Moving to a Cold State for the First Time – Things to Know!
Numerous blogs, tutorial videos, or Reddit threads, nothing is going to prepare you for the extreme weather in a cold state. It’s all fun and games until your lashes start sticking to each other in sub-zero temperatures. You’ll run out of chapstick and still your lips will be dry. And you’ll be greeted with carpets of snow as you leave for work.
Transitioning from a sunny state to a cold state is going to be tough, but not if you prepare yourself in advance. Moving to a place that’s freezing all year doesn’t mean recreational opportunities and social life ends. We don’t want you to ball up inside your blanket after your move, there’s so much to explore if you just step out. Knowing certain things is going to make moving to a cold state for the first time easier. Let us help you with some of them:
Your Packed Belongings Can Catch Moisture
So you’ve packed your home and are en route to your new home in a cold state? Something is amiss here, have you packed for the cold state? By that, we don’t mean warm clothes and mittens. We mean your packing boxes, if cold gets inside them, they are ruined. You aren’t supposed to pack your belongings like a usual move. This is a cold state you are moving to; you must seal, insulate and protect your items against the cold. You don’t want cold and moisture to get inside your electronics or documents.
Waterproof your moving boxes with plastic wrap and make ample use of bubble wrap/crumpled paper to insulate your boxes. Know the fact that if you leave your boxes in the driveway after moving, they will be drenched by the morning. Snow can be pretty wet, you know. So whatever is unpacked goes straight to the basement/attic. Thank us later.
See also: Moving in Winter
You Need To Get Your New Home Ready For The Winter
If you go by how they show homes in cold states in movies and books, you’ll most likely get confused. There is much more to homes in cold states than wood burning in the fireplace and a mug of hot chocolate by its side. You need to winterize your new home. Even if the winter months are far away, prepare now. Winters in cold states are torturous, especially if you move from a sunny coastal state. You need to protect your entire house against snow damage, especially the roof, attic, and basement. Check the condition of your attic, insulate it well. Look for drafts and seal them off with caulk. Finally, change the furnace filters, you’ll thank yourself for doing this before the cold clammy winter arrives.
Layering Keeps You Warm
One thick hoodie isn’t going to keep you warm. Layer up with 3 warm sets of clothes like a man/woman on a mission. This advice isn’t to be taken lightly, especially when so many people living in cold states swear by it. Its purpose isn’t to protect you against the cold alone, but also to insulate your body. Put on some thermal underwear, layer it up with a wool or fleece sweater and top it up with a final layer of puffy jacket that runs to your knees. Try to shop for a waterproof parka jacket or puffy jacket so the snow doesn’t dampen your jacket.
We know you’re moving to a cold state for the first time, and you’re not used to such a long dressing ordeal. Oh, the convenience of putting on a hoodie and leaving the house! You need to look at it as a makeup routine, a base layer, concealer, and so on. You get the gist, right? And yes, don’t forget to cover your face, neck, and hands.
Don’t Buy Your Cold Gear Yet
Hold on, don’t get motivated by what we said earlier and leave for shopping right away. Assuming you’re reading this before the move, buy your cold gear only after moving to your new home. There are two reasons for this, the weight of the shipment and finding the right gear. Calculate the amount of weight you add to your belongings if you shop for warm jackets, shoes, and other gear. You may be willing to bear the expense, but are you willing to pack all that gear? It’s better to buy all cold gear once you move to your new home to save the trouble of carrying it all the way.
The second reason is, you might not have great cold gear in your current state. The gear sold in the cold state you are moving to is designed specifically keeping that state’s weather in mind. A week after the move, when you find the time to go shopping, invest in a really warm parka with pockets and a hood.
You’ll Need Proper Winter Boots
Those leather boots with a layer of wool inside look fabulous. Instagrammable? Yes. Apt for extreme cold? No. That leather will be corroded in months after being in contact with salt. You need boots that battle the cold layer you walk on which is a combination of ice, snow, and salt. The boots you buy should be waterproof, insulated, and must have rubber soles.
Waterproof boots are obviously a priority since you don’t want that snow melting and making your feet damp. Shoes that give you all three features may not necessarily be great to look at. So you need to settle for ugly shoes, but of course comfort is, and should be, a priority.
Driving Is Going To Be Tough
Driving in a cold state is completely different than in a warm state. You might be accustomed to accelerating and overtaking, but don’t do this when you move to a cold state. It’s not only tough but also dangerous. You can be driving merrily down the road and overlook glaze ice on the road. Your tires can skid, there can be fishtailing or your car may get stuck in a snowdrift. Knowing this before you move will make you aware of what lies ahead.
Understand that you need to spend a lot on car maintenance in that weather. You need equipment like antifreeze, snow tires, thinner oil, etc. before you start driving in the new state. Many people prefer to sell their cars and take public transportation when they move to cold states. Knowing these facts might help you to reach a decision. Perhaps you could sell your car too.
You Need A Winter Survival Kit In Car
If at all you decide to keep the car and install all the appropriate equipment, you need to place a winter survival kit in the car. It may seem trivial to you now but is of utmost importance. You cannot be sure about the weather in cold states. There can be shifts in temperatures and climate conditions at any time. The little drizzle you see can turn into a snowstorm at the drop of a hat.
Ideally, you should keep yourself updated on weather news. But you must prepare for the worst, blizzards can show themselves anytime. You can get stuck in a ditch and not get help for hours. A winter survival kit can be a savior at such times. The kit includes items like snacks, water, thermal blankets, snow shovel, road salt, whistle, etc. Read up about winter survival kits, it can easily be put together. And don’t procrastinate if winter months are nearby.
Expect An Increase In Chores And Bills
We already told you about the high cost of car maintenance in cold states. There is more to come. You guessed it right, big fat bills of energy. Heating your home is going to be expensive, thanks to longer cold spells. Expect higher bills in the first few months after your move because the cold, empty home will gobble up more heating, raising the energy bill. But don’t start modifying anything just to save some dollars. That heating is important and not just for your comfort alone, but also for the comfort of your pipes. Water in the pipes freezes up and causes a pipe burst if heating isn’t good enough. And such an accident is going to cost you more. So turn up that heat!
Expect loads of chores while living in a cold state. Get ready to handle that shovel almost every day after your move. You’ll see sheets of snow on the porch, small snowdrifts in the driveway, icicles on the roof, basically snow covering every inch of your property. You’ll start waking up early to remove all the snow before you can take your car out of the driveway to leave for work. No escape from that, we say.
There Will Be Less Sunshine
Make a pact with the fact that you’ll be seeing fewer days. If you’re a fan of beaches and tans, the transition is going to be tough. Dark envelopes most parts of cold states as early as 3 pm. In the mornings, you might not spot the sun. This is going to disturb your body clock in the first few weeks. Since there is no sunshine to wake you up, the urge to stay under the blankets will be strong. But soon you will grow accustomed to the weather. Who knows, you will start valuing the sunny days more!
If it gets tough, you can always get a sun lamp, they give you the same light and warmth. Don’t rely on them for Vitamin D though! Include foods in your diet that give you Vitamin D so your body doesn’t miss the sun. Cold states aren’t as bad as they sound. Yes, cold dark winters are long, but the sun does peek out once in a while.
You Can Actually Enjoy The Weather
Moving to a cold state can seem like a mistake. But it’s far from that. If you open yourself up, there’s so much waiting for you. You just have to open your doors to it. Quite literally. Put on your boots and step out even if the entire neighborhood is covered in snow. Make snowmen, throw snowballs at your kids and make snow angels in the yard. If you want to bundle up inside, grab a book and some hot coffee. There are several ways to enjoy cold days in your new home.
When the weekend arrives, go snowboarding, ice skating, or hiking, there are a lot of adrenaline-boosting things awaiting you. Moreover, places that offer winter sports have lots of community activities going on. You can meet like-minded people and make them your friends. Socializing is indeed possible in all that snow, you just have to try. Don’t let the snow dampen your spirits or your boots!
You should also know that winter isolation is real. Long dark winter nights are going to feel lonely. More so if the power goes out. But a little patience and hope for the warm months will keep you going. The cold dark days become bearable with community events and human interaction. When you move to your new home, make a pie and call your neighbors over. Get to know the small community that surrounds your home. This is going to make your new home feel warmer, even in the coldest of winters.
Should I Hire Movers To Move To A Cold State?
Moving to a cold state isn’t the kind of DIY move you should be experimenting with. It’s better to hire professional movers. Roads of your new state will likely be icy and slippery. If you have no experience of driving on such roads, driving a rented truck is a huge no. You put both yourself and your belongings at risk. Packing for cold weather is different, you need to pack such that the moisture and ice stay out. Professionals come with that experience, so it’s better to hire them than go for a DIY move.
Which Are The Best Cold States To Move To?
Maine, Vermont, Montana, and Wyoming are states which are cold throughout the year. Ideally, winter lovers should move here. But if you want to experience spring as well, move to North Dakota. If you really want to experience 4 seasons and a moderate winter, go to Oregon. You cannot particularly call Oregon a cold state. You’ll love the fall time shades on the trees. There’s so much more to experience than just pale white snow in Oregon.
See also: Best States to Live in | Winter Home Maintenance Tips | Moving To A Cold State – A Detailed Guide