Moving cross country is always difficult, but moving from a warmer climate to somewhere where snow is commonplace adds a whole new level of complexity to your move. There are several things you need to plan for in order to get ready for your first "real" winter.
Move When the Weather is Mild
Of course you don't want to move in January or February, this gives you no time to prep for winter. In addition, learning to drive in snow is tough, learning to drive in snow when you have a trunk full of your valuables is an extremely bad idea. Moving in late spring or early fall will avoid moving out during the summer heat and moving in during a snowstorm. If possible, move during the spring. This will give you the most time to adjust to the new weather before it gets harsh, and you might be able to snag some of your winter supplies on clearance from the previous year.
Pay Attention to Insulation
While you can survive with minimal air conditioning in a hot summer, it is very difficult to deal without heat during a cold snap, and frozen pipes are a constant danger. Heating your new home should be a priority when looking for somewhere to stay. Look for a house that is tightly sealed an insulated. Try to find out the R-value of the insulation if you can. Depending on how far North you are moving, these values should be a lot higher than you are used to.
Expect your energy bills to flip. In a warm climate, energy bills are at their highest in the summer when you are running the air constantly. In northern climates, some homes don't even have air (although most now do), but your heating bill is going to be what hits your wallet. This will be especially true for the first couple years, when you and your family are trying to adjust to colder temperatures.
Driving in snow is a whole new adventure if you have never done it. However, before winter comes, you need to take your car to a mechanic. The fluids will need to be changed to versions that can handle the colder temperatures. Similarly, you may need to trade in your battery for one that can start in sub-zero temperatures. If your tires were wearing out, change them. You need that tread to get traction on slipper roads. Finally, have the mechanic spray the undercarriage with a protective coating. Salt used to de-ice the roads can quickly destroy your car without it.
Next, get yourself ready to drive in the snow. Put together an emergency kit and keep it in the truck. This includes a warm blanket, a shovel, and a first-aid kit. Some people will also include emergency flares, a flashlight and some sand (to put under slippery tires). If you go off the road in a rural area, this kit can literally be the difference between life and death while waiting for health-- don't skip it.
Learn to Dress Warmly
Before you move, you might consider paring down your summer wardrobe. You will have fewer months to wear it in your new home and you can use that space for winter clothes. Use storage units like Midway Moving & Storage to help clear out your closets for the season. Outfits that can be layered are going to be especially valuable, as this gives you additional insulation against the cold. Wait to buy your coat and boots until you get to your destination. There will be plenty of time in the fall to pick these out, and it will be difficult to find options in your old area that have sufficient insulation to keep out the bitter cold. Even if you think you don't need them, get in the habit of traveling with a hat and gloves in the winter. The temperature can change rapidly, and when it does, you will be glad you thought ahead.
Some people love the winter cold, others can't wait for it to be over. The same thing could be said for the summer's heat in southern climates. Like it or not, you are going to have to make some changes to stay comfortable in your new home over the winter.Share