Trading the sun for the snow? It can be fun to move to a different climate. You’ll find different outdoor activities, different wardrobe pieces, and more appreciation for the spectrum of seasons.
For all of the thrill of moving to a cold-weather city, it can bring some hesitation for those who have never done it before. Slippery roads, garden-threatening frosts, and extreme weather days can cause many of us to wonder whether we’ve got all we need to be prepared.
If you’ve lived in a warm-weather climate there are probably things that you take for granted there, too. Bugs, allergies, throwing on a light jacket before running out of the house… Prepping for life in a cold-weather place means adjusting to a new way of life.
As long as you’re prepared, you can relax and enjoy all your new hometown has to offer. Here’s everything you need to know before you move to a cold-weather city.
You’ll Need Some New Gear
If you’ve lived somewhere more moderate, you’re likely not used to having gear to prepare for the seasons. In this case, your swimsuit or rowing club membership doesn’t count.
In a colder place, you’ll have clothing and other gear to suit the seasons. Colder weather means layering up and trading your high heels for functional winter boots. That doesn’t mean you have to throw them out entirely when you move, of course. It just means you can plan to say goodbye to some of your favorite outfits in autumn and plan for a reunion in spring.
Before winter arrives, make sure you’ve got some essentials:
- Warm clothes – a long winter jacket, warm sweaters, long socks, hats, gloves, and scarves.
- Insulated and waterproof boots (make sure you check the traction to be sure you’re stable and safe in slippery conditions).
- Warm blankets – consider a hot water bottle and an electric blanket to keep you extra cozy.
- Lotions, balms, and lip salves to protect your skin before, during, and after going out in the cold.
- Snow and ice removal – you’ll need a scraper in your car for the windows and shovels or a snowblower for your pathways at home.
And You’re Not the Only One
You’re not the only one that will need to be prepared for the drop in temperatures. Your house will also need a few things to ensure it’s ready to keep you comfortable in the colder months. Homes in cold-weather cities tend to have the basics covered such as insulation and central heating, but here are a few things to consider if you’ve never lived in a cold place:
- Change the filters in your furnace
- Make sure your pipes have thick insulation
- Check weather stripping on doors and caulk on windows to block drafts
- Have the insulation checked to ensure the cold air stays out and the warm air stays in
- Clean the gutters before the rain and snow come – when the snow melts, the water will need to drain somewhere!
You’ll Pay More in Utilities
Preparing your home can help ensure you’re using heating efficiently. That said, you’ll still find yourself running the heating in your home for the cold months. Keeping your home temperature in the upper 50s will help protect your pipes from freezing and bursting. Repairs for burst pipes are a costly and laborious endeavor.
Prep and Maintenance Are Different
In a cold climate, it takes a bit longer to leave the house. You need to layer up, make sure you’ve got your accessories like hats and gloves, and fill your thermos with some nice hot tea. After that, you may need to shovel the walk and driveway to clear them from snow and ice. Some places require that you clear the sidewalk in front of your home, so it’s important to know what responsibilities you are held to.
Your Cars Need Different Kinds of Care
More than just preparing yourself or your kids, you’ll also need to prepare the car. If you’re parking outside, you may need to scrape the windows and run the engine to warm it up.
To keep your car running smoothly in the cold months, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind. Check your antifreeze, use thinner oil, determine whether you need chains or snow tires, keep windshield washer fluid (specific for cold months) topped up, and keep the right equipment in your tool kit in the car.
Slippery roads don’t always look icy – have you heard of black ice? – so you’ll need to adjust your driving to suit your new climate. If your city salts your roads to clear them, you’ll need to take good care to ensure it doesn’t damage your car.
If you’re still ready to move to a cold-weather city, FlatRate is here to help. We can get you packed and moved so you can start making yourself cozy in your new home – hopefully before the winter sets in!