Did you say “traction”? How about “black ice”? Your daily vocabulary might shift if you’re moving in the winter in Calgary. The weather can change in an instant, and most of us know that we can’t quite trust the forecast. It’s better to be prepared for anything, just in case.
Whether you’re trucking everything into your new place or out of your old one–or transporting your items to and from an offsite storage unit–there are a few things to consider to make moving in snow or ice a little less treacherous.
Wear proper attire
Before you even head out the door, make sure you’re covered from head to toe in clothing that’s comfortable and warm. Layers are important, since you may get hot from moving and need to take off your coat. Wear a long-sleeved shirt (moisture-wicking if possible), a fleece sweater, and a winter coat that ends above the knees. Double your pants if necessary, and consider ski pants if it’s wet outside.
Good gloves and shoes are key. If the thermometer is far below -25, wear mittens on top of your regular gloves. If you’re doing a lot of lifting and you find mittens are tough to wedge under boxes, you could try wearing work gloves with grip on top of fleece liners with a heat pack.
For shoes, opt for snow boots or hiking boots with good tread. While you may be able to pour salt or gravel wherever you’re moving, your traction will be best when a bumpy surface meets another bumpy surface.
Prepare the driveway and sidewalk
It goes without saying, but shovel the snow! If you’re moving into or out of a house–especially if the driveway is on an incline–sprinkle salt on the driveway and by the front door or garage if there’s ice, or gravel if there’s slippery snow. For apartments or townhouse complexes, ask the building manager about salting if the street and sidewalk are sketchy. The last thing you want to do is slip while carrying something heavy or fragile.
Get the vehicle ready
Unless you’re renting a truck or hiring movers (although we recommend asking whoever’s providing the vehicle), you’re responsible for making sure the tires are suitable for winter driving and have the right air pressure. Winter tires may not be required by law in Alberta, but it’s smart to be prepared. Make sure you can safely get from Point A to Point B.
Consider replacing your windshield wipers with winter blades, and warm up the engine before you’re ready to take off.
To protect you and your property in case of falls, make sure your insurance covers any accidents outside the home or in the vehicle. You may be able to add on to your existing policy–just make sure you take every possible precaution so if an accident happens, you know it likely wasn’t preventable.
Ready to move? Stay warm, stay dry, and keep that traction high!