Whether you’re relocating from Florida to Alaska or from California to New York, moving to a new climate comes with big changes—and we don’t just mean to your wardrobe. Moving to a new climate also means changes to your daily routine, transportation, and more.
Today we’re going to help you prepare for a major move to a new climate. We’ll give you tips on moving to a warm climate, moving to a cold climate, and we’ll map out all the things you’ll need before and after your move to make the transition as smooth and comfortable as possible for everyone.
Let’s get moving.
Moving To a Warm Climate
If you come from northern roots, moving to a warmer climate may seem like a dream come true. No more big heavy coats and boots, no more shoveling the driveway and scraping ice off your car windshield, and no more wind chill factors and sub-zero temperatures.
One of the best things about moving from a cold climate to a warm climate (aside from the obvious warmth and sunshine!) is that you’ll likely be able to declutter. It’s the perfect opportunity to have a moving sale to get rid of all that winter gear, including:
- Equipment like snow blowers, shovels, snowmobiles, snowshoes, space heaters, and humidifiers
- Outerwear, including boots, coats, snow suits, hats, scarves and gloves
- The rest of your heavy clothing, including heavy sweaters, wool socks, fuzzy PJs, and slippers
- Bedding like heated blankets, flannel sheets, and heavy comforters
- Driving gear such as antifreeze, ice-melting salt, and windshield scrapers
It’s a good idea to hold on to some items for chilly nights or trips back to the north, but you won’t need quite as much.
Once you’ve downsized and lightened the load, you can begin to plan for the new items you’ll need in a warm climate. When you’re packing, make sure your summer clothes are easily accessible—you can always build up your new wardrobe after you arrive. In the meantime, here are some things you should buy before you move to a warm climate:
- Sunscreen: Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays with an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen, lip balm and hair products. Sweatproof and waterproof sunscreens are even better. Keep sunscreen handy while you move—the last thing you want is to arrive at your new home with your sun safety gear buried deep at the bottom of your “Bathroom” box.
- Bug spray: Coming from a colder climate, you may not be used to dealing with bugs year round. But now that you’re in a hotter climate, you’ll want to have mosquito and other insect repellents on hand. No one wants to fight with biting insects while they’re unloading a moving truck.
- Reusable water bottles: You’re going to need to stay hydrated in warmer weather, so make sure everyone has their own reusable water bottle on hand.
You may also want to put together a cooling starter pack that contains all the essentials, like sunglasses, sunscreen, hat with a brim, small towel, handheld fan, spray bottle, and water bottle.
When you arrive at your new—now warmer—destination, you may need to invest in some household items, including:
- Air conditioner (if it’s not already built-in) and fans
- Lightweight sheets and blankets
- Dehumidifier (if you’re in a humid environment)
- Gardening tools
- Lawnmower and weed whacker
- Garden hose and watering can
After you’re all settled in, there are lots of other helpful bits and pieces you may want to invest in to keep your entire family cool:
- Do you have small children in strollers? Look into stroller fans to keep your little ones cool during afternoon walks.
- Prevent your vehicle from reaching unbearable temperatures when left in the sun by investing in car sunshades.
- Keep your pets cool, too—consider a collapsible pool for Fido, or a cooling mat for Fluffy. And you’ll want to have lots of water dishes throughout the house so your furry friends stay hydrated, too.
Moving To a Cold Climate
Relocating from a warm climate to a cold climate will likely require far less in the way of downsizing. Actually, you’ll probably find yourself stocking up on a lot more gear before and after moving to a colder climate. And since most colder climate areas do have warmer seasons, you’re still going to need your existing summer stuff in addition to your new winter gear.
Before moving to a colder climate, here are some ideas for what you’ll need to stay warm when you get there, especially you’ll arrive during the winter months:
- Winter coat: Ideally ¾ length, preferably down-filled with a fur-trimmed hood.
- Tall boots: At least ankle high (shin high is even better for deep snow), waterproof, and insulated.
- Gloves, hat, and scarf: Opt for wool hats and scarves, and insulated, waterproof gloves to keep your hands warm and dry.
- Thick socks: Keeping your feet warm in cold weather can be tricky, so look for thermal socks to keep those tootsies toasty.
- Long pants: It may go without saying, but if you’re coming from a climate where shorts are the norm, you’ll want to invest in several pairs of long pants. Denim, corduroy, or cotton are all good options.
- Sweaters: Whether it’s a fashionable cashmere sweater or a cozy fleece hoodie, be sure to have several warm sweaters on hand—not tucked away at the back of your moving truck.
Once you’ve arrived in your new (colder) location, you can begin to load up on everything you’ll need to survive the winter months. Here’s what to buy after you arrive in a colder climate:
- More clothes: With so many variations of cold weather, you’ll want to have clothes for them all. That means heavy and light options for coats, jackets, boots, shoes, pants, and shirts. If you’ve never lived in a cooler climate before, you’ll soon learn that layers are important.
- Snow removal gear: Unless you’ve moved to a condo where outdoor snow clearing is handled for you, you’ll need either a shovel or snow blower, depending on the length of your driveway.
- Ice-melting salt (or dirt): Even after you’ve shoveled away the snow, scattering some salt or dirt to avoid slipping on underlying icy surfaces is an important safety precaution for front porches, stairs and decks.
- Wood: If your new home has a wood burning fireplace, you’ll need a cord or two of wood.
- Winter car kit: It’s wise to have a safety kit in your car at all times during winter weather in case you break down or get stuck in the snow. Winter car kits usually include a blanket, a hat, gloves, matches, a candle (which can prevent hypothermia), and a flashlight. You might also want to keep a small shovel or even some tire chains. If you can, create your winter car kit before you hit the road in case you run into any issues en route to your new home.
And once you’re settled in to your new surroundings, you can think about picking up all the small, yet very helpful odds and ends to keep your entire family safe and warm, such as:
- Firewood storage rack
- An axe to split wood or make kindling
- Snow brush/ice scraper for your car
- Space heaters
- Electric blankets
- Heating pads
- Thermal underwear
- A boot tray (to keep slush and salt off your new floors)
- Lock de-icer
5 Tips to Settle Into a Different Climate
Moving to a new climate can take a toll on your body and mind. It takes time to acclimate, so be gentle on yourself as you adjust. Here are a few quick tips to help:
- If you’ve moved to a colder climate, you’ll notice you get less hours of sun each day during winter months. Try using a sun lamp to help fight the winter blues, and make an effort to get outside for at least 15 minutes a day during the daylight hours.
- Transporting your baby from the house to the car? A car seat carrier cover will protect them from the wind and frigid temperatures.
- Remember to use sunscreen in cold climates, too! UVB rays may be weaker during the winter months, but dangerous UVA rays are equally intense year round.
- Stay hydrated in the heat. The scorching sun and hot temperatures will quickly leave you dehydrated, so be sure to take a bottle of water with you everywhere you go.
- No matter what climate you’re in, you can’t go wrong with layers. Sometimes cold weather warms up quickly, and sometimes hot weather cools down just as fast. Dressing in layers ensures you’re ready for anything, rain or shine, snow or sleet.
It will take time to discover all the new and exciting adventures that await in your new home town. But now that you’ve planned your shopping list and you’ve packed up what you need to move to a new climate, you’ll be ready to embrace your new surroundings no matter what Mother Nature throws your way.
Moving to a new state?
TSI specializes in managing long distance and interstate moves.