First-time homeowners, seasoned renters, “snow-birds”, or anyone in-between may already be aware of the multiple many factors included when contemplating a move. However, as the season change and winter begin, you must now add harsh weather conditions to your moving considerations. You may begin to find this impending relocation insufferably stressful, but with some forethought and planning, you can successfully move your household in a worry-free, seamless fashion.
Based on our experience as licensed movers in addition to our experience with winter moving and storage, here are some things you can do to help make for the fastest and smoothest winter move despite the cold weather:
WHY SHOULD YOU MOVE DURING THE WINTER MONTHS?
Are you and your family considering winter moving but haven’t decided when is the best time? Moving in the winter, though cold, snowy, and prone to other bad weather, may prove to be the least expensive and most efficient season to do so! Below, we discuss the five greatest advantages that come with moving during this time of the year.
1. SLOWER BUYER’S MARKET
The pendulum swings both ways with realty in the winter. Fewer people are looking to purchase a home and more sellers whose homes have been on the market for longer than desired are ready to move out. There are a few ways in which this circumstance is for your benefit.
LOWER LIKELIHOOD OF GETTING INTO A BIDDING WAR
With a smaller market for sellers to cater to, your chances of putting an offer on a home against another bid are lower than in the warmer seasons. This is one major benefit of winter moving. The winter takes place during the school season, making it a great contributing factor to families who decide to postpone their house hunting until school is out for summer. Especially if the new home is in a different school district, families don’t want the hassle of registering their children mid-year.
SELLERS ARE MORE NEGOTIABLE
FLEXIBLE CLOSING DATES
If you prefer to close on the house before the neighborhood synchronizes its exterior Christmas decorations, moving during the winter may give you some leeway in asking for specific closing time frames. Especially if you are in transition from renting to purchasing, the seller may offer some flexibility in the closing date so that you are moved and settled in by the time your apartment’s lease ends.
QUICKER LOAN PROCESSING
Banks have less paperwork to process when fewer loan applications are submitted. This could save you and your family valuable time while waiting for the checks and credit histories to clear.
2. YOU’LL HAVE A MORE REVEALING HOME INSPECTION
Winter weather can expose many underlying issues on home property. Whether purchasing a home built in 2015 or 1975, you’ll want to make sure your home inspection uncovers anything wrong with the infrastructure. During a home inspection, be sure to check for the following:
- Air leaks
- Infrastructure not built according to code
- Heating system insufficiencies
- Clogged or unsafe chimneys
- Roof leaks and ice dams
- Clogged gutters
- Burst pipes or in-ground automatic sprinklers
- Tree branches too close to the house
Finding any issues with the house before your closing date could save you hundreds or potentially thousands of dollars depending on the severity of the issue. Additionally, even if you walk away from the home in search of another, at least the homeowner has been made aware of the issue and can repair it for the next homeowner.
3. TIMELY TAX RETURNS
4. YOUR ITEMS IN TRANSIT MIGHT BE SAFER
We know that with moving in the winter comes the possibility of icy roads or snowstorms. There are many logistic and easy-to-follow tips available on how to safely move during the winter season. Aside from the concern of road safety, moving during the winter can be beneficial for your items in transit.
YOUR MOVERS WILL HAVE MORE ENERGY
The summer is proven to be one of the busiest times of the year for moving companies. With a slower rate of incoming move requests, the hired movers will not have to balance multiple jobs in a day. Combining that with the lessened amount of sunlight, movers may only be able to book one or two moves a day. With that in mind, the laborers will not be as worn down from previous heavy-lifting jobs and can serve you with more care and energy.
FEWER ITEMS WILL SPOIL OR MELT
Your summer moving day could easily go awry if you forgot to put the box with perishable foods in your car and mistakenly placed it in the moving truck. During the winter, the likelihood of food spoiling or plastic items melting due to the outdoor elements is incredibly slim. For those who don’t want to go through the hassle of transporting your food through multiple trips, this is a great bonus to moving in the winter.
#5. MOVERS HAVE A BETTER AVAILABILITY
Similar to the reduced competition to buy homes, moving during the winter results in a wider availability for your professional movers, especially if you plan to move during the middle of the month. Winter moving could be beneficial for those who cannot take any additional time off work and need to move over the weekend.
7 TIPS FOR A SMOOTH WINTER MOVE
#1. UTILIZE SHOVELS AND SALT THE PATHS FOR SAFETY
While we always recommend using the best packing materials and moving boxes to protect your items, we don't want you to forget to protect yourself, your loved ones, your possessions, and your movers! Be sure to shovel and salt paths, sidewalks, driveways, and pretty much any ground area where someone might be walking or moving heavy items. It's never a bad idea to have a first aid kit on hand in case you need it.
#2. TAKE CARE OF YOUR MOVING BOXES
You probably know the look and smell of wet cardboard from carrying a package in the rain or snow. During a move, that's a lot of cardboard being exposed to the elements. Using higher-grade moving boxes and materials will ensure that none of your items are damaged, even if you end up in a scene similar to one from the film Frozen.
#3. PROTECT YOUR FLOORS FROM THE MELTING SNOW
When it's cold outside, we're thinking about how much we'd rather be inside, right? In fact, there's even a famous holiday song all about it. Well, during a move, more than half the time is spent on the inside of your old and new spaces, both packing, and unpacking. That means a lot of potentially wet shoes on your floors! We're always careful to protect your flooring with materials that prevent dirt or water stains. You can use things like old boxes from large appliances, car mats you are going to replace later, or even rugs and blankets that will be tossed after the move.
#4. SLEEP WELL BEFORE THE MOVE
Not something that's on your “get ready for Moving Day” list, right? However, you already know how important it is to sleep before any big day, and this is definitely true during the wintertime when the days feel shorter and our bodies naturally get tired more easily. In the week leading up to the move, having a good night's sleep prior to your move will give you more energy and help you regulate your body temperature better – don't forget how often the front and back doors will be swinging open, bringing cold air with them, while items are being moved in and out of your spaces. Get plenty of zzz's so you don't feel the freeze.
#5. WATCH THE WEATHER
If you’re moving during winter months, you’ll need to keep a close eye on the weather forecast. Chicagoland weather can quickly reach extremes, so you’ll want to be aware of any snow, ice, or other inclement weather that could get in the way of your move and make unpacking a nightmare. This may require some flexibility if your moving date needs to be adjusted accordingly. Many people like to keep a space heater on hand in case they need to use it to battle cold temperatures.
#6. SET UP THE MOVING UTILITIES
It’s easy to accidentally overlook a few moving details but forgetting to set up your utilities before moving day is a grave mistake during colder weather. Some cities only set up utilities during regular weekday business hours, so you’ll be out of luck if you’re moving over the weekend. Avoid this mistake by getting your utilities set up ahead of time so that your heat is already up and running by the time moving day begins.
#7. HIRE A PROFESSIONAL WINTER MOVING COMPANY
We're not just saying this because we're a moving company – we always suggest hiring professional, licensed movers, especially during the winter. From packing the moving truck to unloading at your new location, a move-in day will go off without a hitch. Moving companies help provide faster and safer moves, which are needed most when the weather can be unpredictable.
As a seasoned and premier moving company in Chicago, you can rest assured knowing that at Alliance Moving and Storage, we specialize in both residential and commercial moves, regardless of long-distance hauls or moving you and your family or business over to the next neighborhood. Regardless of the various extremities of weather conditions such as rain, sleet, snow, night, or sunshine, we have it covered with our expert relocation specialists and movers.