Many people move during the holidays because they’re off from work and studies, and sometimes have friends and family who can help during this time. However, any move still requires a fair amount of foresight. And proper planning can reduce a tonne of stress in the days leading up to relocating.
Besides, you’ll probably be too busy to focus on the small details that can make a big difference. Our tips for moving during the holidays guarantee a better move and faster unpacking. Having provided residential moving services for many happy clients, our recommendations come from years of experience.
#1. Plan Your Move Ahead of the Time
Planning your move ahead of time helps prioritize tasks that need to be completed and focus on those that are the most urgent. This is particularly important if you’ve got a family. Ideally, you want to avoid uprooting kids in the middle of the school year. Additionally, if you’re planning a long-distance move you might need to gather files and records like insurance policies and health records, for example.
#2. Create a Thorough Budget
Moving over the holidays can be pricier than at other times of the year. Include additional holiday expenses, and you can easily land up spending more than you intended. We recommend creating a budget — the more detailed, the better — to ensure your expenses stay on track. It will also give you greater peace of mind.
#3. Pack All Your Belongings
Start packing at least six weeks before you move. Ideally, you should use the first three weeks to declutter, purge and gather packing materials and the last three weeks to pack. Spreading it over a couple of weeks takes the stress out of last-minute packing.
We also advise keeping items from the same room together. This makes it much easier to unpack everything in your new home. Moreover, remember to use small containers for heavier items like books and ornaments and bigger ones for lighter items. Alternatively, once you’ve sorted everything, you can hire professional packing services to do the job for you.
#4. Plan for the Weather
If you’re relocating from colder parts of the country, you’ll want to make sure you have proper moving supplies. Shovels and deicers will be helpful in case you need to de-ice pathways and entrance areas. Don’t forget to wear warm clothes — boots, hats, and gloves — so you can easily move items.
We also recommend taking some old towels, padding, and plastic to place on the floor. This will protect your new space from snow and ice and keep it clean during the move. Last but not least, double-check your homeowner’s insurance covers damages in transit.
#5. Take All the Necessary Safety Measures
According to the FBI, there is a home break-in every 13 seconds in the USA. We’re not sharing this to cause panic, but rather to make you aware of potential security concerns. It’s a good idea to set up a security system right before your holiday moving takes place. Most thieves target homes that look easy to break into, so we highly recommend upgrading your new home’s security if needed.
#6. Pack Your Holiday Decorations
Holiday moving can still be full of Christmas cheer. Pack your Christmas decorations in separate and clearly labeled boxes, so you can put them up as soon as you arrive at your new home. Of course, you don’t have to deck out your entire house, but a wreath, a tree, and stockings will add to the holiday spirit and quickly brighten the space.
If you’ve got kids, putting up holiday decorations is a great motivator to get them to help unpack. Moving during the holiday season also offers the opportunity to go through your decorations and update and get rid of old ones.
#7. Buy Your Packing & Moving Supplies During Sale
One way to save money when moving just before Christmas is to ask your local supermarket or department store if they have any empty cardboard boxes. While some may charge a nominal fee, it’s still cheaper than paying the full price. It’s also a good idea to find moving supplies for sale, so you can get things like labels, parcel tape, and bubble wrap at discount prices.
#8. Donate What You Don’t Need
Charities like Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity will gladly pick up your second-hand items in good condition free of charge. Cash or property donations worth more than $250 are tax-deductible, so long as you have a written letter of acknowledgment from the charity.
#9. Don’t Forget to Take Care of Your Family!
Moving at Christmas time can be exciting and overwhelming for kids. It’s important to make time to help them re-adjust. Simple things like going for walks or planning fun activities in your new neighborhood will help them settle in before school starts.
On that note, you’ll also want to keep significant documents like marriage certificates, Social Security cards, school reports, etc. in one place. We recommend putting these in a box and moving them yourself, even if you’ve hired a moving company. Scanning digital copies and save them on a cloud as an additional safeguard is also a smart idea.
Moving isn't the same for everyone. If you’re moving house at Christmas, or any other time of year, you’ll need a plan that works best for you and your family. Following our tips and breaking up large to-do lists into smaller tasks will help you feel less overwhelmed.
And remember, if you want to hire help for your move during the holiday, we’re here! Professional movers at Alliance Moving & Storage can take care of your entire move or just help with certain things like packing and transportation. It’s really up to you. Why not request a free quote to get started?