Moving During Winter + Printable Safety Checklist

Google moving during winter, and it’s no surprise that Chicago, famous for its frosty winters and icy winds, pops up on the first page. Here at Metro Self Storage, we know a thing or two about winter moving.

Our first storage facility opened its doors in Chicago more than forty years ago. We’ve lived through, and sometimes even loved, every winter since, which probably qualifies us as experts on moving during winter more than just about anyone else. We’ve created a helpful checklist for you to download and print at the end of this blog.

If you are moving this winter season, don’t stress.  Remember to take time out of planning your winter move to enjoy friends, family and festive activities. After all, you’ll want to celebrate all of your hard work.

Plan ahead for your winter move

The key to planning any successful move is preparation. However, not being prepared for a winter relocation could be disastrous. Moving in the Midwest during winter is going to be a very different experience than say, someone who is moving on the West Coast. The goal is to get you and your belongings, as well as any pets or family members who are traveling with you, to your new home safely and without too much discomfort.

Avoid accidents when moving furniture and boxes

During the winter it can be dangerous to load your boxes and furniture into a truck rental, especially when the sidewalks are covered in snow and ice. If you can afford it, hire a professional relocation company. Shop around because winter is the slowest time of year for moving companies. Having someone else do the heavy lifting and loading will be a much safer solution.

There are fewer daylight hours during winter

In Chicago, there are 15 hours of daylight during the height of summer. In the dead of winter, the amount of daylight diminishes to only 9 hours of sunlight. While there might be enough daylight to complete a local move, keep in mind that a long-distance move may be impossible to complete in one day during the winter months.

Travel conditions are more treacherous

If you live in an area that experiences snow and ice storms like Chicago, coordinating a moving truck on move out day can be tricky. Winter storms not only cause dangerous driving conditions, but they can also cause delays and complications with rental leases or real estate contracts if your move gets postponed.

If you are planning a DIY winter move, Penske offers some helpful winter driving tips that include tuning into your local radio station for the weather forecast and packing extra gloves and ice scrapers so you can see out of your windshields.

Anyone in the relocation, apartment, or real estate business will be the first to tell you all the great reasons why moving during winter is a good idea. Why? Because it is the slowest time of year for moving companies, apartment leases, and home purchases. As a result, there are good deals to be found when moving during winter months.

Thankfully, you can rent a storage unit at Metro Self Storage at a great value any time of year. As always, drive safely and be prepared for your winter move by downloading your free Moving During Winter Emergency Checklist.

The Zombie Apocalypse: Self Storage Can Save Your Life!

We’ve all seen at least one zombie apocalypse movie about the undead taking over the world. However, unlike aliens, who come from outer space, where zombies originate remains a mystery as does why the zombie brain has only one program running: Eat! Eat! Eat!

Are you looking for ways to survive this Halloween’s Zombie apocalypse?

You can learn more about zombie behavior and survival strategies at the Zombie Research Society, we’re not joking, this really exists and it has loads of information to satiate your curiosity.

Here is our simple suggestion for the best way to survive an attack: Take shelter at your local self storage facility; it is the ideal anti-zombie fortress.
Continue reading “The Zombie Apocalypse: Self Storage Can Save Your Life!”

How to Pack a Moving Truck | Use Your Head, Save Your Back!

 

Moving day is not only stressful, but it’s also downright physically demanding. Especially if you’ve signed up for a DIY move that requires you do all the heavy lifting. Bending over to pick up and lift moving boxes for hours at a time is not your back’s idea of a good time (and probably not yours either).

But alas, moving day is all about picking up moving boxes, furniture, and other household items and loading them onto the moving truck. Then, of course, unloading everything once you arrive at your new home.

If you aren’t practicing proper lifting techniques, you might end up with a back injury and a pile of medical bills. These will soon cancel out all the money you planned to save in the first place by managing your move on your own.

Do what you have to do to get your friends to help on moving day; beer, pizza, and cupcakes come to mind. Here are some pointers to share with the group before you pack your moving truck.

Essential moving equipment

Let’s start with the basics. If you’re moving on a budget, or in a big hurry, it might be tempting to take shortcuts when it comes to packing. But don’t skimp on moving boxes and try to pack your pots and pans in a “grocery store” box or plastic tote.

Instead, save some greenbacks by finding the cheapest moving truck rental in your town, and then splurge a bit for moving-grade boxes to pack heavy stuff including kitchenware and books. Place books in small boxes because they’re heavy, and create a much weightier box than you might imagine.

Moving dolly or hand truck?

Pay a little extra and rent a dolly or a hand truck unless you already own one of these must-haves on moving day. Piling boxes on a dolly and wheeling them onto the moving truck is a lot easier than carrying them one by one.

If you’re bringing your appliances too, rent an appliance dolly; it will serve two purposes by helping you transport the heavier boxes. Not only will a hand truck or dolly save you a lot of time, but they will also save your back.

The safe lifting zone

The most recommended way to lift heavy items like moving boxes is to keep them between the knees and shoulders. If you’re placing a box or item above your shoulders, use a stool or ladder and be very conscious of our posture as you lift. If your shoulders start to scrunch up underneath your ears, then it’s a clear sign that the box is too heavy and you need to get help.

Lift with your legs!

When picking something up off the ground remember to lift with your legs. Plant your feet firmly to get a stable base and tighten your abdominal muscles to support your spine. Think navel to spine as you scrunch-in your abs. Keep the load close to your body and your back in its natural posture as much as possible.

Moving trailer or moving truck?

A moving truck is more expensive to rent than a trailer, but it has distinct advantages. For starters, you can wheel your items onto the truck using the moving truck ramp instead of lifting things into the truck.

The door heights for moving trucks range from approximately 5’7” high to 6’10” high. If you’re 6’2” rent a truck with a door opening that will accommodate your height so you don’t have to bend over every time you enter and exit your truck rental.

Whether or not you rent a trailer depends on the type of vehicle you have. Does your car or truck have a trailer hitch? If so, trailer rental companies will require that your vehicle be equipped with adequate hitch and lighting connections.

You’ll also need to consider the age of your vehicle, its towing limit, and how many miles you’ll be driving on moving day.

A small 4 x 8 cargo trailer from U-Haul weighs 850 pounds empty and has a maximum 1,650 pounds weight limit when fully loaded. Imagine bending over to load and unload 800 pounds of stuff into 3’1” x 3’5” door opening. Hmmm… maybe it’s time to hire a professional moving company.

 

And remember the moving day motto, if you need help, just ask!