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Moving cross country during the wintertime may not seem like ideal timing, but if you do it right, it could be the best decision of your life.
There are several reasons you could be moving during the winter months in America—some by your choosing, some by circumstance.
Regardless of how wintertime becomes moving time, with proper planning and organizing, you can overcome any cold weather obstacles.
Let’s look at why families choose to move cross country in the winter and some tips and tricks to make winter relocating a happy experience.
Is it smart to move in the winter?
Whether you choose to move during the winter (finally had enough of the cold) or are relocating due to outside reasons (a change in your job), there are a few advantages to wintertime moves that might surprise you.
For moving companies, the busiest time of the year is always summertime. By the autumn, a company’s schedule starts to lighten up before practically going into winter hibernation.
Therefore, fewer customers for moving companies during winter means an opportunity for better deals for you. Movers know that there are more professional movers for you to choose from, which means they will often give better deals during the slow months.
Shop around. Contact several moving companies and ask for a free quote.
Another benefit of moving companies slowing down in winter could be a more flexible moving date. Since there is less competition for their vehicles, there is a greater chance of snagging the moving date you want.
Hot summer weather means the contents of the moving truck can heat up quickly. Heat-sensitive items like vinyl records or paintings can be seriously damaged in higher temperatures.
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How to prepare for moving cross country in the winter
Relocating is always a big project. Relocating across the country during the winter adds extra complications.
Don’t worry; we’re here to help. Here are some essential tips for winter moving.
Create a moving binder
Your organizational skills are one of the fundamental factors for a successful move. By keeping all the important documentation and notes in one place—a moving binder—you will always know where to find them when you need them.
Moving cross country checklist
Checklists are some of the best tools you can use for relocating. You can create separate lists for different aspects of the move, including:
- Packing list
- Topics for further research
- Selling the old house to-do items
- Buying the new house to-do list
Making an inventory list of your important household items can help in two ways:
- You’ll have a clearer idea of what you own and how to pack it
- You can evaluate which items are worth letting go of and which are worth taking with you
If you’re moving to a warmer state, consider jettisoning your winter clothing before you pack. Why take it when you don’t need it?
Decluttering also has the advantage of saving you money by reducing your overall shipping weight.
Preparing for the winter move
First, keep an eye on the weather reports. If there is a big snowstorm on the way, you’ll want to know as soon as possible.
Clearing any snow the day before your big moving day will help ensure easier loading of all your things. Make sure to salt any walkways both before the move and after.
If there is a lot of precipitation forecast and you have belongings that might be damaged by snow, consider buying a folding or pop-up canopy to shelter your things before they’re loaded.
Consider putting down plastic sheets or some other kind of floor covering inside the house to protect them from slush, snow, and mud.
Cold weather packing
Any items you own that the cold might damage should be packed with extra care.
You can use extra blankets or towels to pack fragile items, as well as the standard bubble wrap. Slippery walking surfaces could mean a few dropped boxes.
Mattresses are susceptible to moisture that can accumulate in a moving truck—wrap them in a tight layer of plastic, then add a layer of bubble wrap.
When transporting appliances like a washer or fridge, ensure they are drained of water completely before loading them for transport.
Utilities in your new home
Triple-check to make sure that the utilities are going to be working in your new home. After moving cross country, the last thing you need to discover is that you don’t have the power for heating or cooking.
Layers of clothing are key
Working outside, each layer of clothing can trap extra warm air. However, you will quickly build up internal heat as you’re lifting boxes and furniture. Layers allow you to adjust your insulation to meet your activity level.
If you are moving to a warmer climate that day, your first layer can be ideal for warmer weather. As you move south, lose a layer of clothes as things warm up. By the time you’re at your new home, you won’t need to change.
Moving cross country in a car
Most families who relocate choose to take their car with them. When traveling such a long distance across the country, your car becomes integral to your move.
- Have the car serviced before the big move
- Pack a few blankets and extra food in case of emergencies
- Winterize your car (pack a shovel, first-aid kit, ice scraper, flares, and tire chains)
Don’t move across the country alone
You don’t have to move cross country alone. An experienced and compassionate lender like Homefinity can help you face this daunting task.
Many Americans moved out of state last year, and half chose to move to warmer climates down south. And no wonder—when you’ve shoveled your driveway one too many times, it’s easy to imagine why someone might choose to migrate to the southern states for good.
Homefinity knows what it’s like for their clients who move across the country. Our decades of combined experience with home loans have helped thousands of homebuyers leave the winter chill behind.
Plus, our cash-assurance program* is one of the best ways to raise the odds of securing the home you want for the price you want.
To get the best mortgage rates and the best mortgage product, talk to one of our loan officers.
Get started on the right foot and see what a professional and passionate mortgage lender can do for you.
*Homefinity Edge Pre-Approval is based on a full review of the borrower’s creditworthiness and is contingent upon there being no material changes in the borrower’s financial condition or creditworthiness at the time of final loan approval. Final loan approval is subject to the following conditions: (1) borrower has identified a suitable property, and a valid appraisal supports the proposed loan amount; (2) a valid title insurance binder has been issued; and (3) borrower selects a mortgage program and locks in an interest rate that will support the pre-approved monthly payment amount. Loan must close before the expiration date provided in the pre-approval. Offer not available on FHA, USDA, bond, or DPA programs. Sale of home proceeds contingency not allowed. Gifts not deposited are not allowed. Please note that submitting verifying documentation is not a requirement to receive an estimate of closing costs associated with a mortgage loan. Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation dba Homefinity. NMLS#2289. 4750 S. Biltmore Lane, Madison, WI 53718, 1-866-912-4800. Restrictions and limitations may apply. All rights reserved. Equal Housing Opportunity.
Photo by Mathias Reding