Whether you’re moving in Chicago or the suburbs, moving during the winter months requires extra planning to ensure that the show still goes on successfully, despite any inclement weather.
Here are five tips to ensure your Chicago winter move goes smoothly:
Organize and Seal in Plastic
Before you pack any boxes, line them with plastic garbage bags first, then put in your items. That way, if the box has to sit on the ground on a day when it rains or snows, your items won’t be damaged. You should also tag all of your boxes. Whether that means boxes are color-coded or you have some other tried and true method, it helps simplify the move when everything is in order. When the skies threaten to open up outside your new home, you don’t want to waste valuable time trying to figure out which box goes where.
Clear a Path
Make sure to have the driveways and walkways shoveled and sanded (by putting down rock salt) at both ends of your move. The key is to prevent injuries, and to make sure the process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible. Make the driveway entrance as wide as you possibly can, as moving vans require a wider turning radius than passenger vehicles. If you have items located in a lower level that have to be removed from an exit at the rear, make sure to shovel and sand that walkway as well. If you’re moving in a condo or apartment building, let the landlord know your moving schedule in advance so he can make arrangements to shovel and salt driveways and walkways.
Keep Towels Handy and Cover Floors
Even though pieces might be exposed to the elements for just a few minutes, it’s important if it’s raining or snowing to have towels on hand to wipe off furniture as soon as an item is moved in. Not everything you own will be wrapped in plastic, so if you can just towel things off, you have a much better chance of preventing damage. Lay down particle boards in the main entryway, both to prevent the floor from being slippery as movers are carrying heavy furniture and to keep your hardwood floors or carpet as clean as possible.
Consider the Cold Moving Van
Depending on how far movers have to travel, your belongings could potentially be in a cold moving van for a lengthy period of time. Ask the moving company in advance about specific packing materials for items, such as wood products, that could face potential damage if left in cold weather for a long time. Do not pack or allow anything that is liquid to be loaded into the van. Liquids can freeze and the contents could damage your belongings when the container expands and breaks.
Insure the Move
When bad weather is at bay, moving insurance is critical. If you use a moving company, make sure they have insurance and liability, as damage to furniture or injuries to movers can occur much more easily in foul weather.