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5 tips to survive moving home during winter

Moving during winter? Make sure you have a game plan to protect your furniture and belongings from rain, wind or snow.
5 tips to survive moving home during winter

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Moving requires a lot of planning. There's decluttering, selling, and packing your items to contend with, not to mention finding moving quotes and booking a moving van. Add in bad weather, and without a game plan, your moving day could quickly turn into a disaster. If you're moving during winter, it's important to take the following steps to keep your furniture and belongings protected from rain, wind and snow.

1. Hire movers to help you

Winter can be a difficult time to DIY your home move. During winter there are fewer hours of sunlight for you to move efficiently while the rain, wind, hail and (depending on where you live) snow, can hamper your progress. If you need to move after work, you may end up doing it in the dark. This can put your safety at risk. While it's one thing to move your furniture while it's raining and risk water damage to your possessions, it's another thing to move items when its dark and risk tripping, falling or rolling an ankle on steps or surfaces you can't see.

The good news is, professional movers can make light work of your home move during winter. They are used to moving items during all types of weather and can move furniture a lot faster than you can by yourself. You can also book them to move during the day. This would make better use of your time and allow you to unpack the items in the evening as it's not crucial to unpack light. Movers can also supply you with protective packaging to keep the rain off your items. Most movers charge extra for the supply of protective gear so make sure you speak to your mover about how much this will cost before you book their services.

2. Pack your items properly

There is a strong possibility that your possessions will get damp when moving in winter. So, you need to ensure that your items are well-packed and protected from the rain. Cardboard boxes can easily soak up rainwater and this can damage the items inside, especially if they are made from paper or fabric. For better protection, you should cover your items with plastic to prevent damage. The same goes for other items that can't be packed in boxes, like your mattress and couch.

Soft furnishings can be hard to dry if they get wet. Dampness can lead to mould and mildew in your furniture if you don't dry your couch or mattress thoroughly. This can be difficult to do during winter. It's always a better idea to keep your furnishings protected by covering them in plastic. A tarpaulin or large plastic sheet should do the job. If you don't own any plastic coverings, consider booking your move with a professional. They will ensure your items are protected with bubble wrap or plastic wrap and you'll save money by not having to buy these items yourself.

3. Make sure your utilities are set up and fully functioning

You don’t want to end up moving into your new home during winter without utility access. You will need electricity, heat and water upon your arrival. Make sure the utilities in your new home are all set up and functioning. If the heat in your new house has been off for some time, you might want to book an appointment with a plumber and have your pipes checked to make sure they have not frozen.

It’s important to note that while you want to ensure utilities are turned on, you may want to hold off turning the heat on until all your belongings are all set inside your new home. With movers going in and out of your new home, you are going to waste the heat which could resuult in a high utility bill.

4. Be flexible about move-in day

The weather in New Zealand can be rough during winter. Wind, hail, sleet and rain can all happen on the same day. While you can protect your items from the rain by using plastic sheeting, moving on a windy day is much harder to manage. Moving items during strong wind gusts can be a challenge and put your safety and the safety of your items at risk. Not only will you need to move items from your home into your moving vehicle, but you'll also need to ensure your items are secure and won't blow over while your truck or vehicle is still being packed. If you're moving on a windy day, consider renting a closed-in vehicle like a van or small truck rather than a trailer.

Check the weather in the lead-up to your move to see whether it's worth taking the risk. Consider rescheduling your move to another day. The more flexible you can be about what day you move in the easier your move will become.

5. Protect the floors

Moving during winter unfortunately means the possibility of tracking water and dirt inside. Damage to floors or carpets only means additional expenses, whether for your old home or the new one, you're moving out of. Wet footwear can leave stains on your carpet that are difficult to get rid of. Be prepared to clean up after your move, especially if you are moving out of a rental. You'll need to put some time in your calendar to return with cleaning products such as a vacuum cleaner, broom and mop to ensure your floors are in good condition.

There are things you can do to protect the floors during your move. Place cardboard boxes or a tarp that's on the floors to create a protective path from each room to the front door. This will prevent you and your moving team from bringing dirt, snow or rainwater inside. Place an old rug or doormat at the entrance of your house for people to wipe their shoes on before they enter. This will help the cardboard or tarp from getting too wet or slippery. 

5. Sweep leaves from your driveway

Most areas of New Zealand aren't affected by snow or heavy ice during winter. However, that doesn't mean moving during the colder months is all smooth sailing. Leaves can pile up during winter and create slipping hazards underfoot. The day before you're due to move make sure you sweep your driveway of any leaves or debris. Make sure you gather up the leaves and place them in your green bin or compost bin otherwise the wind can scatter them across your drive again.

It’s true that moving in winter can be very challenging but with preparation and planning, you can ensure that your belongings are properly protected and you won't injure yourself during the move. The safest way to move during winter is to hire a professional. Wise Move has a network of moving companies in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and the whole of New Zealand, ready to make your home move as smooth and as straightforward as possible. 

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