How To Prepare For A Move In The Harsh Alberta Winter

Moving in Alberta in the winter can be challenging, whether you are hiring a moving company or doing it yourself.  Moving companies and truck rental companies both have non-heated trucks, so keeping this in mind a few tips can come in handy:

Avoid using plastic shelving for your winter move

Plastic shelving should not bear weight in freezing weather – plastic becomes brittle and fragile in the cold, the colder the weather the more brittle plastic becomes.  Especially plastics that are meant for indoor use.  Plastic shelving should be broken down into components.  Insurance companies tend not to cover weather-related damage so if it’s an expensive plastic piece, consider transporting in a warm environment.

Types of packing storage and containers to avoid

Whether you are packing yourself or paying your moving company for packing services, Plastic totes should be avoided – use cardboard boxes instead.  If a plastic tote or 2 must be used, pack them lightly so they can be loaded at the top of the truck.  A bunch of heavy plastic totes in winter are unstackable in winter since the weight of the totes will cause cracking of the totes and potential damage to the contents inside.

Think about liquids or water before moving day

Items filled with water should be either drained, winterized or not transported except in a warm environment and the nature of foodstuffs should also be considered:

-Snow globes and other decorative pieces containing liquid

-Washing machine (RV antifreeze is commonly used, always consult your manufacturer)


-Liquid cleaners

-Canned goods

-Bottled water

-Soda, juices

-Liquid containers like tea-kettles, coffee pots (ensure they are completely drained)

-Aquarium hoses and residual water

Disassemble furniture with Particle board, aka pressboard:

-PB is compressed waste wood and glue.  In the winter the adhesive freezes, it becomes brittle and fragile – it will contract and then expand again going from warm to cold and then back to a warm environment during the moving process.  PB is not designed to withstand an abrupt 40 to 60 degree temperature swing, so the best practice is to disassemble each piece as required.  (even in perfect conditions PB should be disassembled as best practice).

-If you or your moving company move a PB furniture item, it may develop a ‘wobble’.  Inside the PB furniture item, there are small metal inserts with a locking mechanism to hold the insert in place.    The metal inserts and locking mechanism are embedded within the wastewood and glue mix.  All it takes is for one paperclip thickness of wastewood/glue material to loosen and the structural integrity of the PB furniture item has been compromised.

-The reason manufacturers ship PB furniture unassembled in boxes is to save space and to avoid stacking pre-built PB furniture since it isn’t designed to be stacked.

 If disassembling all your PB furniture feels overwhelming to you, don’t worry - when you move with Alberta Strong Movers, we also offer assembly and disassembly services to make things easier for you!

Check your garage for liquids

-Heated garages often have items that carry liquids and residual liquids, such as:




-Water hoses (if the hoses weren’t drained)

-Pressure washers (run winter windshield washer fluid through it)

-Tile cutters that haven’t been cleaned/drained

-Lacquers and stains

Make a plan for how you’ll move all your plants, vegetation, and seeds:

-Most indoor plants cannot withstand a harsh cold environment.  You should plan to transport these in a warm environment (such as the back seat of a warmed-up vehicle).

And as always, make sure to have plenty of ice melt handy and spread liberally the night before the move from your front door to the back of the moving truck.

At the end of the day, if you live in Alberta and are planning to move this winter, you’ll want to hire movers who understand all of these factors and will go above and beyond to protect your precious belongings, no matter how cold it gets!

Give us a call or fill out our quick online form to get a free quote TODAY.

–The team at Alberta Strong Movers