While summer generally tops the list for the best time of year to move, December and early January are often solid options as well.
“Relocating during the holiday season is actually a popular time,” says Matt Woodley, founder of MoverFocus.com. Kids get a vacation from school and the holiday break often provides several days off work to make a transition.
In addition, with COVID-19 still a concern in 2020, your annual family gathering is probably cancelled. The sidelining of holiday get togethers may alleviate some pressure that comes with holiday moving, yet moving during the “most wonderful time of the year” isn’t exactly stress-free. The more you know what to expect, the better prepared you can be to face holiday-related hassles and tension.
Should You Move During the Holidays?
Moving during the holidays is a convenient time for many because of the extra time off. However, your move may distract you from fully enjoying traditions with family and friends. But if you plan ahead, you’ll be able to relocate to your new home while making time for annual celebrations.
Read on to discover what you can expect when locating moving and storage services over the holidays, along with the realities of transitioning over Christmas and the New Year.
Holiday Moving and Storage
If you’re thinking you’ll just call up a moving company at the last minute to schedule your holiday moving adventure, you might be disappointed to find out that all the companies are booked. Due to the increase in demand for movers during the holidays, along with the need to grant workers time off over the season, the schedules of moving companies can fill up – fast. If you don’t want to get stuck with the worst moving company over Christmas, you better start looking ASAP.
If you know several months before the holiday season that you’ll be moving, call a company right away. Share your move date and ask for a free moving quote. Then check with several other companies to find the best deal. For interstate moves, always check for a company’s US DOT record to verify they are on the up and up. The holiday season is prime time for scams of all kinds, including moving scams.
Need storage for your move? Don’t wait until the last minute for that either. Some self-storage facilities may not be open now around Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s. Also many facilities have gone mostly contactless due to COVID-19, so you may not be able to walk-in and reserve storage units for your household goods without calling ahead or reserving online.
Other Considerations for Holiday Moving and Storage
Aside from the busy time you’ll have arranging for your holiday moving and storage reservations, there are some other considerations to make if you are planning to move during the holidays. Such as:
- Availability of family and friends. While loved ones’ schedules may fill up with gatherings and festivities, they will likely want to lend a hand if they can. Share your moving date with family and friends. Ask if they can help provide a meal, watch children or unpack boxes in your new home.
- Travel conditions. Some streets might close during the holidays for parades or special events, making it difficult to maneuver. In addition, the roads could fill with families headed on a vacation during this time of year. With COVID-19 that may be lessened somewhat, but the roads may not be as clear for your moving truck as you would hope. Winter weather could also cause delays. If you’re moving long-distance to a colder climate or are leaving a snowy place, include a few extra days of cushion in your moving schedule.
- Transferring schools. If your child will be heading to a new school, the mid-year switch might work in your favor. In most cases, teachers will provide this new student with individualized attention that would not occur if it had happened at the beginning of the school year, when all of his or her students were new.
Timing is Everything
When it comes to juggling a move to a new home alongside holiday celebrations, time is everything. We recommend shopping for gifts and sending cards in November or early December, before you get too caught up in the paperwork and phone number dialing of your pending move.
Use the opportunity of sending cards to share the news of your move and make sure to include your new address. Include your moving date so loved ones know when you’ll be ready to receive mail at the new place.
Remember to Enjoy the Holiday Season
Being intentional during the moving process can lead to meaningful moments. As you pack, make a pile for donations and then take the goods as a family to a local charity. Also consider putting a few holiday decorations in a box for unpacking right away at the new place. Then purposely slow down.
“My husband, three kids and I moved on December 26th from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Chicago,” says Ali Wenzke, author of The Art of Happy Moving.
To save time and energy, the family focused only on what was most important to them.
“We decorated the tree but we didn’t take out all of our Christmas decorations,” Wenzke says.
They also made cookies at home and enjoyed reading by the fire.
“Instead of emphasis on gifts and travel plans, we spent time together, enjoying our last moments in our home,” Wenzke says.
If gathering together and opening presents with family is an important tradition for you, be mindful of your moving day so that you give everyone plenty of time to relax and enjoy the season together.