While others eagerly unpack last year’s ornaments, you’re stuck with the less than holly jolly task of packing up your festive decor. Whether relocating across the country or next door, moving during the holidays is no easy task. Besides all of the seasonal distractions, you’ll now have to deal with planning a relocation as well.
Moving doesn’t mean you have to turn into a Grinch this holiday season – not if you’re well-prepared, anyway. To ensure that your upcoming relocation is as merry and bright as possible, here are a few things to consider when moving during “the most wonderful time of the year.”
TIS THE SEASON IN GIVING
Donating your things may not be the most exciting part of moving, but it’s certainly an appropriate thing to do during the holiday season. Thankfully, charities such as Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity and The Salvation Army will gladly pick up your salvageable items free of charge. You should also save your receipts, as the holidays marks the end of the tax year. These donations could put more dollars in your own pockets – and after an expensive move, that is a good thing!
THE MOST WONDERFUL "TIME"
While not actually considered “peak moving season,” the holidays can be an extremely busy time for movers. After all, they are people with holiday commitments too. This means if you’re planning to hire a moving company, it’s important to book a reliable service as soon as possible.Also, keep in mind that moving on a holiday weekend costs more than moving on a non-holiday. If you’re planning a DIY move, holiday traffic will be a concern, as roads fill up with holiday shoppers and travelers. Bloomberg reports that the busiest brick-and-mortar retail shopping day of the season is “Super Saturday,” aka the Saturday before Christmas Day. Other busy shopping days include Black Friday and, for last minute shoppers, the week before Christmas.
The U.S. Department of Transportation states that the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years periods are among the busiest travel times of the year. FYI: Thanksgiving Day happens to be one of the heaviest long-distance travel days for vehicles. Given this information, it’s probably best to avoid moving these days, if you can.
KEEPING IT UNDER BUDGET
With all of the gift-buying and travel expenses incurred during the holiday months, it’s already hard enough to stay on a budget this time of year. Add in the moving expenses – from boxes to movers – and you’re probably going to need to start looking for other ways to tighten your belt this season. Don’t fret (yet). If you’re hiring movers, keep in mind that you may be able to save a few bucks by landing a mid-week move. Avoid moving on a holiday weekend when moving companies may be short-staffed.You can also look into cost-efficient alternatives such as rental trucks or portable moving containers.
These containers are also great for storage, if you’re planning to unpack after the holidays have ended. Other ways to keep costs low: avoid paying for moving boxes by scouring local liquor stores, offices, Craigslist, or U-Haul Box Exchange for free cardboard boxes; reuse your old newspaper, magazines, blankets and towels to cushion your belongings, instead of purchasing bubble-wrap; and recruit friends and family for a DIY move.
WEATHER OUTSIDE IS FRIGHTFUL
Unfortunately, you can’t control the weather on moving day. If you’re relocating to or from colder parts of the country, such as the Northeast and Midwest, be prepared for cold – sometimes frigid – temperatures. From icy roads to white-out blizzards, the holiday season can usher in dangerous winter weather conditions, posing serious challenges for moving.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to ensure your winter move goes as smoothly as possible.Make sure you have proper moving supplies and winter-ready garments to deal with treacherous conditions. Boots, hats, gloves, shovels, and salt may be necessary. Pack up your belongings in as many waterproof plastic bins as possible. Watch out for slippery sidewalks and stairs. And don’t forget to have your heat and electricity turned on in your new home by the time you arrive.
ALL ABOUT THE FAMILY
If you’re planning to uproot your kids in the middle of the school year, be prepared to help them with this adjustment period. Make sure their important documents and school records are transferred to the new school accordingly. For the most part, this means transcripts; report cards; immunization records; any academic testing the child has undergone; and other various files and records. I suggest contacting the old school for more information on how to securely transfer these documents to the new school. Most schools have a holiday vacation between Christmas Eve and New Years. So hopefully you’ll be able to unpack and help your children adjust to the new place during this time period. For more information on finding the best schools for your children, check out Moving.com’s tools and school reports.
Unfortunately, home invasions and robberies seem to increase during the holiday season. SafeWise reports (per the FBI) that 400,000 burglaries take place every year in the U.S. during the November and December months. In my opinion, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The last thing you want happening is a break-in this Christmas. To prevent that from happening, make sure you set up a security system either before or right after moving in. Call your security system provider a few weeks prior to the move to schedule a time for them to come out and install the system in your house.After you’re done packing and planning, kick back and sip some eggnog. You’ll be decking the halls of your new home in no time!
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