5 Things You Should Know Before Moving to a Cold Climate

February 2, 2021

Americans are on the move, and not all of them are heading to the Sun Belt. In fact, the top three states for moving in 2020, according to the U.S. Census, were Alaska, North Dakota, and Wyoming.

Brrr! What are they thinking? Moving to a cold climate poses a slew of challenges to the uninitiated.

From getting there to exercising to the way you dress, your world can change dramatically when you take the icy plunge of moving up North.

But don’t fret, in the following article, we’ll discuss five things you should know before moving to a cold climate.

1. Shop for Moving Deals

Despite the Census data, many moving companies are looking to pick up loads from the South and take them home to the North. Shop around, and don’t be afraid to make your move in the winter months.

Yes, it’s a bit more of a hassle, but there are deals. Check out this chart on car shipping. It shows that moving companies are much less busy from October to February.

Many people try to make their moves in the summer between school years and when it’s a little easier to move around.

But if you are brave enough to move north, you probably have enough fortitude to move during the winter months. It’ll be easier to buck up when you’re enjoying the financial savings from avoiding prime moving season.

OK, so you’ve decided you’re moving to cold weather. Here are some tips for the actual move.

Watch the weather: Just like you had to keep an eye on tropical storms in the South, you need to keep your eye on snowstorms riding the jet stream in the North.

Driving through ice and snow is as dangerous as driving through flooded streets, so watch the weather and be careful.

Clear your sidewalks: Once you get to that cold climate and are set to move in, you need to make sure you can. Make sure your sidewalks and walkways are clear for the movers. Don’t underestimate how a fall on an icy driveway can harm someone!

Check your heat: Frozen pipes and faulty furnaces are a real thing. Be prepared for increased utility bills in the winter. You might be conditioned for spending more in the summer for cooling, but in the North, it’s heating in the winter where the utility money gets spent.

2. Moving to a Cold Climate Calls for Layers

In the North, you can’t wear T-shirts and shorts all year round. Sorry.

So you have to get used to dressing in layers. This means that you have a series of clothes that you can shed as the temperature warms up or the environment changes.

In general, the layers are:

  • A base (long underwear, T-shirts)
  • An insulating layer (sweaters, flannels, or fleeces)
  • A shell (a winter jacket or waterproof windbreaker)

One tip is not to buy all your warm clothes in advance of your move. You’ll find better deals and get a sense of what you’ll need to wear when you get to the colder climate.

That being said, you don’t want to travel all those miles only to have to go out shopping as soon as you set foot in snow country. No, pick up a few outfits before you travel north. L.L. Bean is a reliable outfitter for cold weather, as well as The North Face and Land’s End.

3. Boots That Kick Butt

Some people say there’s nothing cute about a practical pair of boots. They are wrong. Snow country people have their own fashion sense, and a pair of clunky boots are as fashionable as it gets.

There are several ways to go here, but it basically boils down to rubber or leather.

A leather boot is slightly more stylish than a rubber one but will cost you more money. You should make sure the sole is not flat but has some tread. Sure, it is important to keep your feet dry, but it is essential to stay upright.

Winter falls can cause serious damage, and a recent report from a Michigan newspaper said that slip and falls from icy conditions were the leading cause of winter emergency room visits.

Rubber boots often look a little less fashionable than their leather counterparts but have a ton of functionality. Waterproof, durable, and often packed with insulation, a rubber boot with leather ankle support is often a great choice for the cold weather.  In spring, these boots are great for splashing through puddles or stepping in mud.

4. Brave the Cold

Technically, it’s not more difficult to exercise in a colder climate. You put one foot in front of the other, and voila! You’re jogging. But in reality, getting out of your bed to run in the dark while it’s freezing outside is a major mental challenge.

One of the best ways to get acclimated is to find a new activity. If you’re not the adventurous sort, try snowshoeing or cross country skiing. These are low impact activities that get you outside exercising and enjoying the unique winter scenery.

If that’s not your thing, invest in a reliable treadmill or stationary bike. If you can afford it, invest in a model with video instructors urging you on in the comfort of your rec room.

Lastly, if you like going to the gym, pay attention to its proximity to your home. A low-priced membership might not get used if you still have to drive a long way in the snow and cold to enjoy it.

5. Prep Your Ride

One of the biggest shocks to people moving north is the driving. Make sure your vehicle has the right tires for the climate. Some people swear by swapping out their summer treads for snow tires every year.

Others make sure to have reliable all seasons. Still, others insist on driving a larger vehicle with four-wheel or all-wheel drive in areas where snow is a constant threat.

If you have a sports car, use a long-haul shipper to get it up to that colder climate.

Another tip is always to have a few cold-weather items in your vehicle. A blanket, ice scraper, flashlight, gloves, and a hat are all good items to keep as emergency items for a worst-case winter scenario.

Don’t Fear the Cold

Moving to a cold climate is a dramatic shift for some people. But if you take the right precautions and spend a little time researching your new environment, you should make the transition with flying colors.

Are you ready for help moving? Contact us today to speak to a customer service representative.