When you think about moving during the holidays, you may respond like Macaulay Culkin did when he put aftershave on his face in “Home Alone.”
Moving during the holidays may seem daunting at first, but it has its good points, too. You’ll likely have some time off, which makes it easier to unpack. And the kids are out of school.
Making a move during the holiday season is simple if you follow these seven tips.
- Plan in Advance
Planning ahead of time helps you avoid trying to get everything done at the last minute during the holidays. Figure out the date you want to move and work backwards to create a timeline schedule. When do you need to be packed? When should you have your utilities turned on at your new place? How far ahead should you change your mailing address?
Work from a calendar the whole family can see, so everyone stays on the same page.
One of the biggest things to get scheduled is the moving company. Shop around, read reviews and choose the most cost-effective and professional one. Ask for a contract and read it closely before you sign to avoid any nasty surprises.
- Let Family and Friends Know You’re Booked
Don’t get pulled into work holiday parties, neighborhood festivities, and countless kid activities. These take up time you could be spending packing and getting ready to move.
While you may want to celebrate a couple of days on the actual holiday, keep the final three or four weekends heading toward your move free.
Announce your move on your favorite social media site, or send the news out in your holiday cards. Go ahead and let your employer know you’ll be moving and schedule time off as needed.
- Plan Your Holiday Celebrations Away from Your House
It’s no time to decorate and have an all-the-frills dinner for the extended family when you’re in the middle of packing. See if a family member or close friend will host this year instead. That way, you can still enjoy the season and visit with loved ones without taking the time to shop, prepare, and clean up at your own house.
A word about decorating: If you love the holidays and can’t bear the thought of leaving your decorations in their boxes this year, compromise and only deck out one room of your home. This gives a nod to your holiday spirit but keeps cleanup practical and to a minimum.
- Donate Items You Don’t Need
The holiday season is a wonderful time to help the less fortunate. Plus, there’s no reason to bring a bunch of stuff to the new house that you don’t need anymore.
As you pack up your home, box up working items that no longer fit, or that you don’t use, and give them to a worthy nonprofit. There are some charities that even pick up your donations, helping you avoid packing and then unpacking them from your vehicle.
- Save Holiday Delivery Boxes
Online holiday shopping can net you some large, high-quality moving boxes. Start collecting them as soon as possible and store them in the garage or a closet. When you start packing, use these boxes first and label them by room and contents to make it easier to unpack once you get to your new place.
- Expect Inclement Weather
Hopefully you’ll have sunny, unseasonably warm weather for your moving day. But don’t count on it. You could be dealing with cold temperatures, wind, and even rain or snow.
Watch the forecast leading up to moving day and choose the appropriate attire for you family. Wear sturdy footwear as you’ll be walking around outside.
Pack your car with necessities like water, flashlights, emergency snacks, and blankets just in case you run into issues.
- Start Early on Moving Day
When it’s time to move, be ready. Ask your movers to come first thing in the morning. Have everything packed and labeled, ready to be loaded on the truck.
Go ahead and pack up your vehicle with items you’ll need immediately. Doing this ahead of time makes sure they don’t get mixed in with things that go into the moving truck, which you’d then have to dig through when you’re tired and irritable.
Moving during the holidays may seem like a bad idea, but it can go as smoothly as any other time of year. Advance preparation is the key to avoid moving headaches and getting settled in your new place with minimal issues and low stress.