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The Ultimate Winter Moving Guide

Your Guide to Moving During Winter

Moving during a Minnesota or Wisconsin winter can seem a little daunting. All that snow may be beautiful, but it doesn’t make moving any easier. But don’t worry. With a little planning, you can make your winter move as easy as possible, and soon you’ll be warming in the comfort of your new home.

1. Prepare Your Vehicle(s)

Your leaving your old home behind, but probably not your cars. Make sure they’re ready to move with you. Check the tires, battery and brakes, along with all the fluids, before setting out on your move. If you’ve moving a long ways, consider buying roadside assistance if you don’t have it already.

If you’re renting a moving truck and driving it yourself, ask the truck company if they provide any roadside emergency assistance.

Finally, it’s always a good idea to have an emergency kit in your vehicles. Blankets, a windshield scraper, flashlight, and some non-perishable food are all good ideas. And, you should have a kit like this in your car all winter, not just during your move.

2. Make Sure the Utilities at Your New Home Are In Order

Winter days are short and cold in Minnesota and Wisconsin, so it’s really important that the heat and lights in your new home are on and working right away when you arrive. If possible, transfer all the utilities into your name in advance so they can be on and functional at day or two before you move in.

3. Color-Code Your Boxes

This one works for a move during any season. Put certain types of items in boxes with different colored tape or markings. That way it’s easy to stay organized and put things in the right place when unpacking.

4. Bring Extra Clothes

For anyone new to Minnesota or Wisconsin: bring some extra clothes for when you get here. You can wear a few layers of clothes and take off a layer as you get warmer from moving. It’s a good idea to avoid hoodies or jackets with long strings – those can get caught on things when you’re doing a lot of moving.

Snow and ice make everything slippery, so wear a pair of boots with good cold-weather traction to help avoid slipping. Other outerwear items you’ll want include gloves and a hat or earmuffs.

If you’re moving out of MN or WI in the winter, don’t forget a set of lighter clothes to change into when you arrive at your warmer destination.

5. Child Care and Pet Care

Here’s another tip of moving during any season. If you are able, you might want to consider hiring a babysitter for move-in day. Moving can be stressful and it will take a lot of your energy and attention, and having small children around make it more challenging.

If you have pets, think about asking a friend to care for them on moving day, or consider a boarding service for the day. You certainly don’t want to lose track of your pet because you’re too busy moving boxes!

6. Put Together a Moving Team

Whether you hire professional mover or have a team of friends, a group certainly makes moving easier.

To thank them, you could even provide coffee, hot cocoa, or water on hand. Once you’re at the home, you could even order pizza from local place.

Now, professional movers would probably prefer a tip over pizza. Consumer Affairs says the tip for a long-distance move is about 15-20%, while a local move is more like 5-10%.

7. Check Road Conditions Often

Even a little snow or wind can make roads slick, and a lot of snow or wind can make things really nasty. Make sure you check the weather between your old home and your new one, and try to schedule your move for days when the weather looks like it will cooperate. In Minnesota and Wisconsin, storms can come up quick, so be prepared to be flexible if something comes up that makes roads unsafe and pushed your move back a little.

8. Start Early in the Day

Always start driving earlier than you think you need to, especially in winter. You might not be able to drive as fast as you would in summer. You could run into road conditions that slow you down for a stretch of the drive.

9. Clear the Sidewalks and Driveway at the New Home

When you arrive at your new home, if there’s snow on the walkways be sure to clear it off. This helps your movers (and yourself!) get things done as safely as possible. So, don’t bury your snow shovel underneath all your other items in the moving truck – you may need it right away.

10. Protect the Floors and Keep the House Dry

You can’t really expect your movers, whether they’re friends or pros, to take their boots on and off every time they go in and out of the house. So, you’ll want to protect your carpet and other flooring from the snow and slush they might track in. You could lay down some towels or old carpet pieces, for example. Just don’t use anything slippery like plastic.

Also have some towels ready near the doorway to wipe down boxes or the moving dolly as things come in and out of the house. Finally, if it happens to be actively snowing while you’re moving in, try to cover TVs, couches and other important items so they don’t get wet on the way into or out of the house.

11. Enjoy the Moment

As you depart your old home and head toward the new, think about the new phase of life you’re about to embark upon. At the end of a possibly snowy moving day, you’ll be at the start of a new chapter. Even if things are blanketed in snow, take a few photos, both of your old home and your new one. This is a time you’ll want to look back on and tell the story of how you battled the cold and made it into that new home!

Are You Thinking of Making a Move? Our Agents Are Here to Help!

Servion Realty helps people move into and out of Minnesota and Wisconsin all the time. Reach out to an agent anytime to discuss your home buying or selling needs.

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