Whether Thanksgiving weekend or the full week between Christmas and New Years, the holidays may be the best time, or indeed the only time, you can plan the move to your new house. Here are some tips to make the transition smoother.
If you have young children, you’ll want to plan a time of holiday celebration, even if it is less elaborate than you normally would.
- Spending the holidays in a hotel: If you’ll be in a hotel over the holidays during your move, find one that is planning a holiday celebration. You might work with the hotel staff to schedule a special time to “use” the hotel’s Christmas tree to open your gifts.
- Make sure you know which restaurants are open or deliver on the holidays. Since cooking utensils may already be packed away, don’t assume your new kitchen will be up and running. If you’re moving to a new city, knowing which restaurants will be open may require some searching on the Internet or a few phone calls.
- Bring along some holiday spirit. Even if you’re foregoing traditional gift-giving during your move, take stockings and a few decorations with you.
- If you’re planning to celebrate in the new home, shop online and have gifts delivered to your new home. Arrange with the local postmaster and delivery services to hold your packages until you arrive, or arrange to have them delivered to a relative or the hotel where you are staying.
Prepare for hidden costs
While some companies charge less to move over the holidays since demand often is lower, others may charge more because paying for movers and drivers on a holiday costs them more. Before choosing your moving company and a holiday moving date, make sure you know what the costs will be when moving over the holidays. Even if the movers are less expensive, some moving costs that could be higher include:
- Cable/satellite installers may cost more or be unavailable
- Plumbers and electricians may charge a premium
- You may not be able to get the lights or heat turned on until after the holiday
- There may be more breakage from slips and falls on icy driveways and sidewalks when loading or unloading a truck.
If you need to move during the holidays and want to celebrate at the same time, consider leaving one room set up for your celebration while packing up all the other rooms. Alternatively, plan the actual celebration day at a family member’s home or a hotel. Prioritize packing so that non-essentials are packed first, and if space on your truck allows for it use the last-in-first-out rule so that the items you need to celebrate in your new home are readily available when the truck gets there. If you’re moving a long distance and are driving, check along the way to see if you can take advantage of special holiday celebrations, concerts or events in any cities you pass through.