Surviving a winter move

Jason Roblin
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You’ve just finished your final exams and you are exhausted. You walk through the door of the four-bedroom animal house in which you live only to find both sinks full of dishes, a stack of pizza boxes, the garbages overflowing and four months worth of empty beer bottles stacked haphazardly in the front entrance.

You flop down on the torn, stained sofa and contemplate your current housing situation. Do you suffer in this madhouse for one more semester or is it time to let your roommates know that you are getting your own pad?

One more look around the room, confirms that you really only have one choice. Without delay, you call your new landlord to confirm that you’ll take the one-bedroom apartment that you looked at last week. You feel a sense of relief but also dread.

It’s the middle of winter — not an ideal time to move when you live in Manitoba. With some careful planning however, even a cold weather move can go smoothly. Consider these tips to save your sanity:
1. Hire a professional moving company or recruit as many family members and friends as you can. This will minimize the number of trips per person from your current location to the vehicle, and from the vehicle to the new location.

2. Consider covering the floors with old sheets (perhaps from a second-hand store) or plastic to keep the snow, salt and sand from tracking into your new place and wrecking the flooring.

3. Send your pets to the pet spa or daycare for the day. Moving is stressful enough for humans, if you remove pets from the equation you know that they will be warm, relaxed and cared for, which means you can fully concentrate on the tasks at hand.

4. Take the time to clear all pathways. By making sure the path that you’ll be using to carry furniture and boxes is free of snow and ice, you and your movers will avoid unnecessary slips and falls.

5. Wear suitable footwear that will keep your feet warm and dry, as well as provide good traction on the ice and snow.

6. Choose a good pair of gloves to keep your hands warm and dry to prevent items from slipping out of your hands. Be sure to have a few extra pair on hand for those who are helping with the move.

7. Don’t pack away your bedding. Things such as blankets and sheets can be used to protect large items on stairways and in tight spaces. This will help to prevent damage to the walls, as well as damage to the furniture. You can also use large towels and blankets to protect electronics from snow and extreme temperatures.

8. Keep warm beverages handy to help keep everyone warm. A cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate can quickly take the chill out after being in and out of the cold.

9. Double pack fragile items, cold temperatures make already fragile items even more fragile and likely to break. Items that are particularly sensitive to the cold should be transported in the cab of the vehicle.

10. Reward those who took the time to help you move. Order pizza or have gift cards handy as a way of saying thanks. End the day on a positive note by eating dinner together, celebrating a successful move and enjoying your new home!