Moving in the Winter

Moving during any time of the year can be stressful, but it is even more stressful to relocate your company during the cold winter months. Between all the snow, the freezing cold temperatures, wind, sleet, and ice, moving during the winter is a challenge. Since moving during the cold months is not the most ideal situation, consider offering your employees a hardship allowance so your employees feel appreciated for staying with you through this stressful transition. To help make moving in the winter easier for your business and your employees, take a look at these 18 moving tips for business relocation.

1. Start Packing Early

It is a wise idea to not wait until moving day, or close to it, to start packing up your belongings. Make sure your employees know how it will be much easier for not only them but everyone involved in the move, if they pack as soon as they can and not at the last minute. Packing ASAP is sometimes easier said than done, but it is an important step to take to make sure the moving process runs smoothly. Be sure to make your employees aware of your relocation packages before the move and inform them of how important it is to pack early for this transition of moving in the winter.

2.  Prepare the Outside for Winter Moving

Before the moving trucks come and the movers begin to transfer everyone’s belongings into the truck, be sure the outside of your building and your employees homes are safe. This means to make sure any snow is shoveled so there is a path wide enough for the movers to get by with your things. Also, use ice melt so the path is not slippery and nobody falls and gets hurt. The last thing you want is for someone to get hurt or for any fragile items to get broken.

3. Confirm All Details With the Moving Company

Winter is the off-season for most moving companies, so you should have a large range of dates available to book your move. Be sure to check in with the moving company you choose about a week before the move and also a couple of days before the move to ensure everything is still scheduled and going to happen. Winter weather conditions could change the date of your move, so it is a good idea to check in again if there is a storm coming.

4. Check the Utilities at the New Building and Homes

Since you are doing your office relocation in the winter, it is extremely important to make sure all utilities are going to work when you arrive at the new building and you all arrive at your new homes. It would be terrible to arrive and no heat or lights is working. All utilities should be turned on at least two days before the move.

5. Have Blankets and Towels Available

Before the movers arrive, you should have any extra blankets or towels available to use for fragile items when they are being moved. What if it starts snowing or sleeting and the movers do not have enough blankets to wrap the desks up when moving from the building to the truck? It is good to have these on hand just in case you need them to protect your furniture.

6. Protect Your Belongings from Harsh Weather Conditions

If you or your employees are using portable storage containers to store any breakable items, like dishes or glasses, it is necessary to pack them properly so they don’t break or crack. Shipping household goods properly is important to ensure that fragile items do not break. These types of fragile items, like dishes and glasses, are more prone to breaking in cold weather, so be sure to double wrap them in thick blankets so they don’t break when transitioning from warm to cold.

7.  Set Up Your New Home and Office Space for Unpacking

Just like you did with your previous home and building, make sure all walkways and driveways are shoveled and that there is no ice. So you don’t make a mess out of the new place, lay down protection on the floors so the movers can get your belongings from the truck to inside the building without making a mess or sliding from their shoes being wet.

8. Keep Any Essentials for Winter With You

In case you and your employees are waiting for a while for the movers to move everything in, you should have your winter coat, hat, gloves, and boots available to wear so you don’t freeze! Knowing how to pack winter coats for moving is an essential skill when relocating during the winter. If all of those items got packed and were stuck on the moving truck, you would be uncomfortable and cold.

9. Put Your Pets in a Kennel

If you or your employees have any pets, it is a good idea to check them into a kennel so they stay warm and aren’t put through the stress of moving. Many dogs and cats experience a lot of anxiety when moving. Besides being stressed, you don’t want your pets out in the cold the day of the move.

10. Warm Up

Have a crockpot full of hot chocolate or hot apple cider heating up at your building for you, your employees, and the movers. Moving in the winter is difficult, especially when it’s snowing or so cold that you can’t feel your fingers. The movers have the worst of it, having to cart everything out in the cold weather and back in once they arrive at the new location. A cup of hot chocolate or hot apple cider will make everyone feel better.

11. Plan for Extra Time for Traveling

This is one of the most overlooked tips for moving in the winter. Driving in snowy conditions usually takes longer than normal when the roads are clear. Plan to be running late and allow plenty of time to arrive at the new building or your new home. You should have the driver of the moving truck’s phone number in case anything comes up.

12. Know the Snowplow Schedule

Knowing the snowplow schedule is smart because everything can be planned out and the movers are pulling up to the building, but where do they park? If the snow plowers left a giant pile of slushy snow right where you planned on having the movers park, you are going to be in a predicament. Make sure you know the snowplow schedule so you can have parking available to the movers on moving day.

13. Pack Your Electronics for Cold Weather

Electronic devices, especially computers, do not like cold weather. You should ensure that all electronics are safely packed away in boxes with layers of blankets so they can maintain an average temperature.

14. Have Your Car Serviced

You and all of your employees should have your cars serviced before you relocate. If you are moving to a new state or moving a long distance and are following behind in your car, you will want to have a mechanic check the tires, fluids, and heating system. Moving during the winter is tough enough as it is, and getting a flat tire or not having heat will make it all the more difficult.

15. Turn Off the Heat

This might sound strange because it is winter and you need to stay warm, but with movers going in and out all day, any heat inside the building is going to be let out. Instead of having your furnace run throughout the day, turn off the heat so the heating bill doesn’t get racked up and the furnace doesn’t become overheated from constantly running.

16. Continue Checking the Weather

It is necessary to keep a sharp lookout on the winter weather leading up to your move. If you are moving in December and are concerned about the weather or worried it will cause an issue, call the moving company and let them know your concerns. You don’t want your employees to be put in danger because of hazardous weather conditions.

17. Heat the Bathroom

If you do turn the heat off in the building, you should still have the bathroom heated. Use a small space heater to warm up the bathroom. If you, your employees, or the movers need a bathroom break, it will be nice to take a few minutes and get warm as well.

18. Be Sure to Tip the Movers

Even though winter is most moving companies off season, the movers likely are not getting paid extra to be out in the cold. Express your thanks to them for all their hard work and give each mover a tip so they know they are appreciated.

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Final Thoughts

Moving in the winter for business relocation is a process, but using a moving app like Agoyu can help make this process easier. Check out Agoyu today to ensure you get the best movers for the best price possible and start planning your company’s relocation.

Bill Mulholland

Bill Mulholland is the owner of ARC Relocation, a company that relocates thousands of employees annually, to every state in the United States, and more than 90 foreign countries, for organizations like DHL,, GNC, and the U.S. Government. Bill also owns a real estate brokerage and title company in Virginia.