Top tips for moving house at Christmas
There’s no other time throughout the year that’s more difficult to move into a new house than during the Christmas holidays. The combination of bad weather, increased volume of traffic (particularly in city locations) and other factors makes the move stressful to everyone in the family.
On the other hand, it is also the one time of the year when you don’t have to go to work, giving you enough time and freedom to move to a new house. Besides, spending your first Christmas in your brand new home should be a good enough motivator, despite the storm. This is why, even with all the concerns, many people still move house over Christmas.
Moving at Christmas involves careful planning and months of thinking ahead as you may be up against factors that are unique to this time of year.
If you’re planning to move this Christmas, we’ve compiled a full list of things to remember in order to make the process as smooth as possible.
Make Sure You Book Your Removal Company Early
Most companies are usually busy during the Christmas holidays, which is why having an appointment booked in advance is important. This ensures that the movers have prior notice of your Christmas move. Furthermore, most companies cut down on staffing during holidays. Requesting an impromptu moving service may catch the moving company off-guard, and they might not be fully staffed. Many firms will book in workers during this period to provide the house move service, so make sure you notify the companies well in advance, they will then ensure you are able to move during this time period.
Inform Your Friends and Family about Your Move Through Christmas Cards
In case you haven’t been planning for the move and the need to move house is relatively short-notice, you can inform your friends and relatives about the move earlier on through Christmas cards. This doubles up as a great way to notify your nearest and dearest of your intention to move house and reduces the extra cost of sending change of address cards. However, be careful with this as you may find you receive house warming gifts for Christmas rather than presents for yourself!
Plan for Bad Weather
Sometimes winter can be challenging, especially on the roads and with travel plans. It is not un-common for many areas in the UK to experience snowfall during December, and if not snow the temperature can drop to minus figures causing ice and hazardous driving conditions. While having snow can lead to a picturesque Christmas, it can cause trouble for the moving process. This is why it is essential to plan ahead and have an estimate (weather is usually unpredictable around this time of year) to know when is the best day likely to be to plan the move.
Check the local and national weather forecasts for the entire week or month and, if possible, reschedule the move if the conditions are likely to be bad. If the date is fixed, and the weather turns bad with unpredictable snowfall, make sure you as a precautionary method, you salt your pathway, driveway and outside pavement. This will prevent the collection of snow around your house, which could cause the removal men to slip, breaking your possessions and worse injuring themselves in the process. If the weather is bad make sure you double the time frames that you have allocated for your move and leave earlier with plenty of time to reduce stress.
You also want to make sure there are extra clothes on hand during the move day to make sure everyone is warm and to prevent any illnesses.
Make Sure You Have Food for the Day
Most people forget about food due to all the excitement of the move at Christmas time, but the truth is, you probably won’t enjoy cooking after spending the entire day moving boxes and unpacking. You might also not be in luck with the local shops since most of them close early during the holidays and with the nights getting darker earlier.
Scout the area before you move to it and get the phone numbers of the local takeaway service; (check that they are open during this time). Your family will appreciate the treat!
The majority of local takeaway restaurants that offer a home delivery service can also be found online and you can use them to order food for that evening.
Pack Your Valuables and Christmas Presents Carefully
Everything in your house as a value one way or another, be it monetary or sentimentally. However, understandably items with a higher importance should be treated as such. This includes jewellery, documents, passports, birth certificates, photo albums, whatever you hold dear. Additionally, you may also want to pack all your Christmas presents in a separate box to avoid misplacing them and having to ransack all boxes searching for the gifts. For good measure, take care of this yourself instead of leaving it to the movers. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Start Planning Well Before the Actual Move
The last minute rush to pack everything including Christmas presents will usually cause a lot of problems with the organisation of items. The Christmas decorations should be packed last so that you can quickly unpack them and start decorating once you get to the new home. Packing a week earlier before the date of the move is highly recommended. As with other house moving preparations, don’t forget to start with large furniture that needs to be dismantled. It is also important to label the boxes to make the unpacking a lot easier, otherwise you could find yourself having to go through each and every box in search for something.
Most people don’t recognise just how much they have in their home until they try to pack it all. This might just be the sign you need to declutter and start afresh at the new address. (Read our top tips on decluttering your house during a move).
Take Care of the Bills
During the Christmas move details such as utility bills may slip your mind. In our moving house guide we cover how important it is to contact your utilities provider. It’s not enough to just contact them, though. Make sure you have the actual readings on the meters to get accurate bills. Take a photo of your meters on your phone for easy access after the move.
This is especially important when moving at winter, as you need to ensure your new home has electric, heating and water otherwise Christmas could be quite difficult. During this time electric, heating and gas is very important with relatives coming to stay and Christmas dinner to cook, you do not want to be cut off with so much at stake.
Prepare the New Home and Add Christmas Decorations
It’s crucial that you settle into your new home without any problems, and this means stopping by the house earlier on to check on things. For example, you need to have the fireplace checked before you light the fire when you arrive. Additionally, make sure you have enough spare light bulbs and a torch just in case any problems arise.
Make Provisions For The Children
As with any move, moving to a new home is stressful for everyone, but young children tend to get more upset because they may not understand why they are moving.
Children tend to get very excited around Christmas and a house move may add to this heightened level. A move around Christmas is stressful enough so we would advise letting a family member take them shopping or to visit the Christmas festivities that are going on at this time of year, whilst you move house. This welcome distraction will allow you to get on with the move without having over excitable children running around.
Moving during Christmas time has its challenges but it can be a good way to declutter your house, spend time with your family and start the new-year with a fresh outlook.
It is essential you reduce your own stress levels at this time of the year, so we highly recommend using a professional home moving company who has experience in moving house during Christmas.
Once the removal team have left and you are unpacking with your family, make sure the first thing that goes up (after beds and bedroom curtains!) is the Christmas tree and decorations. It may be the last thing on your mind, but it is Christmas and by spending a little time as a family will increase the Christmas spirit in your new house.
Spending your first Christmas in the splendour of your new home creates a magical cosy experience and one that your family will cherish for years to come.