Moving is hard under normal circumstances!

Trying to accomplish the same thing during an unplanned blizzard or extended cold snap can be especially grueling for everyone unfortunate enough to be challenged by the circumstances.

The ice, snow, freezing temperatures and slick surfaces that accompany Ol’ Man Winter when he blows into town usually present some unique – and frequently unexpected – financial and logistical hurdles for those involved in any type of local or long distance relocation.

That’s one of the primary reasons so many people plan to move during the warmer summer months.  Often, however, many families are forced by necessity try to take advantage of holiday school breaks to accomplish their move.

Understanding how the moving process changes during colder months won’t solve the problem but may help alleviate some of the frustration. Here’ a short list of things you should consider if planning your relocation during the winter.

The customer is responsible for the safe access and egress of the moving crew and the vehicle being used to transport their goods. Essentially this means that all roadways, walkways, stairs and equipment being used to accomplish the relocation must be allowed to operate unencumbered.

This applies whether you’re using family, friends or a hired crew to accomplish the move or paying professional movers to complete the job. Not only must the roadways and parking area be cleared of ice and snow, but so must the pathway between your residence and the vehicle.

Many courts have found negligent homeowners responsible when they haven’t taken the proper precautions or implemented the necessary safeguards to protect workers from ‘slip-and-fall’ type accidents.

Delays in pickup and/or delivery caused by adverse winter conditions are considered ‘Acts of God’ and are usually NOT subject to delay or inconvenience reimbursement by professional movers or relocation service providers.

Foot traffic will soil and possibly damage some flooring surfaces. Wet, muddy shoes and boots exposed to harsh chemical deicers can quickly ruin unprotected floors and carpets. Make sure some type of adequate floor protection is applied before starting. Clean any areas that become dirty as soon as possible.

It takes longer to move during the winter. It is much more difficult for workers to wrap, roll, lift, carry or transport household furniture items when they’re bundled in winter garb or operating in hazardous winter conditions. Extreme cold requires more energy which means laborers may need more frequent breaks to retain their stamina.

And don’t forget that during the winter you don’t have as much natural daylight to accomplish the task of loading and unloading.  This can affect worker performance, particularly if you’ve already had the utilities shut off.

Make sure to thoroughly dry everything that’s been exposed to moisture. This is especially important if the items will be stored for an extended period of time. Otherwise unexpected (and potentially unhealthy) mold and mildew can eventually contaminate all household goods in the immediate vicinity.

It can cost more to move during the winter. Especially if you’re paying for a local move by the hour. Not only can equipment rental, travel, and labor charges increase because of the longer amount of time required, but the expense of snow and ice removal can quickly add unexpected costs to your relocation budget.

All the regular rules apply when looking for a reputable moving company to move you during the cold winter months. Make sure your moving company has a valid DOT number, learn how to protect yourself against a moving scam, and if things go wrong, see how to file a complaint against your mover.

What’s the best part about moving during the winter? You don’t sweat as much and you get to enjoy a hot toddy in your new home when the job is done!