If you’re planning to move from the Seattle-Tacoma area during winter, you’ll need to prepare extensively. Successful completion of a winter relocation requires a few additional steps that you may not need to worry about during spring, summer, and autumn relocations.


Although extra preparation is necessary, moving during winter isn’t as bad as it might seem. Not only can you save money when hiring professional movers and packers, but you’ll also compete with far less traffic during the transport process.


If you need some snowy-weather moving advice, our team at Ed’s Moving & Storage is always here to help. Below, we’re sharing useful tips that can help make your winter move as smooth and stress-free as possible.


Start Planning Your Move as Early as Possible

Contrary to popular opinion, winter can be a great time to move. Not only can you secure your preferred move dates due to lower demand but you may also get a better moving rate for the same reason. And of course, you’ll completely avoid heat-related damage to your belongings and health complications like dehydration that can arise during labor-intensive summer relocations.


Although winter can be an excellent time to move, changing homes during any season can be super stressful. So to minimize stress and overwhelm, take steps to prepare for your relocation as early as possible. Here’s what you should know to get the process started.


Begin Planning Eight Weeks Out

If you plan on hiring professional movers and packers, it’s best to start vetting moving companies at least six weeks before your intended move date.


Since the holidays can disrupt normal business schedules, it may be even better to begin the process seven to eight weeks before you move. Check out our eight-week moving checklist for a helpful timeline and tips.


We always recommend hiring a moving company about six weeks before the date you plan to relocate. Scheduling moving services far in advance when movers have plenty of time slots available will give you a better chance of securing your ideal move date.


Declutter and Downsize Early

It doesn’t make any sense to pack and transport stuff you don’t really need. That’s especially true if you’re hiring movers for a long-distance relocation since the cost of your move will be based on the total weight of your shipment.


If you don’t use it now, chances are you won’t use it after you move, either. So before you start getting moving estimates, sort through your things and get rid of what you don’t need. The more you sell, donate, or toss, the cheaper and more efficient your move will ultimately be.


Need help? Check out our guide to decluttering and downsizing before a move.


Give Yourself Plenty of Time for Delays

Fewer hours of daylight and poor driving conditions often result in moving delays during winter. And if you don’t plan for potential delays, they can throw off your entire move schedule, resulting in unnecessary stress and overwhelm.


That’s why it’s so important to build in some additional time to accommodate potential environmental hangups. You might end up needing that time, but it’s in your best interest to plan for it just in case you do.


When determining the amount of time you need to complete your move, be realistic. Portions of the moving process that might take just a few hours in summer could take a full day in winter, depending on outdoor conditions. So be flexible.


Allow plenty of time for the transportation of your belongings, and don’t forget to plan for unpredictable weather. If a sudden snowstorm develops, it could delay your move by several hours or even days until the roads are clear. You may even end up arriving at your new home well before your movers do.


Get a Rough Time Estimate From a Moving Company

If you’re unsure how much time you need to complete a winter relocation, don’t hesitate to consult with the moving company you select. A long-standing Seattle moving company should have several years of experience performing winter relocations and should be able to provide an accurate time estimate for planning purposes.


Consider Pre-Shipping Some Essentials

With the potential for transport delays during winter, you may want to think about shipping some of your must-have items to your new home. That’s especially true if you’re flying to your destination or moving to a place where you can pre-ship boxes to a local friend's or family member's address.


Shipping a few boxes of must-have items before you move can ensure you won’t be without those things if your movers get delayed. If you’re driving to your destination and have the cargo room, you could also pack and transport those items in your personal vehicle.


Take the Appropriate Safety Precautions

Snow and ice present significant safety hazards during the loading, transport, and unloading process of any winter move. As such, it’s imperative that you ensure both job sites are properly prepared to provide a safe working environment for you and your professional movers and packers.


What should you do to help prevent bodily injury or damage to your belongings during your winter relocation? Start with the following tips:


Clear Ice and Snow From Walkways

Remove snow and ice from all outdoor walkways and stairwells you plan to use during the move. Sprinkle de-icer wherever you anticipate outdoor foot traffic to ensure those areas don’t develop ice on your move day.


Apply Floor Protection

Roll up rugs and lay down floor protection in the home you’re moving out of, as well as inside your new home. This will help prevent slips, falls, and injuries caused by walking through areas that would normally have puddles of melting snow.


Clear Indoor Walkways

Ensure all walkways are completely clear to allow your movers and packers to perform their job efficiently and safely. Move any items that might get in the way into rooms adjacent to the walkways to prevent accidents. Remove any wall decor as well to prevent accidental damage.


Wear Non-Slip Footwear

It’s very important that you make sure you don non-slip footwear on your move day to help prevent slips and falls. Most snow boots have non-slip soles, but if you don’t have non-slip winter footwear, consider purchasing a pair. Alternatively, you can rub the soles of your shoes with coarse-grit sandpaper for about 15 seconds to make them more slip-resistant.


Check Tire Tread (Use Snow Tires if Necessary)

In addition to preparing both job sites for a safe move, you’ll also need to ensure you prepare for a safe transport process. Make sure your tires are in good condition, and if you have a two-wheel-drive vehicle, consider opting for studded snow tires for extra traction on the road.


Watch the Weather Closely

As your move day approaches, keep a close eye on the weather so you know about potential complications or delays in advance. If it looks like road conditions will be poor, don’t balk at altering your transport route.


A longer commute to your new home might be somewhat inconvenient, but when safety is at stake, convenience takes a backseat to precaution. 


Looking for Professional Moving Services Near Tacoma?

Planning a winter relocation? Need an experienced team of professional movers and packers to get the job done safely? Make Ed’s Moving & Storage your first call. Since 1958, we’ve proudly served the moving needs of residents throughout Seattle, Tacoma, and the surrounding metro area.


To get a preliminary moving estimate or learn more about how we can help you, call our Tacoma office today at 253-581-2446. You can also request a quick moving quote online, and get in touch promptly with more information!