Moving Through The Seasons

By Vince Mancuso,

In an ideal world, moving day would always be on a bright and sunny early summer’s day. The temperature would never exceed 75°F and the breeze would be just mild enough to not cause problems but just strong enough to cool the occasional bead of sweat. However, the ideal moving weather is rarely on schedule and is more or less a happy accident when it does come around.

While moving season is in the warmer spring and summer months, there is always the chance of an unpredictable downpour or unavoidable heatwave. Additionally, situations such as employment opportunities, military deployment, or a lease ending can require people to move in the drizzly fall or snowy winter months. While the weather of your moving day may not always be a help, here are a few tips that can.

How to Beat the Heat When Moving

As summertime is the typical moving season, the heat is the most common weather that faces movers. High temperatures and humidity can increase emotional and mental stress while draining energy to haul items to and from moving vehicles. Fortunately, there are some simple things to do to get through the heat.

For starters, make sure you’re prepared to move. Have all your book cases cleared, fragile items wrapped, furniture stripped, and boxes packed by the night before your move. If you have children or pets, it may also be a wise choice to set up a babysitter ahead of time as the heat can be worse for them than it will be for you. Being prepared means a more efficient moving day and less time spent in and out of the heat. You may also want to plan on having friends, family, or other help in your move to start early to get the most work done before the heat of the day.

Be mindful of how much you’ll be in the sun, as even a 30 second walk to the moving truck can add up to hours of exposure over enough time. Keep sunscreen handy to avoid burns and wear light clothing or workout gear to stay cool throughout the move, though you should know your limits and plan for breaks. Your breaks should include water and healthy snacks to replenish your energy. Fruits like apples or fiber bars can replenish your carbohydrates and give you energy during the move, but be sure to have some protein sources like peanuts for afterward to help you recover.

If you’re temporarily moving your items into a storage unit, look for a climate-controlled storage unit. This feature will maintain a moderate temperature and humidity level while you’re items are in storage to prevent wood from warping, electronics from frying, and heat and humidity damage caused to photographs and documents.

Even with breaks and preparation, the heat can get to you, so it’s important to keep things fun and as relaxed as can be. Have music playing, crack jokes when you can, expect problems to occur, and always make sure your pace yourself.

Moving in the Rain

While the temperature may be down, most people would rather take the heat than having a literal dark storm cloud on their moving day. But don’t worry, your cardboard boxes are tougher than they look—as long as they’re properly taped and not sitting out in the rain too long— soggy cardboard messes can be avoided.

Much like moving in high temperatures, moving in the rain will require some preparation. While weather reports aren’t always 100-percent accurate, track the weather days ahead if possible and definitely on the day of your planned move. Should any severe storms occur, it may be best to put things on hold.

If you do go ahead with your move, start early. If possible, pack your things in clear, plastic totes that hold against water. If only cardboard is available, take your time to build them correctly to avoid any gaps water may seep through. Also, make sure loose items such as televisions, computers, and furniture are covered by plastic wrap to prevent any water damage. If this isn’t possible, use blankets or tarps to cover the items while they’re outside. Again, more time spent inside preparing means less time moving outside.

Go to your new home ahead of your actual move and set up rugs or towels near your front door to wipe off any mud you collect while moving. You may also want to keep some larger rugs handy during the move in case you need to temporarily set items on the ground, as well as a few extra towels for an emergency wipe downs. For those temporarily storing items before getting into their new home, be mindful of storage units with drive-up access. While it’s convenient to park the moving vehicle at or even inside the unit, keep water-sensitive items furthest away from the storage unit’s door.

Lastly, before each box, couch, table, or other items are placed in the moving truck, give it one more look over to make sure it’s properly covered. It’s also a good idea to double check everything once they get unpacked to make sure nothing got significantly soaked, though a few damp items here and there are to be expected.

How to Relocate in the Snow

While it is highly unlikely for someone to get caught unaware of relocating in the snowy weather, there is a chance that you may have to move in frozen conditions. Much of the actual moving practice is similar to relocating in the rain: have things properly packed, check and double check items, keep towels handy, and ultimately be prepared to move quickly.

The biggest thing when relocating in snowy, icy conditions is keeping an eye and ear on the weather and road conditions. In some regions, even the smallest amount of snowfall on the road can result in slow traffic, accidents, and even road closings. Be sure roads have been cleared for the safety of those helping you move as well as the safety of your items.

Aside from the roads, clear the paths to and from the moving truck at both the home you’re leaving and the home you’re moving to. You may also want to lay down salt to avoid slipping on any ice or create a path by laying down particle board.

If you need to use self storage before relocating into your new home, again find a storage unit with climate control. Freezing temperatures can cause plastics and metals found in electronic components to become brittle and snap, and any fluctuation and temperature and also cause wooden furniture to expand and contract as well.

Moving in any weather can be a stressful time, but following simple tips can get you into your new home faster so you can forget all about moving day.