Whether your move is related to the military, a job relocation, or another life event, moving doesn’t always happen at the most convenient times. And let’s face it, no one enjoys packing or moving during the holidays.
Interestingly, more families move during the fall and winter seasons than we realize. If you’re moving during the holidays, we know how hectic it can be.
However, we learned a thing or two over the years, so we hope these holiday moving tips will help. You can stay organized and still enjoy the holidays with your family and friends if you are moving at Christmas.
1. Block off a month if possible to organize your move in a calendar.
Take an assessment of how much time you have before you move and work backward on your calendar. Allow at least three or four weeks to pack your home leisurely or ask for assistance from a moving company to help you expedite the move. Rushing the process will only add more stress because the holidays are generally stressful by default.
2. Plan a holiday gathering away from home.
Don’t skip the holidays entirely. You need time during the move to relax and celebrate. However, when you are moving during the holidays, reconsider inviting the entire family over to your home. If possible, arrange with your relatives to host holiday events at your new home next year.
If you still want to entertain, keep the expectations realistic. Invite fewer people; host potlucks where everyone brings a dish or consider having a caterer to reduce the stress and amount of cooking that will be required at your home.
3. Have a plan for packing little by little to avoid burnout.
Once you have planned your holiday calendar, you can start thinking about what rooms you can pack up during the season. If you aren’t going to have guests over, why not start packing closets, guest bedrooms, and storage areas first?
Create a staging area for boxes and supplies in a guest bedroom or storage room so your entire house won’t be a maze of moving boxes!
4. Pack some but not all holiday decorations.
For many homeowners, holiday decorations, storage items, and other non-essentials aren’t thought of until they start packing. Take a walk through your home and determine what you need during the holidays and what you can look forward to using in the future.
This year, scale back on holiday decorating and consider simply placing a wreath on the front door and a small tabletop tree in the house. Minimal decorations will allow you to pack up some holiday décor for your next home, but you won’t be skipping the season entirely.
The more you can pack now, the easier the moving process will be. Label boxes with room names and number them according to their priority so you know what boxes should be unpacked first when you’ve moved into your next home.
5. Consider all unexpected moving expenses.
If you plan on moving during the holidays, you might have to pay a premium to lock down movers. Remember your reservations should be confirmed and re-confirmed days before the move because holidays can make people and companies more forgetful.
Call your moving company or truck rental company to confirm dates and pricing. Keep records of all details in a binder or on your phone to ensure information can be pulled up quickly on the day of your move.
6. Buy moving supplies during holiday sales like Black Friday.
When packing your home during the holidays, make a checklist of utilities, home services, and other transfers of service you will need to schedule. Also, look into your local home office supply stores for sales on boxes and moving supplies—especially around Black Friday, after Thanksgiving, and throughout December, when retailers often mark office supplies down.
Moving at Christmastime doesn’t have to be overwhelming. First though, consider curbing your holiday entertaining expectations and packing non-essentials in your home ahead of time. If you do it right, moving during the holidays can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. All you have to do is stay organized and set aside some time to enjoy eggnog with friends and family!
Did we miss any important tips for moving during the holidays? Let us know in the comments!
This post originally appeared on the Life Storage blog on 11/4/15 and was revised on 12/24/18 to provide new information.