You Herd It Here

How Weather Can Play a Significant Role During Your Move

By Brittany Lombardo, Property Manager

I know it may seem silly, but you really should look into and plan for the weather prior to moving into your self storage unit, and moving in general for that matter. There are many things to consider to help make your move an easier one and safer, no matter what time of year it is.

First let’s talk about icy, cold, winter weather and how that can affect moving your belongings to and from your self storage unit and your home.

In general:

  • Keep your eye open for the daily weather reports to see if any snow is going to accumulate during your move. Then, try to avoid days when it is forecasted to snow, rain or sleet.
  • Also keep an eye on the temperatures. Ideally you want a day above freezing so you know ice will not be a concern. Plus, you don’t want to be too cold when moving in and out of your home and storage unit carrying items. Really cold or numb fingers can lead to accidentally dropping boxes or other items. Wear good quality gloves with grip to help prevent this.
  • Bundle up in layers; the more you have on the better you’ll be. You can always take off the extra layers if you get too warm. Wear thermals under your shirts and pants, then add a sweatshirt and a coat, and even a hat and scarf if it is cold enough to warrant them.
  • The bonus of moving in the winter months is that demand is typically down and rental rates tend to be lower in price. Most people don’t want to move in the winter and try and stick to the spring and summer.

At home:

  • Make sure to clear walk ways, sidewalks and driveways from any snow or ice. Keep shovels and salt on hand.
  • When using a moving truck, be extra careful and take your time. The metal loading ramps can become very slick when they get wet.
  • Be sure to cover your floors with plastic wrap and or cardboard to keep your house dry and free of ice and snow.
  • Wear good quality comfortable shoes.

At your self storage unit:

  • Be extremely careful when entering interior buildings because the floors can become very slippery when wet.
  • Keep a small shovel and some salt or anti-skid in your storage unit. Our company does a great job removing snow from the drive aisles, the property in general and the office area. However, it can be really hard to get right up against the buildings and building doors with a plow and not cause damage. Plus, some areas are more shaded than others, and ice tends to collect there as the snow melts during the day. It’s a good idea to be prepared just in case.

Now let’s talk about rainy weather, no matter the time of year. No one wants to move in the rain, but let’s face it – you cannot control the weather.

In general:

  • Keep an umbrella on hand during any move, rain is very unpredictable.
  • You may also want to keep some towels in your car and moving truck to dry items off as you unload them into your storage unit.
  • Be sure to check the box portion of your moving truck for any leaks; you don’t want anything dripping in causing damage to your items while in route.
  • Wear a light rain jacket with a hood.
  • Have extra socks handy in case you step in a puddle – wet feet can be just awful!

At home:

  • Plastic totes or heavy-duty boxes work best to pack your items.
  • Plastic bags work well for electronics, cords and cables – make sure they seal tightly. You can also use small plastic bins that are shoe box size if they have a securely locking lid.
  • Cover furniture and mattresses in protective plastic covers.
  • Be sure to cover your floors with plastic wrap and or cardboard to keep your house dry.
  • Wear good quality comfortable shoes.

At your self storage unit:

  • If you have an extra umbrella, leave one in your storage unit. You never know when rain will strike and it is better to have one in case a downpour ensues while you are inside your unit.
  • Keep the protective plastic furniture covers on your sofa, loveseat, chair, tables, etc. while in storage. These keep your items protected from dust and scratches. We offer a variety of plastic covers for sale in our rental office.
  • If your boxes do happen to get damp, make sure to pick them up from the bottom so they don’t fall apart or tear when handling.
  • If you need to replace some boxes that simply got too wet to keep using, stop in our rental office during regular business hours and purchase some of our high-quality boxes in a variety of types and sizes.

You also want to think about the hot, sticky heat of summer. Most people move in the summer, and they think when the sun is shining, it’s perfect weather for a move. In most regards, yes that is true. But keep in mind that along with sun comes burnt skin and dehydration. The last thing you want is to have heat exhaustion on moving day!

In general:

  • On a very hot day be sure to start early before the sun comes up; this will help avoid the hottest part of the day while moving.
  • Be sure to bring lots of bottled water so you and your crew can remain hydrated. The standard is one gallon per person per day in the summer.
  • Pack one cooler with your bottled water and another smaller cooler with just ice. Nothing feels better than ice on your face and neck on a really hot day. As you take cold bottles of water out of the cooler, be sure to add the others to get them cold and keep a steady supply on hand.
  • Pack snacks that won’t easily melt, and will refuel your team of movers. Think of items like PB&J sandwiches, granola bars, nuts and trail mix. All high in protein, easy to eat and will not be ruined by the heat of the day.
  • Take breaks! If you start to feel overheated and exhausted, sit down in the air conditioning with a cold bottle of water and take a nice 20-30 minute break. You will be more productive if you take care of yourself throughout the day. It may even be good to plan group breaks every few hours just to ensure everyone stays safe and hydrated.

At home:

  • Make sure to lather yourself in sunscreen before you head outside. And take the bottle with you to reapply later.
  • Dressing lightly and in light colored clothing will also prevent you from overheating.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your head and eyes.
  • Wear good quality comfortable shoes.

At your self storage unit:

  • Remember if you have a drive up exterior unit, it is a metal box and it will be hot!
  • Plan to purchase a product like DampRid® to help remove the moisture from the air inside your self storage unit. These should be replaced every 3-6 months depending on how humid it has been in your area.
  • Consider an interior temperature controlled unit. Not only will this make accessing your belongings more comfortable year-round, but it will help protect sensitive items such as antique and solid wood furniture and electronics when in storage for long periods of time.
  • If there is power nearby and you are permitted to use it, bring a fan to have circulating air. If you are unsure if this is allowed, simply ask your property manager.

For anyone, a move isn’t easy or much fun. I have never heard anyone say, “I love moving and wish I could do it every year!” But hopefully with these tips and tricks for the different types of weather, it’ll make your move a bit more manageable. A little preparation will go a long way with something as involved as moving. And when you are ready to get started, you can rent a storage unit online 24/7 and set your plan in motion!