Tips for moving in the winter

Tips for moving in the winter

Even during the warmest seasons and under ideal circumstances, moving home is a massive undertaking. And if your time line happens to coincide with those colder seasons of the year, cold temperatures and unpredictable weather can easily cause things to go sideways at the wrong time. Sometimes, the only way to forward is to be as prepared as you can be, so here are some tips to help you prepare for a successful move during the winter.

Seek Help

Moving all of your furniture and belongings during the winter won’t be easy; you’re going to need some help, whether its friends and family or a moving service.

If you’re only moving around the corner with a few items, a few friends and family will probably do the trick, but if you are moving a complete family home from one city or province to another, you should really consider hiring a professional moving company. Do your research and find one that’s well recommended and equipped for winter moves.

Whichever option you take, make sure that you secure your help as far in advance as possible.


Good organization will help streamline your home move and keep minimize the unexpected on moving day.

Here are a few basic suggestions:

  • Go through all of the items in your home. Decide which items are going, staying, being sold or donated, and trashed.
  • Plan where everything goes in your new home. Don’t move things twice, especially in the cold.
  • Clearly label all boxes, bags, and tubs. List the contents and room where they’re going.
  • Pack personal items separate. Things such as irreplaceable items, cash, jewelry, computers, sensitive electronics, and important paperwork can be moved in your personal vehicle, close to hand.

Packing for bad weather

Wherever and whenever you move, weather can be a random factor. There are big differences between packing to move in the summer verses moving in the winter, the biggest difference of course is the weather itself, which is a major issue in the winter.

To begin with, you should consider the freezing temperatures your belongings will experience as soon as they leave your old home. And of course, the temperature inside non-climate-controlled trucks can get very low, becoming a threat to your more sensitive and fragile possessions. When packing, take extra care of the following:

  • Fine China or any other fragile table ware
  • Antique furniture
  • Delicate items made of wood
  • Musical instruments
  • Electronics
  • Anything else fragile that cold temperatures can affect.

Add extra packing to ensure these items aren’t affected by the cold.

Expect delays

Moving in winter has some obvious drawbacks, so plan for random eventualities. As mentioned above, one of these drawbacks is the unpredictable nature of the weather. A sudden snow flurry could make your move a lot more challenging.

Also, remember that it gets dark very early in the winter, typically around 4:00 pm, depending on your location.

Watch the weather

Check the weather in your move locations each day leading up to and during your move. If bad weather conditions look like roads will be closed, call your moving company and talk to them as you may need to delay the move.

And listen to their concerns about possible weather-related issues. You cannot control the weather, so it’s important to be flexible.

Move Location Flooring

Cold-weather moves through snow and rain can get very messy, very quickly, and can quickly  ruin your floors, so be sure to put down floor protection to prevent permanent stains and damage.

Laying down floor protection is standard practice for most professional moving services, so make sure it’s done properly.


Safety must always be your top priority, especially when moving during the colder months. Winter moves can be dangerous and you must do everything to keep your home and your people safe.

Clear the driveways, walkways, and sidewalks around your locations from accumulated mud, snow, and ice. Ensure that a parking area for moving trucks is cleared and prepared for work. Not doing so increases the chances of someone slipping or tripping.

Pets & Plants

Pet owners are happy to leave their animals outside for a few hours in warmer weather, but the winter months bring added difficulty with pet care.

We recommend boarding your pets with a friend, family member, or pet hotel for the day. This is the best way to keep them warm, cared for, and safe.

Additionally, if you have any houseplants you care about, find a temporary home for them as well. Most indoor plants will not survive in harsh winter conditions.

Watch Jeremy Osborne’s blog page for more hints and tips on  moving and selling your home!


No comments

Post Your Comment:

Your email will not be published
The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are member’s of CREA. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by CREA and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.