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5 tips for loading a truck on icy days

Ice and snow can make for a difficult moving session. Here's a moving to-do list to help you pack your truck safely and efficiently on the big day.

Wintry mixes are a grab bag of unpleasantness for a mover. Snow, ice and sleet are slipping hazards waiting to happen. Meanwhile, dirt and grime will cover every inch of your floor by the end of the day. Before you start hauling out boxes, make sure you follow this moving to-do list for a safer time in less than ideal conditions.

1) Clear all paths

Whether you're doing the moving yourself or you're hiring professional movers, you'll need to clear your driveway, sidewalk and your stoop of any snow and ice that might hinder operations. When shoveling snow, make sure that you provide a wider path than you'd normally need to get to the front door. Boxes and furniture may require more maneuvering or even more than one person side-by-side to carry, and you'll want enough room to accommodate.

2) Needs more salt

Once the snow is clear, put down rock salt or any other kind of de-icing agent so that people don't slip. You should lay it down anywhere in your path where ice could form, not just where it already has. It's important that you do this hours before moving, or else the path might still be slippery. If a thick layer of ice has already formed and the rock salt hasn't melted it by the time you're ready to move, chip at it with a shovel or ice breaker. 

For an added measure of protection on your porch, you can also put down a thick, perforated rubber mat to keep people's feet off slick brick. Just make sure that it's thick enough and allows for water to drain so that another layer of ice doesn't form on top of it.

3) Keep it clean

People are going to be walking through your home  endlessly as they carry stuff out to the truck. That also means they're going to be carrying all sorts of dirt, slushy snow, water and rock salt back inside. The biggest concern there is the slipping hazard caused by pooling water. However, rock salt can cause damage to hardwood floors if repeatedly ground into the surface, and the dirt means a huge mess to clean up once it's all done.

Your rule about taking off shoes before entering the house isn't going to work on moving day. Instead, throw down mats both inside and outside the house so that people can wipe their feet. You can further minimize the amount of time spent walking on your floors by moving as many boxes and pieces of furniture as you can into the rooms closest to the door. Once you move those items out to the car, you and your movers can take off your shoes to move other boxes throughout the house to those front rooms before heading outside again.

4) Go whole hog or not at all

If you can't move everything closer to the door, you can still keep the house clean with the help of cardboard and tape. Lay down a path of single cardboard sheets throughout the house and hold them down with electrical tape. Make sure everything lays flat to keep people from tripping. When you're done, you can just toss the scrap.

However, there is plenty to worry about when planning to move. Your other option is not to worry about getting dirt throughout the house. After all, you're going to need to give the house a good scrubbing before handing in your keys. Just be sure you still put down mats so that people don't slip and be sure to invest in really good cleaning supplies.

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