Tips for Moving During the Holidays
Moving is stressful, especially during the holidays. While few people would prefer to move this time of year, sometimes it can’t be helped. However, there are certain advantages. December is the least busy month for most movers. As a result, homeowners enjoy greater control over dates and times, while paying less for trucks, crews, storage units, and moving services. By following these tips for moving during the holidays, you can get the best of both: save money while also enjoying seasonal fun and festivities.
We don’t have to tell you holidays are busy. Between Christmas shopping, office parties, and family get-togethers, there is a lot to keep track of. Make sure your holiday schedule won’t interfere with your preparation by creating a timetable. Careful organization will help you balance your holiday commitments with your upcoming move, so you can celebrate while getting ready for the big day.
Write down everything you need to accomplish before your move (booking movers, purchasing supplies, packing your belongings, etc.) and everything you want to do ahead of the holidays. Mark the most important items on your calendar, so you know which dates are flexible and which aren’t, and what you have to achieve every day to keep the process running smoothly.
Because there is so much going on at the end of the year, your schedule’s likely to be tight. With more demands on your time, it’s best to start even earlier than you otherwise would. Packing up a four bedroom house by yourself, without a professional moving crew, normally takes about 50-60 hours. Since you probably won’t have that much free time in the days before you move, you’ll have to spread it out over the weeks leading up to it. Since something unexpected is bound to happen, especially this time of year, it’s best to start as soon as possible. If you think it will take four weeks to get everything ready, give yourself six or seven, just in case. The more time you have, the less stressful it will be.
Moving is expensive. So is buying turkey and presents. To make sure you don’t wind up spending more than you can afford, budget your money carefully. Get quotes from multiple movers. Ask about the costs of trucks, fuel, storage units, and moving services. Research packing supplies. (Boxes and bubble wrap aren’t expensive, but they add up.)
Then do the same for your holiday expenses, laying out how much you expect to spend on gifts, food, and decorations. Once you’ve added up the figures, you’ll know what you can afford and where you can save. Perhaps you don’t need to buy as many presents as last year. Or, instead of opting for relocation services like full-service packing and debris removal, there’s more you can do on your own.
Save Delivery Boxes
One of the best parts of moving during the holidays is companies like Amazon, who bring packages right to your home. Anytime you order gifts online, save the box it comes in. Every one dropped off at your door is one less you have to buy yourself.
Pack Your Decorations Last
Any other time of year, Christmas decorations would be the first thing you’d pack. But in this case, it’s best to save them for last. Decorating your home preserves a sense of normalcy, which is doubly important if you have children. Traditions play a critical role this time of year and celebrating will help keep their spirits up.
However, if you’re the type who loves to deck the house from top to bottom, consider scaling things back this year. A smaller celebration can still capture the spirit of the season while also saving time before moving day.
Ask Someone Else to Host Gatherings
Holiday parties are great, but odds are you won't have the bandwidth to host one this year. Ask one of your friends or family members if they won’t mind taking over for you instead. Spending time with loved ones is perhaps the best way to alleviate stress, an especially important consideration during a holiday move. Don’t skip festivities if you can help it, but do your best to avoid planning them. You’ve got enough on your plate.
Be Prepared for Cold Weather
Some parts of the country are warm year round. But unless you’re lucky enough to be moving to a sunny climate from a sunny climate, you’ll need to be prepared for cold and inclement weather. Keep your winter clothing accessible. If you’re going from a mild region to a cold one, purchase warm clothes as part of your preparation: hats, gloves, scarves, jackets, thermal underwear, etc.
To protect your belongings from moisture, buy plastic bins instead of boxes. Or seal cardboard boxes with plastic bags, to protect their contents. Wrap furniture with blankets to shield it from rain and snow. You’ll also need to lay plastic tarps over your floors, to guard against water damage. Keep a shovel or rake handy to clear snow and leaves from your walkways. Finally, if you’re dealing with freezing temperatures, buy some salt to prevent ice from forming on your stairs and sidewalks.
Use Christmas Cards to Announce Your New Address
Christmas cards are a great way to inform people about your change of address. Send them from your new home with your updated contact information. That way, your loved ones know both how much you value them and where to send their reply.
Donate Unwanted Items
Many homeowners downsize before a move. Because shipping rates are based on weight and volume, getting rid of unused items is one of the best ways to save money when moving. Charities are more active during the holiday season than any other time of year, which makes it particularly easy to find a new home for your belongings. There are clothing drives, toy drives, and food drives. Contact local organizations to see what items are most in need. Odds are something you own could make a world of difference to the less fortunate in your community.
Schedule Your Utilities
Winter is the one time of year when you can’t afford to go without power. Contact your new utility provider and make sure your electricity is switched on the day before you’re scheduled to arrive, otherwise you might spend your first night in your new home shivering under blankets.
Keep Track of Daylight
It’s no secret that days are shorter during winter. To avoid working in the dark, look up the times for sunrise and sunset in both your starting point and your destination. Depending on how far you’re moving cross-country, they could be significantly different. Once you know how much daylight you have to work with, you can create a realistic schedule that will allow you to load and unload your belongings in the safest possible conditions.
Help Moving During the Holidays
North American Moving Services puts customers first. We know every household is unique, which is why we customize our moving plans to fit your needs. Choose the services that suit your budget and schedule and let us do the rest.
Our agents have been coordinating cross-country moves for the past 90 years and can help manage every part of the process, from packing to shipping to final delivery and storage. They can even help set up your furniture and move your car! Take the stress out of moving. Contact us today for a free quote!