Packing up a house and putting a thousand-and-one fiddly affairs in order before a move can be a daunting proposition even when the days are long and plentiful rays of energising sunshine are at hand to keep us going and top up our morale. Add to that clement temperatures and the feelgood vibes of spring and summer and it’s no wonder that people might prefer to up sticks between May and September rather than in the bleak midwinter. But we don’t always have a say in how things pan out, especially if our move is dependent on making a sale and being part of a chain. Sometimes, no matter what mitigating steps we put in place, a winter move is just our lot and we just have to accept it, rather than rail against it. There are, at least, things that everyone can do to make it a little easier, even when we’re living in the time of Covid. Here’s our Master Removers guide to winter moving made easier.
Start planning a bit earlier
Your move may be beset by snow and ice, depending on which part of the country you’re living in or moving to. It could be interrupted by the enforced slow-down of the festive season. Or you may simply find that you’re more sluggish at this time of year; you don’t have to have a case of Seasonal Affective Disorder to find the winter months a little heavy-going on the energy banks. Putting plans into place sooner rather than later is the best possible approach – but also consider structuring your days so that the heavy-lifting and hard work are accomplished before 4pm and you’re not left doing it in the dark, damp and gloom.
Don’t leave utilities to chance
Of course, this advice applies no matter what time of year you’re moving. But it’s even more vital in winter. Who wants to arrive at a new home and face days, let alone nights, without heating? Almost certainly, no one. So make doubly sure you’ve taken over the various power supplies in your new property and that they’re all up and running before moving day. If you’re moving somewhere especially chilly or remote, you could even arrange, either via agents or the previous owners, for heating to come on before you arrive.
Think of which items are vulnerable to the cold
Some of the things you’re packing up probably suffer from increased vulnerability to low temperatures. Such items include, but are not limited to: plants; liquids, china and certain types of furniture (for example, you may have chairs or tables with the kind of finish that is susceptible to cracking). Double-pack brittle, fragile items. If you’re going on a long, icy journey, don’t even bother taking things like old bottles of bleach that could freeze and then crack. Just buy new when you get there.
With people traipsing in and out during what can be a wet, icy and slushy season, floors are more in danger than ever of becoming marked and damaged. Floor runners and cardboard should, ideally, be put in place by your moving team to make sure no carpet or floor comes to unnecessary harm. If you’re not using a reputable moving company or are doing the move entirely on your own, don’t forget this important step.
Keeping safe from Covid
With ever-changing advice, regional lockdowns and an anticipated second spike of coronavirus, it’s vital not to forget the risks posed by the pandemic. Many restrictions on moving were lifted in summer and it’s become confusing to keep up with the various measures and half-measures. Keep yourself apprised of advice being issued by local authorities, both where you currently live and where you’re planning to move. Moving will almost certainly involve prolonged sharing of space with moving-company personnel – take all the usual precautions, including the wearing of masks, so that you don’t come away with more than you bargained for but can instead get on with enjoying winter in your new home.
Of course, it pretty much goes without saying that for a winter move you’ll want to dress accordingly. Do that – as well as following the points outlined above – and there’s absolutely no reason why your winter move shouldn’t be a success. And, finally, be even more conscientious than usual about change-of-address cards – what could be more miserable than moving in and then finding out that all your Christmas cards have been sent to your old home?