Moving during the holidays can be a stressful situation, but it also sets you up for a fresh start at the beginning of the new year. The key to successfully moving in the winter months is to plan ahead and prepare for the unexpected. These 8 tips will help with a much smoother experience so you can still enjoy the Christmas season… even while getting ready for a major move.
Tip 1: PLAN EARLIER THAN YOU THINK
Moving in the winter months eats up a lot of time during a period that is already EXTRAAAA busy. Take a look at your calendar far in advance and mark off dates of things you can’t change (like the end of your lease or kids’ exam, sports, and party schedules) DON’T FORGET: Block off time for other less essential commitments, like social events.
Tip 2: GIVE YOURSELF LOTS OF TIME TO PACK
Give yourself plenty of time to pack, especially if you’re moving during Christmas. A move takes up a lot of time anyway, and you’re likely to be slowed down by other obligations (not to mention fun things that you want to do!!) As you work on your calendar, consistently schedule time to pack so the days don’t slip away, leaving you drowning in moving boxes when you’d rather be making snow angels.
Tip 3: DON’T FORGET ABOUT DAYLIGHT SAVINGS
Each day gets darker and darker leading up to winter which can make the motivation to get things done really dwindle….The darker evenings are accelerated, which can make moving in the winter months more difficult. Get an idea of your area’s usual sunset time so you know how much daylight you have to work with so you can avoid loading in the dark.
Tip 4: BUDGET. BUDGET. BUDGET.
A move at any time of year is costly, but your budget may be stretched even further when moving during the holidays. A local move averages around $500 for a one-bedroom apartment and you can expect those expenses to increase if you have a larger family. Plus, you’ve got Christmas expenses to think about as well.
PRO TIP: Create two separate budgets for both holiday spending and moving to make sure you’re not caught by surprise during the winter moving process.
Tip 5: SAVE THOSE AMAZON BOXES
One of the best things to do (that will also save you a TON of money) is to set aside all of your delivery boxes to use for packing. You’re likely ordering more things online than usual this time of year. Saving those leftover boxes instead of chucking them can help keep your budget in check. TIP: Ask your friends and family to keep theirs for you to use as well. (Don’t forget to also be checking Facebook marketplace or your local “Buy Nothing” Groups!)
Tip 6: DONATE!
Moving is the PERFECT time to purge items you don’t need anymore & moving during the holidays is the time to donate your unwanted possessions to your local charity thrift shops or women’s shelters! You’ll not only lighten your own load during your move, but you’ll also help families in need. Win-win.
Tip 7: SCHEDULE YOUR UTILITY TURN-ON
These cold winter months can be brutal… sometimes there’s just not enough blankets to keep you cozy and warm. It’s so important to promptly schedule your utilities to be turned on before you get to your new home! This way you don’t have to worry about an ice cold home after you’ve been moving and travelling.
Tip 8: PREPARE FOR THE WORST…. (WEATHER)
Winter weather can be unpredictable to say the least… Prepare for the worst by covering things like mattresses, sofas, and anything not totally waterproof just in case the weather takes a turn. A snowstorm doesn’t seem as magical when you’re moving during the holidays so think ahead on how to keep your belongings safe no matter what the weather is doing (or what traffic you might be sitting in.)
THE GOOD PART OF MOVING DURING THE HOLIDAYS:
Access off-season discounts
Most movers have a busy season and an off-season- when you choose to move during this time of year, you’re probably not going to face a lot of competition when it comes to finding a moving truck. In fact, the movers may be thrilled to have the business.
Moving during the holidays means you can usually take advantage of lower rates. Your truck will cost less, storage units may cost less, and your wallets will be cheerful. Alternatively, you could use some of the money saved to outfit your new home with new furniture and decor!
Avoid that classic family drama
People generally understand that the logistics of a move become all-consuming for a few weeks, so you have the perfect excuse for getting out of boring parties or dreadful dinners at your disposal. Some traditions are meant to be broken (LOL) We might love our families, but we could all use a break sometimes…
Be prepared for the new year
This is the perfect time for a clean slate and a fersh start. No matter what plans you have for the new year, having a different home is a good place to start. Moving in the winter months may bring in a new chapter in your life, and you’ll be happy to be settled into a different place when the fresh calendar year arrives.
THE NOT SO GOOD PART…While there are benefits to moving during the holidays, there are some downsides to consider as well.
Holiday moves may add stress
For many people, the holiday season brings up a lot of stress. Add to that a major life event like a move and you can really start to feel the weight of your responsibilities. Remeber when we talked about planning early? Now’s the time to make sure and plan out some self-care to aviod burn out.
Weather may cause delays
Unfortunately, weather is one of those things that simply acts on its own, unpredicable, schedule. Remaining flexible to any delays caused by wintry weather will help ease the anoyance that can occur. Again, planning far in advance and having already thought about what you’re going to do if timing gets wacky will help you feel on top of your move!
Extra spending could tighten budget
Probably the biggest downside to moving during the holidays is that you’re adding a major expense to a time of year when you may already be doing extra spending. Start saving money well in advance of your move (and the holidays). Creating budgets and sticking to them will make this almost a non-issue.
Budget your time (and your money) early in the process when moving during the holidays. Don’t forget to take time for some self-care so that you’re ready to handle any unexpected surprises that may come your way.