Every year, when the wind becomes a little chillier, the leaves start dropping and sweaters are trundled out of closets and from under beds, thousands of northerners begin to crave the warm Florida breezes. An estimated 80,000 snowbirds make their way to Sarasota every year, retreating from the frosty weather of their home state to enjoy sunny days, gulf breezes and sand between their toes. Seasonal moves, as common as they are in the U.S., still require considerable preparation. So if you’re heading our way — welcome! Below are several steps you can take to ensure a smooth, stress-free getaway.

Secure your residence

Turn off your water to avoid freezing your pipes, and unplug large electronics to save money on your electric bill. Make sure your alarm systems are working and secure any valuables you leave behind in a well-hidden safe or in a safety deposit box. Lock up everything, including sheds, porch doors and windows. If your locks seem flimsy, consider installing deadbolts or switch out your doorframes for sturdier material. Additionally, have your mail forwarded to your new location and temporarily stop your newspaper service (or schedule someone pick them up daily).

Ask someone to look after your home

A consistent presence at a house is a great deterrent for burglars. If you have trusted family or friends in the area, it’s not a bad idea to ask them to stop by your home regularly to make sure everything is still in place and your belongings are safe. Make sure they have a key to your home, and provide them a list of everything they need to check during each visit. When you return, don’t forget to bring them a special “thank you” gift from your trip! You can never go wrong with a nice key lime pie, salted caramels or Astronaut Ice Cream from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

Get technical

If you want extra peace of mind, consider downloading a security application or installing a high-tech system that will allow you to keep an eye on your home remotely. From apps that allow you to turn lights on and off, control the temperature and make sure your door is locked, to doorbells with built-in video monitoring, there are a plethora of devices out there that will perfectly suit your security needs.

Make a folder full of important documentation

Since most snowbirds enjoy the warmer weather for several months, you’ll need to bring all of your important documents. These include your medical history, all your insurance policies, checkbook, bankcards, passport and any other forms of identification you may need during your stay.

Pack for the weather

Florida “winters” are notoriously unpredictable. Some years you’ll be sunbathing in the middle of December, while other years will warrant a few layers of clothing to fight off the chill. Of course, if you’re coming from a northern state that experiences “real” winters, Florida’s coldest days might feel a bit balmy to you. Nevertheless, we suggest packing light jackets and sweaters alongside your Hawaiian-print board shorts.

As always, Yarnall Moving & Storage Solutions is here to help! Whether you’re visiting for just a few months or you decide to make your winter expedition a permanent one —our expert teams can make your move a breeze. Contact us today for a complimentary moving quote.

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