The signs of fall and winter are beginning to show in Vancouver, BC. The days are getting shorter, and the temperature is starting to dip. Fortunately, it doesn’t get as cold and nasty here as in the rest of Canada. However, winter moving in Vancouver does still have its challenges.
If you want your Vancouver winter move to go smoothly, it’s best to make a plan and be prepared. Moving during the summer months can have its own challenges, but moving when the Vancouver weather is cold and unpredictable can be stressful and even dangerous.
Here are 10 Tips for Winter Moving in Vancouver
- Be Flexible
The weather in Vancouver can be unpredictable in winter; clear one day and pouring down rain or snow the next. In the weeks or days leading up to your Vancouver winter move, keep a close eye on the forecast for potential conditions.
If there’s a rain or snowstorm coming on the day of your move, you may want to contact your moving company and reschedule. This may actually be more likely because of their lighter workload in the winter. After all, they don’t want to be out there during a storm any more than you do!
- Safety First
During those rare times when there’s snow in Vancouver, shovel your driveway and walkways before moving. If it’s cold and wet, you’ll need to salt these areas. Once the ice has melted be sure to sweep away the salt so you don’t track it into the house as you move.
Use floor runners to keep stairs, entrances and other high-traffic areas covered. This will keep your floors and carpets from getting stained. You don’t want to get hurt or add extra work and costs to your winter move!
If you’re doing a self-move, make sure your vehicle is prepared to make the move in wet or icy conditions. Be sure you’ve got all-season or snow tires, check your windshield fluid level and even bring tire chains and a shovel. You don’t want to be caught in a storm without a vehicle that’s prepared for winter moving in Vancouver.
If you choose to go with professional movers, the team at Robust Move has extensive experience with winter driving and all the right techniques to move your belongings safely.
- Protect Your Items
Be prepared for rain or snow by ensuring you have enough tarps and plastic to cover your items while they’re outside. If you have a garage, try to stage your belongings there before the final move to the truck. If you’re doing a self-move with a pickup truck, be sure you tarp everything securely.
Moving trucks are not heated! Cold temperatures can affect the items you need to move. Plastic items can become more brittle and items with water or fluids in them can freeze. Be sure to empty things like clothes irons before your winter move.
Unplug electronic items 24 hours before moving and allow them to remain unplugged for 24 hours after you arrive at your new home as well. Electronic components are sensitive to massive temperature changes and should be normalized to ensure the cold won’t damage your devices.
Some house plants are also very sensitive to cold and need to be protected. Place plants in a see-through plastic bag, and put the whole thing in an open-top moving box.
Some wooden items can shrink in extremely cold temperatures. If you purchase furniture you need to assemble yourself at your new home, allow it to warm up before you put it together. This will ensure a tight fit that won’t loosen later on.
At Robust Move, they provide Packing Services to help ensure your items are packed safely and securely for winter moving in Vancouver.
- Try to Get a Good Price
With winter moving in Vancouver you may have to take extra precautions, but you might be able to get a good deal on the move. Winter isn’t a popular time of year to move, and most movers tend to give deals on their prices. Ask your mover if they offer off-season discounts and take advantage if they do.
- Turn utilities on immediately
When you move into a new home in the summer you can wait until the day of the move to call the utility companies to make sure the heat and gas are turned on. If you’re without heat for a day or two while they switch your account over it’s not such a big deal. When you’re making a winter move in Vancouver, you’ll want to make sure the heat is fully functioning before you move in!
Call the utility company a week before the move to make sure everything is turned on and ready to go. You may even want to stop in a few days in advance to check the temperature and make sure the water is running smoothly
6. Proper Clothing
Check the weather on the day of the big move, and dress accordingly. If there is a serious wind chill, make sure to wear warm jackets, hats, gloves and boots to stay warm.
If you’re doing a self-move you’ll be back and forth to the truck numerous times, so it’s best to be dressed for the weather. Warm waterproof boots that won’t slip are essential when carrying large, heavy items.
7. Occupy the Kids and Pets
Kids and pets can be a lot to look after during winter moving in Vancouver. With the potential for cold, nasty weather, it’s best to remove kids and pets from the situation entirely. Make plans with friends or family well in advance, and drop them off for the day to ensure things go smoothly and safely.
Moving during a school day, or dropping the kids and fur babies off at grandma’s house will make your moving day go much easier and safer!
8. Make Sure Your New Home is Set up for Unpacking
Just like you did with your previous home, make sure the driveway and walkways are clear and ice-free. Lay down floor protection before you start moving your belongings into your new home.
Since it starts getting dark a lot earlier in the winter, plan the timing to unpack your things. If you have to unload in the dark, make sure to check exterior lighting in advance to make sure it’s all working. Hanging lights and headlamps are both great ways to light your way to a safe after-dark move.
9. Take Care of Your Movers
Winter moving in Vancouver can be much more difficult than in summer, so it’s very likely you will hire professionals to do the job. They are far more experienced with winter moves than you are, so they’re better equipped to deal with the many challenges that come up.
To show them you appreciate all their hard work, make a pot of coffee or hot chocolate to warm them up when they need a break. You should also tip them more than you typically would during a summer move. They will definitely appreciate it, and a happy worker is a good worker!
10. Plastic Containers and Mattress Bags
You or your movers will have a few minutes of walking between the house and the truck. On a rainy or snowy day, using cardboard boxes is not recommended. Your clothes, books, dry food, or linens can easily get wet. The best way to protect them is by using reusable plastic boxes.
Your mattresses are expensive and essential items that you want to protect from the elements while you move. It only takes a few drops of rain to get a mattress wet enough to develop mold. Purchase plastic covers for not only all the mattresses in the house but all the upholstered furniture as well. These covers are available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes and are cheap in comparison to the price of a new mattress or sofa.
At Robust Move they can supply you with Plastic Boxes to keep your items dry throughout the whole moving process. If you need to get rid of an old sofa or mattress, they do provide Junk Removal Service as well.
We hope these tips for winter moving in Vancouver were helpful!
At Robust Move we understand the challenges and worries you might be facing with a winter move. It may be the first time for you and you don’t know what to expect. Using these tips can take away the guesswork and keep you safe.
Robust Move has the experience and expertise to help make your Vancouver winter move smooth, comfortable and stress-free. Our team has the right equipment, and they’ve done it all before.
We hope you consider using our services this winter to get you to your new home safely!