Given the choice, most people would opt to move house during the summer, when days are warm and long, and many people have time off from work or school. But with property transactions in the UK often taking several months, and throwing up plenty of unpredictability, you can never plan exactly when you will complete on your new home.
This means you might end up moving in winter, which can present certain challenges. So check out our tips for packing and moving house in winter.
1. Plan ahead
If you know that it’s likely your transaction will complete over the winter, it’s extra important to make sure you have gas and electricity surveys done on your new home ahead of time, to make sure you will have heat and light available straight away when you move in.
You definitely don’t want to arrive at your new home in freezing temperatures to find the heating doesn’t work properly.
2. Schedule carefully
Days are shorter in winter, and it can be dark by 4pm at the height of the season. This means that you have fewer daylight hours at your disposal come moving day, so work with your removals team to plan a careful schedule for the day.
Bear in mind too, that while winter is the off season for removals – and you may manage to secure a lower price than in summer – prices can rise and availability can plummet around Christmas. So, if you’re likely to move in December, make sure you book your removals in good time.
3. Invest in sturdy supplies
Make sure you have good packing materials to hand, to protect your belongings from cold temperatures and other elements.
Consider using plastic boxes or other strong containers rather than just cardboard boxes, which might collapse when wet. Consider investing in blankets and plastic sheeting to help protect your items too.
4. Think about your floors
Winter brings with it rain, snow, slush and often salt underfoot, and it’s easy for all this to be transferred inside both your old home and your new one during moving day.
Put down coverings to protect your floors from all the various feet that will be traipsing in and out over the course of the day.
5. Plan for delays
Poor weather has a tendency to cause problems on the roads.
Plan extra travel time into your moving day schedule, especially if you are travelling a fair distance. Check traffic and road conditions before you and the removals team set off to make sure you avoid hold-ups where possible.
6. Clear walkways
Prioritise safety during your winter move by making sure that paths and walkways are clear of ice, snow, slippery leaves or other potential hazards.
Take extra care when carrying or moving furniture and equipment, and take your time to avoid accidents.
7. Consider the kids
If you’re moving house with kids, consider whether they can be elsewhere during the day itself – moving can be both stressful and boring for children.
If they will be present during the move, make sure they’re kitted out in warm, waterproof clothing, and think about a warm, safe spot they can wait at various stages of the day.
For advice about buying, selling and moving house, call Carter & May today.