In this article we’re going to look at how moving house at Christmas or winter time can be carefully managed.
Moving house is stressful at the best of times. Let alone at Christmas.
With Christmas presents to wrap, cards to write and kids to entertain, there is more than enough to account for. Throw in a house move on top and you’ve got all the makings of a meltdown.
With that in mind, White & Company has put together 11 steps to make the process of moving house at Christmas much more manageable.
Read on below to find out how you can keep your cool this winter and move house at Christmas with ease.
No one wants to be moving on Christmas day itself. Book in a sensible moving date this side of Christmas.
Many removal companies will have reduced staff levels over this period. It is important to converse with them in good time therefore to ensure your move goes ahead as planned.
Give yourself plenty of time either side to deal with any issues that arise. Check the hours of operation of solicitors, estate agents and removal company.
Remember lots of removal companies operate right up until Christmas eve. After that date, many will not resume business to the following week, or after the New Year even.
Make sure your property is ready to move into as well. Particulaly if it is a new build. There has been numerous horror stories of removal teams turning up to find the property is gutted or doesn’t even contain floorboards.
Winter weather in the UK is stubbornly unpredictable. Check the weather forecasts and prepare for all weather conditions.
Professional removals company prepare for moving in all weather conditions. Moving house at Christmas is no exception.
Highly trained removal teams will be able to lift and carry large and awkward items in icy or wet conditions.
Planning and preparing for bad weather is all part of the service. A move manager will decide whether it is safe to carry out a particular move. Keep in regular contact to minimise stress and disruption.
Having said that, even the most knowledgeable and experienced teams get beat by the weather on occasion. It’s important that you do all you can to assist them. Whether that be gritting pathways or clearing access to ensure vehicles can reach you.
Days are also shorter over the winter months. Try to plan and carry out as much of the move in the light hours of the day to ensure you’re not working into the night.
This will depend on whether you are packing yourself or having someone pack for you. Either way, start as early as possible. Ideally at least two to three weeks before your move date.
Start with the least used rooms, boxing up items from each as you go. Remember to use protective materials to guard against any damage in the event of bad weather.
A professional removals company will be able to offer you quality packaging materials and boxes. Some can even pack for you should you require it.
Don’t forget to label you boxes carefully. That way you can easily access everything you need once you arrive at your new home. It also means you can get the Christmas lights and decorations out straight away!
As you start to pack this is also an excellent opportunity to have a declutter. Go through each room thoroughly and ask yourself whether there are any items you no longer require or likely won’t use again.
Consider donating them to charity or selling them to raise extra funds for Christmas on apps like Shpock and Ebay.
Enjoying this post? Read our top tips on decluttering before a house move.
With so much to plan and organise its important to get your Christmas shopping, or atleast most of it, done early.
A recent PwC survey indicated that the 23rd December is still the biggest shopping day of the festive season.
If you’re moving house at Christmas, bare in mind that many local shops operate reduced or adjusted timetables for opening.
It’s a good idea therefore to do your research and plan ahead, particularly when it comes to food shopping.
When moving in winter its important to pack a box full of essentials. Set aside warm clothes, towels, toiletries and other essentials you will need straight away.
A kettle is also another great addition. Perfect for making teas, coffees and soups on the go to keep up energy levels and ensure you (and your removals team) remain hydrated.
If you’re moving at Christmas time its also a nice idea to pack a few festive treats like mince pies and fig rolls to get you in the spirit.
Before you leave remember to take down meter readings and contact your utility providers to tell them that you are moving house.
Settle outstanding bills and set up contracts with new or existing suppliers at your new house. There’s nothing worse than switching on your Christmas lights to find the supplier has cut you off. Or worse still, that you have no heating or hot water in the winter.
Other contacts you may need to register with include doctors, dentists and vets, among others.
If you can, get in contact with the previous occupants of your new home and ask them to maintain the heat at a low level. That way you will arrive to a heated home rather than one which is freezing cold.
Ensure you don’t miss any important post by re-directing your post through the Royal Mail’s online redirection service. It’s quick and easy to do and will ensure you won’t miss out on any Christmas cards either!
The same applies for friends and relatives. A nice way to do this could be sending out a Christmas card with your new address printed on it. We know its hard but try not to forget the in-laws either!
Moving house at Christmas can be stressful for children and pets that crave routine.
The build up to Christmas is often a joyous time for children. Ensure you pack advent calendars and stockings in your essentials box so that they can access these right away.
If you are unable to get someone to mind children on moving day try to pack lots of toys, DVDs and other forms of entertainment also.
The same applies for house pets. Domestic animals like dogs and cats will appreciate you bringing their bed with them and any favourite toys.
Don’t lose sight of any valuables (jewellery, heirlooms, personal electronics, etc) on moving day and keep them with you. That way there will be less difficulties if something goes missing on the day.
Keep them locked away if possible or in a secure place and ensure that only you, or someone you trust is responsible for them.
The same applies for gifts when moving house at Christmas. The last thing you want is for a valuable item or a children’s toy to go missing only a few days away from Christmas.
Pack presents in a designated Christmas box and keep it with you rather than with the main consignment handed over to the removals team.
This might sound obvious but disaster can often strike at the last minute. Moving house at Christmas is no exception.
Fill up the car with enough petrol to get you, your family and any belongings to your new home. Carry out last minute checks the night before and then again in the morning.
It might be a good idea also to pack a de-icer and/or an ice scraper in case driving conditions become difficult.
Last but certainly not least: deck the halls and celebrate!
Once you arrive at your new home, put up some Christmas decorations and set about unpacking for your first Christmas in your new home.
Why not crack on the Shakin’ Stevens LP while you unpack and make the process an altogether more jolly affair!
Did you enjoy this article? Think we’ve left anything off? What would you do to prepare for moving at Christmas? Let us know in the comments section below.
Sean Delaney is a creative copywriter with his finger on the pulse for all the latest happenings in the removals industry. He authors in-depth guides and blog content on selling your house, packing, moving and all the legal and insurance jargon in between. In addition to writing for GoodMove, he also provides editorial and copywriting services for a range of clients across the legal and recruitment sectors.