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December 06, 2022

10 tips to prepare for your Chicago winter move

While most Midwesterners don’t like the winter, we are prepared for it. We have Fall routines of winterizing water lines, swapping out the lawnmower for the snowblower, and battening down the hatches. But if you are moving to or from Chicago in the coming winter months, you’ll want to spend some of your efforts on winter prep for your winter move. Prior to your local movers or cross-country movers walk up to your home, you will want to be prepared for that the big day. Get a hot cup of coffee and let’s write down a checklist of ideas to make sure you’re prepared for a move day that even Jack Frost will not ruin!


✓ Dress in layers

While loading and unloading, the exterior doors to your home will have to be open for extended periods of time. It will get quite cold in your house! Make sure to dress in layers to remain warm and toasty!

Bonus tip: Keep an extra space heater or blanket in an interior room, such as a bedroom, and plan on spending a lot of your day in the room while the movers are working.


✓ Truck access

If your scheduled move is right after a major snowfall, you should be aware of large neighborhood snow piles or snowdrifts. If your neighborhood is plowed by a professional, many areas, like cul-de-sacs, could have massive piles of snow blocking parts of the street. This might alter how your movers, either local or cross-country can get to your home. Be sure to take note of any major piles of snow that weren’t present during your in-home or virtual estimate, and let your local mover or cross-country mover know as soon as possible to prevent any issues.


✓ Have driveway and all walkways cleared and salted

The movers will go back and forth to and from the moving truck all day long. Being sure the movers have a safe, clean path to walk is vital to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of your belongings.


✓ Utilities

You should also check your area’s extended forecast, notably for temperature forecasts. If a cold front is coming your way, you probably want to delay having certain utilities turned off, such as gas or water . Conversely, make sure these utilities are active at your new home prior to temperatures dropping too low which can cause damage. No one wants to get to their new home and find the pipes have burst!


✓ Floor Protection

Your movers will take care of your home, using things such as old cardboard over wood and rug runners to keep your carpet clean. However, you might want to put down some some small rugs or extra carboard near your exterior doors, to minimize the amount of salty slush in your house. Even an old flattened box from your basement can create a nice buffer for cleaning slush off shoes before entering!


✓ Pack Strategically

There are probably items you might wish to pack separately, or pack last. Belongings like sweaters, socks, boots, gloves, winter hats and your snow shovel could be things you will like to keep handy. This way you’re always ready for the frigid weather!


✓ Plan for Darkness

Most of your packing will happen indoors, but don’t forget about the yard, shed, attic, and garage! Since the winter means shorter, darker days, make sure to plan ahead and pack those outside areas hours of the day that you have hours of daylight left.

Additionally, local movers bring a special challenge in the winter. For a lot of customers, a local move happens over the course of one day; your your local movers load, drive and deliver all on the same day. But with several hours of less light, some moves just aren’t able to be finished the same day during this time of year. If your local mover is recommending you have to split your move over the course of two days, this is likely the reason why. It is dangerous for local movers to haul heavy belongings when it’s dark, so it’s a good idea to move your belongings over the span of two shorter days instead of one long day.


✓ Take extra care packing breakables

A lot of fragile belongings, such as wine or snow globes, may be sensitive to big changes in temperature. Plan to wrap fragile items carefully, adding even more protection such as newspapers, wash rags, towels or bubble wrap.


✓ Keep extra towels handy

One of the final things the movers will load on the truck will be your rugs. This means once the local movers or cross-country movers pull away, people coming and going from your home won’t have anywhere to wipe their feet. Put down some old towels so people can wipe their feet, and reduce the snow, slush and salt from getting inside!


✓ Expect the Unexpected

If your cross-country movers have the hit the road to your new place, then it is your turn now. But do not be surprised on your trip to your new place. If you’re looking at a long drive ahead of you this winter, you will want to make sure you have an emergency kit and supplies ready. We’ve read the news stories regarding highways being shut down for hours, leaving hundreds of stranded drivers. Do not let this happen to you! Here are the necessary items for your automotive safety kit:

  • Bottles of water
  • Flashlight
  • Towels
  • Blankets
  • Short handled snow shovel (fits easily in your trunk, and handy if you get stuck!)
  • High protein snacks
  • Empty, clean bottle or bowl with a lid (for, bathroom emergencies, especially if you have small kids)
  • Baby wipes


What’s the best way to get ready for your upcoming winter move? Partnering with Corrigan! We will hold your hand for every step in the process, making for a simple, hassle-free experience from start to finish. Don’t hire movers that will leave you stranded in the cold. Contact Corrigan today!