It’s hardly news that summer is the most sought-after time of year to move house. In the south-east, for example, according to one removal services comparison website, August is the most popular month for removals.
Meanwhile, nationally, winter is traditionally the least favoured season for upping sticks to a different home. And that’s not so startling when you consider the long, dark evenings, chilly weather and potentially icy conditions on the roads.
However, there are in fact a number of surprising benefits to making your move during the cooler months. And, if you approach it in the right way, there’s no reason why switching homes should be more complicated in winter than at any other time of year.
Here are some of the advantages you can look forward to:
- There’s less pressure on moving companies
As you’d expect, there’s more demand for removal firms during the warmer seasons, and the housing market often picks up from the spring onwards. But that can work in your favour, making it more likely that you’ll be able to secure your first choice of moving date with the company you want to use. Between June and August, this could be much trickier, with many of the best providers getting booked up weeks or even months in advance.
Not only that but, if you get or change your moving date at short notice, again you’re likely to be able to book your movers of choice.
- How the cooler weather can actually be a good thing
It’s true that moving when it’s chillier or there’s an icy drizzle can feel challenging. But, equally, it can be hard work moving during July and August, not least if it’s during one of the sweltering heatwaves we’ve experienced in recent years. Clearly, moving home involves a lot of physical graft in terms of packing and unpacking and shifting boxes. At worst, doing this when the mercury soars could even potentially be dangerous.
- Costs can be lower
This is another advantage you may not have thought about. Not only do removal firms experience less demand in winter, they’re frequently able to charge lower rates as a result, often reducing their rates significantly. Potentially, this could save you a fair sum of money and help to keep your removal costs low.
- New year, new home?
It can be particularly invigorating to do a move in early January, when everything else tends to be fairly quiet, and to start a new year in a new home. Alternatively, move in early or mid-December and you could be enjoying your first Christmas in your residence. And, while this is also true of summer, moving at a holiday time such as Christmas can be less disruptive for families, meaning that, come January, kids are all ready to start a new term and perhaps a different school.
Planning your winter move
The above points don’t mean that you shouldn’t plan a winter move carefully, as you would a move at any time. Here are a few things to consider:
- Get your timings right
Clearly, you won’t want to be out in the cold any longer than necessary. Be very specific with your moving firm on when they will arrive, and agree the route to your new place. Preparing an inventory of what exactly is to be shifted on moving day could also help to save time.
- Look at the weather forecast
Conditions can change rapidly. And although this is England and not Siberia, temperatures can drop quickly. In the days and weeks before your winter move, have an eye on the forecast from a reliable source such as BBC Weather. If it looks as though it will be particularly icy or snowy on moving day, this will allow you to potentially alter the removal date, if possible.
- Clear your driveway
This can save time and speed up the moving process if moving day is particularly wintry. Clear any ice or snow and grit the surface of your driveway – you’ll be doing your moving guys a huge favour.
- Wrap up warm!
We know – this may sound an obvious one. Yet it’s all too often forgotten. Keep enough layers of clothing out of the packing boxes and wear a number of them to stay toasty as you move. You can always remove them as the day goes on and you start to warm up. But don’t underdress for a winter move.
- Sturdy packing materials
Use robust boxes so that your belongings stay secure. This stops materials from becoming damaged or wet in wintry conditions, for example if you have to place them on the ground. Your removals firm should be able to supply everything you need; otherwise self-storage centres often sell them.
- Use an experienced firm
During the winter months, it makes sense to hire a well-established moving company, which has done countless winter removals previously. Remember, the potentially lower prices should make this entirely possible. An experienced provider will reduce the stress and time involved in your move, whatever the weather’s doing.
- Be prepared for your journey
Finally, if you’re driving yourself to your new property and it’s quite some distance away, be prepared for the trip, as you would with any journey at this time of year. Have an extra power bank or charger accessible in your luggage, do some vehicle checks in advance and plot the safest route.
With bases in Eastbourne, Hastings and Bexhill, we have decades of experience in sales and lettings across our patch. So we’ve seen countless winter-time removals over the years, and believe that no one should feel put off from moving at this time of year. After all, as mentioned above, doing so can bring real benefits.
If you want to take the plunge but have some concerns, get in touch. We’d be pleased to discuss any issues with you.