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How to Prepare for Moving to a Cold Climate

If you have never lived in a truly cold climate, moving to one as an adult might seem like the equivalent of moving to a new country and culture. There are so many things you just don’t have to consider when living in a more moderate climate so its best to be prepared. Here are some critical things you need to consider when moving to a cold climate for the first time.

The proper clothing makes everything more pleasant

Trying to “get by” for your first winter with just your hiking boots and a lot of sweaters is a recipe for hating your new home – or worse, frostbite. Do yourself a favor and invest in a quality pair of tall insulated winter boots, insulated gloves or mittens, a thick hat, and a parka with a hood. A good down jacket is like the Rolls Royce of parkas, but a synthetic one will work too. In your everyday life be prepared with thick socks, cozy sweaters, and a few pairs of long underwear for layering under your pants. Think we’re kidding? They make all the difference for surviving in cold weather. Make sure you talk with your kids about staying warm, too – they’re learning just like you are, and won’t necessarily know how to remedy cold fingers and toes on their own.

You will need more blankets

If you’ve never had the pleasure of getting cozy beneath a big fluffy blanket, you will now. Outfit everyone’s beds with cotton flannel sheets and cozy blankets and prepare for some of the best sleep of your life. If you are moving from a more tropical climate and find you’re having a difficult time getting warm at night, consider wearing a thin hat to bed. There’s a reason the old timers used to wear “nightcaps”, after all.  

Tip: get a comfortable pair of slippers to put on first thing in the morning, and save yourself the unpleasant sensation of bare feet on cold floors.

Prepare your car for the trip, too

Moving to the snow means your car will need to be ready for different conditions. When you have the oil changed, be sure the shop knows you’ll be living in a cold climate so they put in the correct viscosity. Have the antifreeze/coolant system checked and consider getting snow tires as soon as you arrive in your new home town.

Also, pack your car with winter survival gear. A small snow shovel, jumper cables, and some de-icing salt or kitty litter can save you a lot of trouble, and some extra warm clothing and a blanket or sleeping bag can save your life if things go awry. If you’re not already the type to keep snacks in your car (who are you??), it’s time to start.

Your bills might be a little higher

Until this point you maybe had to pay for air conditioning or a little bit of heat, right? Make sure you budget for months of heating bills when preparing to move to a cold climate. Heat is not optional, whereas AC is. Assess how well-insulated your house is and, if needed, take steps to make your home more energy efficient.
Moving to a cold place like St. Paul, MN? We’ve got some weather advice for you. Stay warm!