We could tell you that moving in the winter in Madison is challenging. We could also tell you that it’s messy. But, why would we? If you’re a native you’re not afraid of winter weather; in fact, you celebrate it.

Moving during winter in Madison is, however, a bit different than your typical spring or summer move, and if you aren’t using a professional moving company (something to consider since they typically discount their prices in the winter), you’ll no doubt need some tips to get the process done safely, smoothly and successfully.

1. Pack an essentials box

You’ll need a box or bag full of essentials and a spare spot in the trunk of your car for items that you may need during the move and during the first few hours in the new home. Leave the box in your car or somewhere in the home where it won’t inadvertently get loaded onto the moving truck. Pack the following items:

  •          Old towels or rags to mop up wet floors.
  •          Winter accessories, such as an ice scraper, shovel (goes in the spare spot in your trunk) and salt to clear a safe pathway to the new house.
  •          Dry clothing, including shoes or boots and socks.
  •          Snacks, especially if you have kids.
  •          Pet food and bowl (who wants to have to rummage through boxes when the dog is hungry?).
  •          Toilet paper.
  •          A shower curtain and hooks, towels, soap and toiletries, such as shampoo and deodorant (think how good a steaming hot shower will feel after the last box is brought into the home).
  •          Medications you take daily.
  •          The coffee maker, filters, coffee and cocoa and cups (to warm up the helpers).
  •          A small safe or lockbox for your valuables

2. Figure out where to stash the pets and kids

Moving when it’s raining or snowing is work that needs to be done quickly and if you have kids and pets you understand how hard it is to get anything done quickly with them underfoot. Find a sitter for the kids and a boarding kennel for the pets so that you can remain distraction-free and devote all of your attention to getting your belongings out of the house and onto the truck as quickly as possible.

3. Check the weather forecast and current road conditions

Keep updated on the weather by installing a weather app on your phone. WKOW offers 27 StormTrack and you can download it here. Download WISC’s weather app here. You can also get travel and road condition information from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Minnesota 511 Wisconsin app, available for Apple here, or android, here, or bookmark the website.

4. Protect the floors

The floors in both homes will need some protection from the movers’ muddy feet and there are a number of ways to provide this. Use thick cardboard and tape the edges to the floor to prevent slippage and tripping. You can also use tarps, plastic sheeting and drop cloths. Tape these to the floor as well.

5. Buy lots of shrink wrap

The best way to protect your electronics from the elements during a move is to wrap them first in bubble wrap, taped securely all around. Then, wrap them in moving blankets to insulate them from the cold, box them up and wrap the box with shrink wrap.

6. At the new house

It will be tempting to set up the washer and dryer right away to get all those wet and muddy clothes out of the way, but don’t do it. Appliance manufacturers suggest that you wait between 12 and 24 hours before connecting them to allow any remaining moisture to drain and for the appliances to come to room temperature. “Trying to wash clothes while this water is frozen can damage your appliance,” cautions Edward Melton, VP Relocation Services and Marketing with Stevens Worldwide Van Lines.

The same holds true for the dryer, Stevens says. “The igniters and heating elements become brittle when exposed to freezing temperatures. The sudden temperature change caused when you turn on the dryer can damage internal parts.”

Give your electronics time to warm up before using as well. PC manufacturers call this process “acclimation,” and claim that damage may occur when warm air meets a cold electronic device.



Posted by Jolenta Averill on
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