Is cold weather moving in right when you are moving out? There’s no need to be a scrooge about your winter move. Here are five tips to make it as hassle free as possible:

1. Prepare for the elements.

Check the weather report daily in the week leading up to your move. You don’t want to be caught off guard by a snowstorm or below-average temperatures.

If you are embarking on a long-distance move, get your cars serviced prior to the move—moving is stressful enough without having to deal with a disabled vehicle. It’s also a good idea to pack an emergency kit in each car with necessities like jumper cables, flashlights, ice scrapers, sand (for tire traction), and blankets.

2. Don’t pack everything.

Don’t box up all of your winter weather gear and supplies; keep some available for moving day. Make sure you have the proper clothing ready for the move, including hats, gloves, coats, and boots. You’ll also want a shovel or snow blower available to clear the driveway and entranceways at both your starting and ending destinations. You also might consider putting sheets and tarps down in your vehicles and/or truck rental to keep them clean of slush and water.

3. Adjust the thermostat.

Carefully time when you turn off utilities at your old home and turn them on at your new place. Your old place should have the heat on for moving day, and your new home should already be warm when you and your belongings arrive.

4. Protect cold-sensitive items.

Be aware that some electronics—especially flat-screen TVs—are not made to be stored in sub-freezing temperatures. If you know there are going to be extreme temperatures, it’s advisable to store cold-sensitive items in a heated vehicle rather than the back of a truck. Prior to moving day, you should check the operating manuals of your electronics to find out each device’s ideal temperature range. If you do end up leaving electronics in the cold, let them warm up for at least 24 hours prior to use so that any condensation can evaporate.

5. Secure enough help.

If you are planning a do-it-yourself move, get as much help as possible; the faster you can move your items, the less time your generous friends and family members are exposed to the cold. You also might consider hiring help. Winter is typically an ideal time to hire movers because it is part of the industry’s off-peak season. Consequently, moving companies may offer lower rates and have more availability and flexibility in scheduling. Professional movers should have the gear, equipment, and experience necessary to tackle your move in the elements, which means you don’t have to worry about carrying and protecting your belongings when it’s freezing outside.

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Sources: American Moving & Storage Association; FEMA/Ready Campaign; GlobalPost; Veterans United Network.

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