Moving can be a challenging task even on the best of days – not to mention the additional obstacles you face if it’s cold and snowy outside. These weather effects can increase the difficulty of each task and lead to an increased risk of damage to your property.
But, sometimes, a winter move is inevitable. Whatever the reason, we know how daunting it can be, so here is our guide for moving into or out of a mobile home in winter. Hopefully, this walk-through can take some of the strain out of the process.
What is the best season to move?
You know that some times of the year aren’t ideal. But is there ever a good time to move?
Generally, summer is the most popular season to move. The warm weather and school breaks mean it can be quite convenient. Plus, the days are longer too. It seems to be the best choice if you have school-age children.
However, there are some significant downsides. Movers will be busier and thus more expensive. And the heat and humidity can be uncomfortable as well.
According to experts, fall and spring can also be excellent seasons in which to move.
First of all, the weather is typically milder in both of these seasons. Aside from this, you can often snatch up some sales and moving deals in the fall. On the other hand, these months aren’t ideal for moving your children between schools.
Overall, most people avoid moving during the winter if they can, especially in the North where the weather can be quite harsh.
During these months, the roads will be more dangerous. For the same reason, walkways and sidewalks are also more hazardous. This can lead to slips and falls and, ultimately, damage to your goods.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Why should you move in winter?
First, there are some situations in which you might not have a choice.
It might happen, for example, if:
- Your rental contract has run out, and you need to find a new place.
- The mobile home you are living in has been sold.
- You need to relocate for a new job or school.
- The purchase of a new mobile home has gone through.
In cases like these, you will have to face the ice and snow with all your boxes in tow.
But it’s not all bad news. There are quite a few pros mixed in with the cons.
So without further ado, here are the positive reasons not why you should move during winter:
- Because it’s the off-season for moving, you might save loads on professional services. You can get discounts of up to 15%.
- Movers will be more available, especially if you live in a colder climate like Michigan. Therefore, they will be far more flexible when it comes to arranging a time and date.
- You could potentially get extra time and care from the moving service as they will be less rushed.
- Settling into your new house and routine could go more smoothly because this is often a quieter time of the year.
- Thanks to the holidays, you might have a few extra days off from work to unpack.
So, luckily, this move could turn out to be an excellent opportunity as long as you approach it with care.
Guide to moving in winter
Whatever the reason for your move, it’s good to take possible challenges into account and plan for them.
Aside from the treacherous roads and walkways, there are a few other potential issues to watch out for. One is physical discomfort for you, your family, your pets, and the movers. Another is that the days will be shorter so you could have less light to work with.
On top of this, snow, sleet, and rain can damage your furniture and belongings.
That’s why you must follow a well-thought-out process. Let’s look at the steps you can take to streamline a winter move.
1 – Start prepping early
This first step is also one of the most important. Rushing into a move is a bad idea at any time of the year – but even more so in winter. The best way to make relocating during December or January a success is by doing proper planning beforehand.
You should start preparing as soon as you know you’re going to move. This step involves:
- Working out a timeline
- Starting to pack
- Gathering supplies
- Looking for services
2 – Create a timeline
Next, you want to set up a timeline for yourself. Doing this can help get everyone in the household on board. But it can also help you make sure you’re on track. You can reduce much of the stress this way.
The timeline should include:
- The time and date of the move.
- A breakdown of when you’re going to pack what. (Plus, include when you need to be done packing by).
- The deadlines for each step.
Choose a day where you know you will be able to dedicate yourself to the task, and, if possible, even get some help. Typically, you should arrange to do the work earlier in the day so that you have enough time to complete the move before it gets dark.
3 – Arrange for movers
Often, people decide to forego hiring professional movers to save their pockets. But during winter we strongly recommend that you hire a service to help you. Experienced and skilled hands can make all the difference if conditions become dicey.
They can help you with the heavy lifting and will know how to navigate tricky situations while keeping everyone and all your belongings safe.
Pro tip: A week before the big day, call the movers and double-check that they have booked you for the right date and time.
4 – Plan B
Unfortunately, the unique challenges of winter weather can make moving on a specific day nearly impossible. A winter storm like a blizzard can stop all your plans in their tracks. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan in case you need to reschedule the move.
You could work this out from the start. Or you might decide to simply start with a Plan A but keep some options open for forming a Plan B later. In this case, keep a close eye on the weather conditions and immediately act if you see a threat looming.
Contact your moving company to see if they have any terms or policies in place for emergencies. They might be willing to postpone the move.
You also have to check in with your landlord or real estate agent if you need to stay longer than planned.
5 – Pack your belongings
You want to start packing up all your possessions well in advance. During winter, it isn’t as simple as putting everything in a box. No, you need to prepare for the possibility of freezing temperatures and precipitation.
So first off, you need to waterproof everything as much as possible. To do this, you can use or try the following:
- Use plastic bins instead of cardboard boxes.
- Put things in plastic bags.
- Store electronics in waterproof containers like these.
- Wrap items in plastic wrap or bubble wrap.
- Use waterproof labels.
- Invest in plastic sheets to cover your furniture.
- Ask your moving company to use a closed truck.
Aside from this, you need to take extra care with breakable items like ceramics, glass, and dishware. Typically, these are susceptible to temperature changes and, as a result, can crack or even break.
Therefore, it can help to insulate them by wrapping their containers in thick blankets. You could also load them last and unload them first to reduce the time they spend in the cold.
Overall, you should consider transporting particularly vulnerable items in your car.
6 – Winter supplies
Another measure you can take is to pack some winter supplies. You should pack them in their own container and keep them in your car while you travel. These essentials can be handy in an emergency and can help you settle in when you arrive at the new home.
Here are some ideas for what to pack:
- Sleeping bags and pillows
- Extra clothing, particularly jackets
- Hats, gloves, and scarves
- Snow boots and socks
- FIrst-aid kit
- Road salt
- Windshield scrapers
- Snacks and bottled water
- Cell phone chargers
- Emergency contact details
7 – Sort out the utilities
You really don’t want to arrive at the new mobile home to find that the electricity or water has been shut off. A month or so before the move, call the utility provider and arrange with them to transfer the accounts and to make sure it’s all set up.
Besides this, you should confirm that everything is up and running a couple of days before the move. If you can, go to the new property and turn on the heat and water so that you won’t be stuck in the cold when you arrive. Your frozen toes and fingers will thank you.
Turn the lights on as well and replace any bulbs if needed.
8 – Winterize the homes
Long term mobile homeowners will already know how vital it is to winterize a mobile home. It’s a process that you need to repeat each year before winter comes around.
The main goals for this are to stop cold air entering the house, prevent hot air from escaping, and protect pipes and plumbing from freezing and damage. In doing this, you’re protecting your property and keeping yourself warm and cozy inside.
So if you’re moving in winter, you need to check that your current mobile home, as well as the new one, has been adequately prepped.
Typically, it would be the responsibility of the current occupants or landlord to take care of this. But it’s a good idea to include clear responsibility for performing this task in any agreements you come to.
The following are typical steps in winterization:
- Someone should loosen the tie downs.
- The furnace needs to be serviced.
- Doors and windows need to be sealed properly.
- The water supply to outdoor faucets and taps need to be switched off.
- You need to repair any holes or gaps in the skirting, siding, or roof.
We recommend that you confirm the mobile home’s condition a few weeks before you plan to move to ensure that you have enough time to sort things out if necessary.
9 – Preparing both sites for the move
Aside from general winterization, you want to prepare the home specifically for the move.
First, you want to make the walkways and driveways as safe as you possibly can. Either hire someone or scrape all the snow and ice away yourself. Trust us. You don’t want to risk anyone slipping and falling.
You should clear away any miscellaneous debris like dead leaves, too. And if necessary, reach for some salt and sand to sprinkle where needed.
Second, you should protect your floors. More likely than not, there will be some moisture outside. You don’t want people to track water or even worse salt and sand into the mobile homes. So instead, lay down mats or old towels in the doorways.
Preferably, you should make sure that the parking area and roadways in front of your home are clear. This will help you to make things go as smoothly as possible.
10 – Travel arrangements
Driving in winter can always be hazardous. When you are moving, you need to take all the precautions you normally would. Inspect the tread and pressure of the tires. And scrape away any ice and snow on the windshield.
If there is enough time, you might even take your car to a repair shop to be serviced beforehand.
Usually, a reputable moving company will make sure their trucks are ready. But it won’t hurt to ask them about it.
Lastly, you should work out the route you’re going to travel by and determine alternatives in case of bad weather.
11 – Keeping warm
Finally, when the day arrives, you need to make sure that you dress warmly. Layers are key. Get out those gloves, scarves, and beanies. You will be spending quite some time outdoors, and you don’t want to catch a chill.
At the end of the day, everyone will be craving a hot chocolate or a cup of coffee. So pack enough for you and the movers to enjoy some refreshments during the day. This will help everyone keep their strength up and warm their limbs.
Safe from the cold
Moving between mobile homes during winter doesn’t need to be a nightmare. Yes, there are challenges ahead. But this is true any time you are relocating. All you need to do is plan ahead and make sure you’re moving into a house that has been winterized and that will keep you cozy and happy.