5 Things to Know Before Moving to a Colder Climate

If you're from Southern California or the American Southwest, there's no real reference for cold weather. Yes, it gets down to 40 degrees during some winters, especially in the high desert. The mountains get snow. But living in cold weather, real cold weather, requires a whole lot more than a down jacket and some snow gloves.

If you're planning a move to a much colder climate, here's what you need to know:

1.) A Sweater & Jacket Won't Cut It (Layer Up!)

In LA, our idea of dressing up for a cold day is wearing a thick sweater or a big down jacket. However, surviving in truly cold weather requires a lot more forethought, and ideally a lot more clothing. The secret to dressing warmly isn't in having one or two thick layers—it's in having three or more layers that combine to trap your body heat.

Here's the system you should shoot for when layering for cold weather:

  • A base layer (thermal underwear or long johns)
  • An insulating layer (a sweater or fleece)
  • A shell (a down jacket or a waterproof coat)

Note that this is in addition to your regular clothing, like jeans or a shirt. In total, you're looking at around five layers of clothing.

2.) You Need to Prep Your Car for Emergencies

Us Los Angeles natives have it pretty good. On 9 out of 10 days, if our car breaks down on the side of the road, we'll be okay. It might get pretty hot (and we might need to keep some spare water around), but for the most part, our lives won't be in danger. In cold weather climates, having your car break down in the middle of a snowstorm or a cold snap could endanger your health. (It is also, as far as we hear, a lot more painful).

To build your emergency car kit, think about what you would want if you needed to spend a couple hours in your car during a blizzard.

Here's what we'd pack:

  • Flashlight
  • Thermal blanket
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle
  • Jumper cables
  • Flares
  • Ice scraper
  • Road salt or kitty litter
  • High-calorie snacks

It's a good practice to keep your car well-stocked for breakdowns in general, but having some food, blankets, and a way to signal passing cars could save your life, or at least make your misery a lot more manageable.

3.) Don't Hide from the Cold—Learn to Love It Instead!

When you experience real winter for the first time, you might be tempted to stay inside all day. That's not a great idea for a few reasons. One, everyone who grew up where you live has learned how to enjoy the cold. A lot of your social life, sports, and other local traditions are going to require you to go outside. Two, you'll need to come outside eventually, and the longer you associate "cold weather" with your flight response, the more miserable your life will be.

Instead of being a hermit for a good chunk of the year, learn to love the cold. Practice going outside, enjoying outdoor festivals or events, or just taking some sun for a few minutes. The more you learn to enjoy the crisp, cold air, the more you'll enjoy your new life.

4.) You Might Miss the Sun, But There’s a Solution!

Colder climates tend to be further north, and the further north you are, the shorter the days will be in winter. In some places, you're looking at a 4PM sunset—that's more than 12 hours of darkness a day. When we say you'll miss sunlight, we don't just mean you'll want to tan. We mean you'll feel like you're missing a vital nutrient. You might even feel sad without knowing why.

Don't worry! There is a solution: sun lamps. Sun lamps imitate the sun's effect on your body, which can help keep you in a sunny state of mind all winter long. Artificial sunlight can raise your mood and offer some of the benefits us Southern Californians take for granted.

5.) Your Fingers, Neck & Ears Need Protection

Rookie cold-weather mistake: forgetting to protect your ears, neck, and fingers. When you're in an exceptionally cold place, it's not just your torso or legs that will feel the full brunt of the climate: it'll be your fingers, your nose, your cheeks, and your ears. Protecting the small bits that we often forget to cover up will vastly improve your quality of life. Buy neck warmers, ear warmers, gloves, and even ski masks to keep your face and hands protected. These accessories will also help you enjoy the cold!

Your Cold-Weather Movers

At Affordable Quality Moving and Storage, our Santa Clarita moving experts are here to help with your move to a colder climate. Because we have extensive experience with long-distance and out-of-state moves, we can help pack and protect your belongings no matter where you’re going. The best part is, we can take much of the stress out of the entire process by handling packing and unpacking, storage, and transportation with professionalism and care.

Call (661) 622-2636 today to find out how our movers can help you!