Tips for Moving During Christmas and the Holiday Season

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Moving During the Holidays

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The holiday season is supposed to be a time to unwind, forget about your stress and enjoy spending time with your friends and family. What it's not supposed to be is a time for packing, planning, and executing a move.

While moving in the midst of the holiday season certainly isn't ideal, sometimes it's necessary. Perhaps a sudden and unexpected promotion at work requires you to relocate and you start your new position right after the holidays are over, or an unforeseen event within your family forces you to relocate. If so, the best thing to do is to remain level-headed and always try to plan a few steps ahead so that you're prepared for anything that may arise.. With so many variables in play, such as the unpredictable winter weather, busy holiday schedules, and your family members and loved ones, it's easy to be overwhelmed when moving during the holidays.

Finding a mover

The first thing to do, especially during a busy time of the year like the holidays, is to find a moving company to handle your move.

Get started comparing moving quotes as soon as possible, and notify the moving companies of your planned moving date and schedule as far in advance of the move as you can.
  • Make a list of moving companies that can service your move and get several quotes. Try to get a written quote with an on-site estimation as this method will typically yield the most accurate quote.
  • Start with some simple background checks. Doing a lot of research on the movers is the best way to help you avoid scams and more headaches that you don't need during this busy time. You can find out about movers from your neighborhood, friends, relatives, and from the Better Business Bureau, U.S Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website. Reading through their reviews online can also give you an idea of whether you should go with them or not.
One of the benefits of moving during the holidays is moving companies tend to charge less for their services because the demand is low. Not many people choose to move during the holidays, for obvious reasons, so your chances of finding a great deal on a moving company are greater. However, since moving companies tend to not be as busy during the holiday season, they also tend to be less active, meaning that their drivers and crew members take time off to see family andmay not be available on the dates you need them.

Even if you can nail down a moving company that's available on the day you need them to come and pick up your belongings, don't expect the speediest of moves. Everyone wants time off during the holidays, including movers (who will often have reduced operating hours or smaller working crews during the holiday season) so your delivery may be a little delayed Also, equipment rental stores, storage facilities, and utility companies operate on different schedules, affecting several different aspects of your move. If you plan for these delays, you should be prepared when the time comes to make the move.

Addressing scheduling concerns

Getting your schedule aligned with everyone involved in the move is one of the most important things to do when moving during the holidays. Make sure that the moving company you hire has all of your contact information, like your phone number and email address.
Also, make sure to clear your schedule and moving timetable with family members who are going to be assisting you with your move, to ensure that everyone is fully aware of your relocation plans. Laying everything out on the table will eliminate any possible confusion or scheduling conflicts, which can lead to delays during the move.

Lastly, do your due diligence on the holiday events in both your current town and the town you are moving to, on and around your planned moving date. Check to make sure that there aren't any holiday parades or other large events that can delay the pick-up and delivery of your move and seriously hamper your efforts on moving day.

Dealing with weather and traffic

One of the many reasons people choose not to move during the holiday season is due to the often unpredictable weather during the winter.

Sudden snowstorms and blizzards can occur with only a few days notice and cripple a region for days at a time, severely limiting travel and making it next to impossible to accomplish anything, let alone a major relocation. For parts of the country, this isn't an issue, but in the Northeast, Midwest and Northwest, the weather can take a turn for the worst in a matter of hours during the winter. The last thing you want is an unexpected snowstorm to derail your move and make an already difficult situation even harder.

There are a few things you can do to make sure that you're prepared for winter weather:
  • Aggressively check the weather forecast for the days during which you plan on moving. This means check them early and check them often, as weather forecasts can change several times a day. If a snowstorm or other bad winter weather is on its way towards you, you want to know as soon as possible so you ca prepare for it.
  • Winterize your home, your vehicle, and your shipment. If you even suspect a small dusting of snow, make sure to sprinkle salt on your walkways and driveway and on any steps leading to your house for the movers. You don't want any of the movers slipping on snow or ice and injuring themselves during the move. Also, make sure you have your car or truck ready to drive in bad weather if you're driving to your new home. This means checking your lights and wipers and making sure your tires are safe to drive in ice and snow.
  • Prepare yourself for anything and everything. We all know what kind of difficulties bad winter weather can create, but the most important part of overcoming these difficulties and lessening their overall impact is preparing to handle them when they arrive, however unexpected they may be.
Of course, bad weather is not the only variable that you'll have to plan for when you're moving during the holiday season, one of the busiest times of the year. You'll also have to watch out that for that dreaded “T” word that everyone fears: traffic. And out of all the different forms of traffic, holiday traffic is by far the worst. Massive amounts of people clogging all major roadways heading to visit friends and family or go shopping leads to a major traffic headache, no matter where you are in the country.

Avoid this by monitoring the traffic on the major interstates and highways that you'll be traveling on moving day, and try to schedule your traveling to avoid the busiest times, such as Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

Packing

If there was ever a time to turn packing into something enjoyable, it's the holidays. For starters, your friends and family members may have more time off during the holidays to come over and help you pack, letting you accomplish two things at once: spending time with your loved ones during the holidays and getting your packing done.
  • Do not wait until the last minute for packing. Begin early by gathering boxes.
  • If you want to spend your vacation joyously without worrying about packing, then hire a packing services company so that you can enjoy your vacation.
  • On the other hand, if you want to pack by yourself, there are different ways to reduce your stress. Call some friends and family members to help you with packing--you all can have some fun together. Create a festive atmosphere by playing holiday music.
  • Label every single box for your reference.
  • Pack your gifts items, decorative items and holiday presents in the same box so that you can get them easier when you unpack them.

Holidays in transition

The holidays are primarily a time for warmth and comfort, being around loved ones and the feeling of familiarity. Moving can really throw a wrench into all of that, but you don't have to let it. In fact, you can work your move right into your normal holiday traditions pretty seamlessly.
  • In lieu of your holiday greeting cards, send personalized new address cards to your friends and family members to wish them happy holidays and let them know that you are moving.
  • If you have children, prepare them for the move well in advance, and let them know that Santa will still come and bring their gifts to their new home.
  • Have objects around you that remind you of home and what home means to you. For example, decorate your Christmas tree with your old ornaments and place photographs around your house that remind you of familiar things.
  • If you're feeling down, get out of the house and get some coffee and explore your new town, or rent a favorite movie and watch it. You can even listen to holiday music you enjoy or invite over friends and family members to spend time with you if you aren't too far away.
The important thing to remember is that wherever you go, the holiday traditions that you so fondly remember and enjoy will always go with you, and that you'll never be too far away from that.

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on December 7, 2012

Movers.com - Moving Expert
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