For at least 39 of the United States, the winter months bring freezing temperatures and at least a little snow. While it may be a magical time of year, it can certainly make moving to a new home a bit of a logistical nightmare. Luckily, our movers have plenty of experience navigating the ins and outs of moving in winter. We’ve put together our top tips to help you make it to your new home safe, sound, and still loving all that snow!

Ask your movers what they do in case of snow.

Snow, sleet, ice — it can all cause issues for your scheduled move. Different companies have different ways of handling whether they decide to postpone your move. Make sure you are completely clear on the details of your wintery move so you know how to proceed should the skies open up. Confirm your planned moving date, time, and other details a week before your move just to be sure they’re still on schedule.

Be prepared to be flexible.

If a snowstorm hits, you may have no choice but to postpone your move. Check with your landlord or real estate agent to find out if there’s any flexibility on your moving date. Chances are high nobody will be moving into your old place if you can’t move out! Keep an eye on the weather and be sure you know who to contact if plans need to be adjusted.

Prepare your driveway or sidewalk.

If you’re able to move in the winter, you’ll need to thoroughly shovel your walkway, sidewalk, and/or driveway. Your movers will come prepared wearing good boots, but you don’t want them slipping around while carrying your belongings. If things are icy, invest in some sand or ice melt to keep everyone safe. 

If your moving truck will be parking curbside, be sure you go outside to check the snowbanks. If the plows come through and create a giant berm, you’ll be the one who needs to clear a pathway for the movers to get to your home.

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Protect your floors.

Winter is a notoriously messy time for floors and entryways. You can purchase ram board, plastic carpet covering, or a number of other types of floor protection to keep sand, salt, and water off your floors. After all, you don’t want to move everything out only to find the salt has stained your carpets. Talk to your movers to find out what they are bringing so you can prepare any additional materials.

Save on your heating bill.

This mostly applies if your front door opens straight to the outside. With people in and out for hours, you may end up wasting a whole lot of energy trying to heat your home. If you have zoned heating, turn off the heat in the areas nearest to the door. Then designate a room further from the door to keep things nice and toasty so you and your movers can warm up. If you live in a walk-up? You probably won’t have an issue with losing heat, but it doesn’t hurt to turn the thermostat down a bit.

Keep your winter essentials close by.

Nobody likes having cold fingers or wet feet on moving days! Set aside your winter gear in your moving essentials bag. Make sure to include an extra set of gloves, a warm as well as a waterproof jacket, and boots that will keep your feet warm and dry. Pack some extra socks and a change of clothes in case you get wet, and keep your shovel handy.

Make sure your new home is warm.

It would be extremely unfortunate if you arrived in a cold home! Vacant houses and apartments are usually kept at a pretty low temperature, so either send someone ahead or talk to your landlord or real estate agent about turning up the heat before you arrive. Speaking of sending someone ahead…

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Ensure that your movers can access your new building.

Yes, this may mean more shoveling and sanding of walkways and sidewalks. In an ideal scenario, you could send someone ahead to prepare for the movers’ arrival (applicable if you’re moving locally in one day). If you aren’t able to do so, make sure you’re ready to jump into action as soon as you arrive. Scan the sidewalk or driveway to see if you need to tackle any safety or access issues. Then head inside to protect the floors and prepare for all of the boxes!

Moving in the winter in NYC is no easy feat, but it’s not impossible. Stay in communication with your movers, be prepared for the elements, and hire a team of professional movers. An experienced New York moving company will know how to manage the elements, and will be honest when it’s safer to postpone your move!