to create a path for movers and prevent dirt and moisture from being tracked inside.
Encourage everyone to wipe their feet thoroughly before entering, and provide a designated area for removing shoes. This extra step will not only safeguard your floors but also help you start off on the right foot in your new home.
#8 Don’t Rush
In our experience, in the rush of moving, especially during winter, homeowners always feel pressured to hurry things along. However, it’s crucial to prioritize safety and care over speed.
Rushing in icy or snowy conditions increases the likelihood of accidents. Take your time when loading and unloading belongings, driving, and even walking. This cautious approach minimizes the risk of slips, falls, and collisions.
Additionally, hasty packing and moving can result in damaged items. Fragile belongings require extra care, and taking the time to wrap and secure them properly can prevent costly breakage.
Remember, a successful winter move isn’t just about reaching your destination quickly—it’s about arriving safely, with your belongings intact, and with your well-being intact as well.
#9 Hire a Professional Moving Company
While moving on your own might be feasible during milder seasons, winter adds an extra layer of complexity.
Hiring professional movers with experience, like our Montreal moving company, in winter relocations can be a game-changer.
Professional moving companies can help you not only to transport your items from one place to another but also help you plan the move right, pack it right, and, if necessary, provide temperature-controlled storage for as long as necessary.
We know how to navigate winter roads, handle fragile items in snowy or icy conditions, and streamline the entire moving process. Our familiarity with winter challenges in Quebec will save you time, stress, and potential damage to your belongings.
Moving in the winter is not the easiest task, but it can be accomplished with proper planning and careful execution. Remember to be flexible with your moving dates, prepare your home and car for relocation and take things one step at a time to avoid injuries.
Is it OK to move during winter?
Moving in winter is not the perfect scenario because of the incremental weather. However, it can be done smoothly if you have enough knowledge on how to do it, have the right tools and plan everything ahead.
Is it better to move in the winter or summer?
Moving in summer is better for those who move with children and are not very flexible on the moving dates. Moving in winter can be much cheaper, but they also could be rescheduled several times due to the incremental weather.
Is December a good time to move?
Traditionally, December and November are the cheapest times to move because the demand for moving services is much less than in the summer months. So if you plan your move for December and plan it 2-3 months in advance, you can get a very good deal.
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Owner/Founder – STC Movers
I’m Pavel, and I run this company, with the unwavering support of my wife and kids. My team shares my values: we work hard, care about the outcome and want every single customer to feel good about doing business with us.