Moving in winter is often not everybody’s first choice. The snow, ice, limited daylight hours and cold weather conditions are not the dream moving house scenario. The cold weather can cause delays, with icy roads and the risk of snow all potential factors to cause havoc on moving day. However, this also means a big reduction in waiting times and prices for removals companies at this time of year. If you are moving house in winter out of choice or circumstance, then we have provided some top tips to not let the move defeat you. Contact us on 0800 833 932 for more advice from our experts.
1) Find a reliable removal company
The most important factor for taking the stress out of your move is to hire a reliable removal company. Not only will they minimise stress, but they will also be fully trained to handle bad weather conditions. A company like AVM, which has lots of experience, will be able to understand and plan for the risks. We know that the weather can be unpredictable in the UK, so we will have unique procedures in place for your move to ensure it is as smooth as possible. Not much could be worse than having an unreliable removal company who abandon you on the day due to bad weather.
If you would like to book with AVM removals, we recommend booking as far in advance as possible, especially if your moval date is before Christmas because this is a peak time for customers wanting to be moved in before the celebrations. Please call us on 0800 833 932 or request a quote at the top of our site.
2) Allow Extra Time
We all know that the British weather can be unpredictable and if this winter is anything like last winter, the beast from the east is certainly capable of pushing plans back a few days. We recommend that when planning your winter move, you add extra time to each deadline to allow for common winter delays.
3) Monitor the weather conditions
In the days leading up to the move, we suggest you keep an eye on the weather forecast. This is so that you are prepared for what is in store. Strong winds, heavy rain, sleet or even snow are all a possibility for your winter moving day. It is also a good idea to keep out a list of the contact details of important people to your move such as your estate agent, solicitors, and removal company so that you can communicate any forced or chosen changed to your move day plans.
4) Pack an essentials box
When packing, be considerate of your possessions that it will be useful to have easy accessto. Winter moves can be tough enough as they are, you do not want to be searching through all your boxes looking for your kettle to have a warm drink. If you clearly label a box ‘essentials’ and keep it in a know and easy to access place, this has the power to make your move day much more relaxing. Some ideas of what you could pack in this box include your kettle, warm drinks such as tea and coffee, mugs, soup, fresh warm change of clothes, waterproofs, items to keep the kids entertained, toiletries, and food to snack on like mince pies.
5) Dress for cold
On the day of your move, it is important to dress appropriately for the weather conditions. Wear layers which you can take off if you get hot with all the rushing about. It is also sensible to wear shoes with slip-resistant soles. Winter moves can be icy and an injury is not what you need.
6) Prepare the new home
Make sure you transfer your heating and electricity providers to your new location. Winter is not the time to go without electricity, heating, or water, even for just one or two days. You could even ask the old occupants if they could leave the heating on a low heat so that is it cosy for your arrival. This will also minimise the risk of any pipes freezing, especially if they are moving out a little while before you move in.
It may also be an idea to check any paths and walkways which will be needed during the removal process so they can be cleared of any ice or snow. You could also put salt or grit down. This goes for the new property and the one you are leaving behind. If possible, doing this will ensure the safety of yourself and the removal people. It will also minimise the risk of delays.
7) Winter checks on your car
Imagine driving to your new house on moving in day and your car breaks down. This would be bad in summer but 10x worse in the winter months when you have to wait round in the cold for a solution. It is also more likely to happen in the winter because the cold can be tough for your car. It is a good idea to carry out winter checks on your car in preparation for your winter move. Make sure there is plenty of fuel, de-icer, windscreen wash, and no unattended to problems. It may also be a good idea to pack a safety kit for the unfortunate event of a breakdown. This could include a blanket, portable phone chargers, and extra cash.
8) Make the most of daylight
One reason why moving house in summer is more popular than in winter is because of the daylight hours. Moving house in the dark is not ideal. We recommend starting the days early to make the most of the daylight hours. If your scheduled move is due to go into the evening, take time beforehand to work out your lighting situation and replace any broken lightbulbs. There’s nothing worse than stumbling around in the dark, especially with fragile boxes!
9) Label Boxes
Labelling your boxes is a given tip for any time of the year. However, it might be extra important in the winter to know where winter items are. You do not want to be scurrying through boxes of summer clothing looking for your hat, scarf and gloves. If you are hoping to be moved in before Christmas, you will also want to know exactly where your Christmas decorations are so you can get your new house feeling in the Christmas spirit.
10) Reliable packing materials
It is important that you do not just use any boxes you can get your hands on for your winter move. They must be durable to withstand the winter weather. Rain, snow, or just general dampness could ruin flimsy boxes and damage the contents. AVM removals service can provide you with reliable boxes and recycle them once you have finished with them once you have finished with them.
11) Book early
Although winter is generally an unpopular time to move, there is a peak time in the run-up to Christmas of customers who want to be settled in their new home before celebrations begin. If you are also hoping to be moved into your new home by Christmas, we recommend booking with a reliable removals company as early as possible.
12) Plan your pets
Pets can find moving house very unsettling and many are not a fan of winter weather either. Winter can pose more threats to your animals, especially outdoor pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs. A removals company will not responsible for the moving of your pets so this is something you will have to plan yourself in advance. It might be an idea to drop your pets off at a trusted friend, family members, or cattery/kennel for the duration of the build. This way they will not be under your toes and all the packing and loading will not cause them stress.
13) Protect your new and old property
Winter can mean muddy boots and shoes trotting in and out of the properties. You do not want to leave your own home in a mess to give the new occupants reason to complain, nor do you want the first thing you do in your new home to be scrubbing the floor. Therefore, it would be wise to lay down protection. Some removal companies will provide this service for you to minimise the mess they leave behind. If you are unsure if your removal service will protect your homes, hang on to old newspapers that can be laid out to prevent indoor slips and muddy feet marks.
We hope this guide has helped you feel more prepared to take on your winter move. If you hire a reliable removal company like AVM and follow all these tips, your moving day should involve minimal stress. We are based in Cheltenham but offer our services in various locations across the UK including Gloucester, Oxford, Stroud, Witney, and beyond. For more information on our removals service please contact us on 0800 833 932.