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Let’s face it, no one really enjoys packing or moving—especially not during the holidays. Interestingly, there are more families that move during the fall and winter seasons than we realize. Whether your move is related to the military, to job re-location or to another life event, moving doesn’t always happen at the most convenient times. If it happens that your move occurs during the holidays, then you and I can commiserate; I moved into my home on Christmas Eve, so I know how hectic it can be. I learned a thing or two when I moved, so I hope these holiday moving tips will ensure your packing stays organized and you still enjoy the holidays with your family and friends.

Curb Your Holiday Expectations Before Packing

The holidays are traditionally the time of year when family and friends gather at homes for parties, get-togethers and festive meals. When you are moving, reconsider inviting the entire family over to your home throughout the holidays. 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. 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!

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Start Packing Non-Essentials First

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 really 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. This will allow you to pack up holiday décor for your next home. 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.

Confirm Your Moving Reservations Ahead of Time

If you plan on moving during the holidays, remember your reservations should be confirmed and reconfirmed days before the move. 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. 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.

This holiday season doesn’t have to be disappointing because you are preparing to move. 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. First though, do consider curbing your holiday entertaining expectations and packing non-essentials in your home first. Moving during the holidays can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience once you’re finished and enjoying some eggnog with friends and family.

About the Author

Ronique Gibson

Ronique Gibson, Associate Architect and a LEED Accredited professional, is the author and creator of a well sought after destination for homeowners - Stagetecture.com.

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