Moving is one of life's most stressful occurrences, even on a sunny day. Add snow, sleet, rain, extreme temperatures or even poor timing and moving can become unbearable. But a little bad weather shouldn't gum up the works -- you just need to be prepared. "The show goes on, no matter rain or sun," says Paul at One Big Man and One Big Truck
moving company in San Francisco.
Errol, a sales manager at Boston-based Gentle Movers
, sees good moves go bad in different seasons for different reasons. "Right now we are watching a hurricane that's coming towards us for next week," he says. "Happens all the time. That can affect moves for the days, during and after the storm."
When moving, you want to deal with problems before they happen, so here are eight moving tips to consider for your next move, no matter what time of year it takes place:
Moving Tip 1. Plan ahead
Errol and Paul agree on one all-season piece of moving advice: Plan ahead. "Don't pack last minute," is something Errol tells all his clients. "And most importantly make your reservation early to guarantee your booking," he says. "Like everything else, last minute bookings mean you might not get it or you have to pay more." Also think about the timing of your move. "Now, during the end of summer, is the busiest time of year for us with all the back to school moving," Errol says. "I had an executive call me this morning saying he has to move his apartment tomorrow, with all his work he forgot his lease was up. I told him we could fit him in, but last minute moves this time of year cost a lot more."
Moving Tip 2. Organize
Errol also recommends that you tag everything. "Get color coded tags, blue for kitchen, green for living room, it simplifies the move so everything is order. It's especially important on days with rainy weather when you want to get items in from the rain and don't want to lose more time figuring out which box goes where."
Moving Tip 3. Seal in plastic
On moving days that may see rain or snow, Errol suggests the following: Before you pack your boxes, line them with plastic garbage bags, then put in items like sheets and pillows and close. That way, if the box has to sit on the ground longer, your items aren't damaged.
Moving Tip 4. De-clutter
Moving in the summer has its share of problems and Errol says the most common is clutter. "Remove clutter from archways and keep walkways clear of overgrowth, flower pots, kids, and bikes! You want movers to have a free pathway of movement, he says. Errol also points out that while it's an important rule of thumb for homeowners it's also something to consider if you live in an apartment. "Many other people can leave things lying around," he says. "After all, for them it's a regular day. Leave them a note beforehand asking if they could remove their kids, bikes or flower pots for the day."
Moving Tip 5. Clear a path
"For moving in the wintertime, the biggest issue is your walkways," according to Errol. "Make sure they are clear. The morning of your move, get up early and shovel and throw some rock salt down. And if you live in an apartment building, tell the landlord the day before you are moving so he can shovel and put down salt." Not doing that is asking for problems -- someone could get injured or it could seriously slow down the moving process.
Moving Tip 6. Keep towels handy
Rain can be an issue anywhere at any time, but even more so in places like San Francisco. Paul suggests his clients have towels ready to wipe off furniture when the pieces are moved in. "Most of the time the furniture is exposed to weather for a minute or two, so dry it off as soon as it gets in and the furniture is fine. If we have to wrap items in plastic it takes way more time, costing you more money. If you can just towel things off when it gets in, and we can avoid plastic wrap, that saves time, money and your items."
Moving Tip 7. Cover floors
You need floor protection on moving days that are rainy, so Paul recommends laying down particle board in the main entryway. Things get slippery and carrying heavy furniture can be a problem. You don't want injuries and damaged furniture and this helps keep that from happening. Also, you want to keep your hardwood floors or carpet as clean as possible. This, of course, also applies to snow days in the wintertime.
Moving Tip 8. Have moving insurance
is important when bad weather comes into play. If you use a moving company, make sure they have insurance, liability and are bonded, as damage to furniture and people can occur more easily in foul weather.
"We've started the day with clear skies, then 15 minutes into the move a nor'easter blows in," says Errol of the Northeast's unpredictable weather. But with proper planning and these tips, you should have a smooth move no matter what the season.
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