Proper preparation will ensure your house move goes smoothly in winter weather. If you're moving house in one of the winter months, you may be worried what affect this will have on your plans. After all, moving home is stressful at the best of times, so surely rain and freezing cold temperatures will send your anxiety levels through the roof? Not necessarily.
Just like moving with children, moving house in winter is all about preparation. You've got hurdles to overcome, but with adequate planning you'll be settled into your new home (beside a roaring fire) in no time at all. So carry on reading; we'll tell you exactly how you can beat the winter blues and come up smiling after your house move.
Give yourself more time
Cold weather slows everything down. You won't be as mobile, so you may take longer to pack. Rain may also prevent you moving sensitive computer equipment, so always allow more time to complete tasks that you would if you were moving in bright sunshine. Traveling to your new house will also take longer, particularly if there is heavy rain or storms. Watch out for flooding; your removals company may need an alternative route, so discuss this with them in advance. Call Floodline for flood advice in your area.
Salt walkways and heavily used areas
The last thing you want is your removals company to slip whilst carrying your priceless Royal Doulton vases. Salt your garden path and all walkways that'll be in use on removals day to ensure rain does not freeze and cause a dangerous slipping hazard. If it has been snowing, you may need to clear snow away with a spade to improve access to your property.
Pets suffer in cold weather
When you're moving with pets you should always do your best to make sure their experience is the best it can be, but in winter you need to take extra precautions. On removals day doors are frequently left open which can create powerful through drafts; this can create a significant health risk for hamsters and guinea pigs, so ensure they are moved to a warm room. Take dogs for frequent walks to ensure they stay warm and provide all pets with plenty of food and fresh water.
Plants also suffer in cold weather!
Many plants do not survive long in cold weather. In the rush of your house move you may also forget to water them! Ask your removals company to load them into the van first of all, or consider taking them with you. If the temperature drops very low, you may want to wrap them in horticultural fleece to protect them during the journey.
Light mornings, dark evenings
Take advantage of the time zone. Get up early on moving day to ensure everything is ready when your removals company arrives. That way you can arrive at your new house before the light fades; this gives you a significant advantage. You may not know where light switches are or how reliable the power supply is. By arriving early you can get settled before the light fades, then relax in the evening in your new home.
It goes without saying that shorts and a t-shirt are a bad idea. Make sure you don't pack all your winter clothes: think how embarrassed you'll be if you have to ask your removals company to unload all your boxes so you can get out your woolly jumper! Ensure everyone in the family has suitable clothing, including a waterproof anorak in case it rains. You may also want to buy a coat for your dog.
Fit curtains first
Put your curtains up as soon as you get to your house. They keep in warmth, particularly if you have thick curtains or dual-layered curtains. They also have an added security advantage. Thieves are drawn to house moves, as there's a lot of high-value possessions lying around and doors are generally left open, so fitting your curtains early means they'll find it far harder to see what's going on.
Don't rush to light your fire!
When you're in your new house, freezing cold from the journey, the first thing you'll want to do is light your fire and huddle round it for warmth. But make sure it's in full working order. If it's a gas fire, ensure it has been properly checked out by a gas safe registered engineer and reported in your surveyor's report. If it's a real fire, ensure the flue is in good working order. If you are unsure, do not touch the fire until it has been checked out.
Loft insulation equals a warm family
Loft insulation can be incredibly useful in the winter months. If you don't have loft insulation, consider installing some. It's inexpensive to buy and can be installed with a friend. You'll not only benefit from warmer temperatures in your house but also from reduced energy costs.
Last but not least: take care of your removals workers! They'll be freezing cold and working hard. A cup of tea and a chocolate biscuits goes a lot further than you think. Good luck with your winter move!