“Summertime, and the living is easy,” as the old jazz standard goes. Easy, that is, if you’re just sitting in the shade of your front porch watching the cotton grow. And catching a breeze. Not so easy if it’s on a hot moving day anywhere on the planet. Including right here on the west coast of British Columbia– where the cotton has never grown. And on a dry summer day, it’s hard to believe the grass ever did!
It’s amazing how brown and parched a lawn can become even on the west coast in the summer. We’re living in a rain forest? Yes. And here in the rain forest, believe it or not, sunburn and dehydration are every bit as painful, uncomfortable, and even dangerous as in the desert. Summer weather can scorch you badly if you don’t take a few precautions on moving day.
Of course, just by hiring Kary Movers, you’re already giving your sweat glands a break– from both the heat and the overall stress of moving. Here are a few summer moving tips from Kary Movers to help keep you, your stuff, and your overall move cool and smooth.
The smells of summer. They’re not always good.
Summer in BC is the aroma of burgers and steak on the BBQ, marshmallows roasting on an open campfire, cotton candy at the fair. And deodorant. Yes, some people put it on little too thick, to the point it interferes with some of the more pleasant, natural scents of summer. But on moving day, better to slather on a little too much “hygiene helper” than not enough. Kary Movers’ finely-scented crew will be the one doing the heavy lifting. But you’ll inevitably be exposed to more heat than you bargained for as you move out and about on moving day.
Along with some extra deodorant protection, have some fresh clothes handy to compliment your fresh-smelling armpits. After you move in the summer heat, you won’t want to continue wearing what you have been wearing all day. “Oh, really?” you say, without a hint of sarcasm. Yes, really. It should go without saying, but in the thick of things on moving day people tend to forget to do even the normal routine things, including keeping themselves fresh. So get a good start with clean clothes and deodorant. Also, be prepared to change midstream if it’s a particularly hot day and you’ve been in and out of a hot vehicle more times than you want to count. If you want to really play it safe with almost no extra effort, don’t keep just one extra outfit, but two handy and be ready to change on the fly as necessary.
About 60% of the human body is water, and one of the biggest reservoirs for water not actually the underarms of your shirt or blouse. It’s your blood. When you start to get dehydrated, your blood volume decreases, but your heart has to pump the same amount through your body to provide to keep it cool. Reducing the volume of blood makes your heart work harder. When your heart can’t keep up, you run a greater risk of heat exhaustion– which is a less dangerous cousin of heatstroke. But you don’t want vistis from either one of those cousins on moving day. Even if things don’t escalate to the point of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, hydrating yourself can reduce moving day fatigue.
“Water” and “shade” are perhaps the two most important safety words for a hot day move. Kids and pets are especially vulnerable to dehydration, so keep them watered, too. Moving house plants? Yup! Same thing– but generally speaking, summertime is the safest time to be moving plants which are normally kept indoors.
If you don’t already keep your indoor plants outdoors during the summer, you might consider doing that at your new home. A move outside can improve the health and appearance of your house plants and most indoor plants. (However, tender ones like African violets and some types of orchids are exceptions. ) They love the both the fresh air and the increase in light intensity they’ll receive from being outside. Rain– yes, it will come soon enough– will wash away accumulated dust.
Here comes the sun(screen)
For most living things, a little exposure to the sun is medicine. But too much sun can be –as most of us humans have learned the hard way at one time or another– painful and dangerous. The upside of sunshine is that exposing your skin to it for just a short time will make all the vitamin D your body can produce in one day– 10,000 to 25,000 IU of vitamin D in just a little under the time it takes for your skin to turn pink. Getting your daily dose of the “sunshine vitamin” can be almost as fast as saying “My what a beautiful day.”
Keep your moving day beautiful and avoid the pink. And unlike cooking meat on the BBQ, the colour pink means your skin is already overdone. Remember, too, that even on an overcast day, you can still get sunburned— because even though clouds block the sun light, they don’t block all of the sun’s harmful UV rays.
The effects of sun and heat are that much more severe in children. Kids get too wrapped up in the excitement of the move and aren’t always aware of how it’s affecting them at the moment. A painful sunburn, or worse– heat exhaustion or heat stroke– can catch up with them at the end of the day even easier than it can with us big folks.
Just like you and your kids, pets are also highly sensitive to sunlight and heat. There are even sunscreens made just for pets. But keep in mind that not all sunscreens used by humans are safe for pets. Some sunscreens contain zinc oxide, toxic for dogs. It’s safer to buy one of the many sun protection products available just for pets. And, just like their human companions, pets need water and rests in the shade. Just one more thing, and it should go without saying– but a lot of common-sense things need to be repeated. Never, never leave pets in the car without ventilation for any length of time!
Protect your stuff
Many household items can be affected by direct sunlight, too. If you have things laid out outside in preparation for the move, keep in mind their potential time in the sun. Some items are easily damaged or faded by direct sunlight.
Electronics like cell phones, tablets and laptop computers are susceptible, too, not just from sunlight but the heat of your vehicle. Some cell phones, for example, have a fail-safe feature that will automatically give you an “over- temperature” message and shut your phone down when it’s operating in high heat. While some of our devices, thankfully, are built to react to the heat, it’s best not to put those safety mechanisms to the test. Also, it’s pretty inconvenient to lose phone service, even temporarily, in the middle of your move.
It’s best to transport electronics quickly from one air conditioned area to another– so it’s a much better idea to transport things like computers and tablets in your personal vehicle.
The earlier you start, the less of the hot, direct sun you have to encounter. This was one of our earliest hot weather learning experiences at Kary Movers. We’ll make every effort to get an early start on you moving day. It’s good for your belongings and it’s good for our crew. But it’s also good for you because inevitably you’re going to be exposed to the hot sun as you pack your vehicle and drive to your new place.
Realistically, your move may involve two or more trips depending on how well organized you are and how much stuff you want to take in your own vehicle. Add stops for lunch, picking up or dropping of the kids, picking up last minute items, and you end up with what can be a pretty exhausting day. All that activity is intensified by the heat, especially if you’re late out of the starting gate.
Obviously it helps if you have early possession of your new home. A few preliminary trips are nice, but it’s not a perfect world. So if you don’t get that head start before moving day, at least get an early start on moving day. Don’t push it! If you can plan it so that you can take an air-conditioned break when the sun is at it’s highest, do it! Your belongings will be in Kary’s capable hands (and on dollies and in trucks) and the universe is unfolding as it should.
Keep kids entertained (and watered)
And yes, moving day can be fun for them without adding stress to your day. It can be a great day for them to experience the new backyard. For some major hydration, set up a wading pool and some outdoor toys as soon as you arrive to keep the kids entertained and occupied. Just make sure an adult or responsible teen is supervising the water-filled fun. Finding a teenage baby-sitter is a little easier when they can play lifeguard at the “beach.” But have a backup plan in case the weather doesn’t turn out so well.
Pack for your first night
Anything you can do to streamline your activity on moving day is a plus. Packing an overnight bag, as we suggested in our “5 Essential Moving Tips” blog is even more apropos on a hot day. previous blog, Pack an overnight bag containing all your essentials. At the end of a hot-day move, you’ll appreciate having everything handy for a nice, relaxing shower. Fresh clothes, fresh sheets on the bed, fresh you!
It’s indeed possible that with Kary Movers’ help your hot summer moving day will end up feeling like the first day of spring. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Gotta go now. We feel a song coming on. “Summertime, and the movin’ is easy…”