Moving can be stressful no matter what season you choose to do it in, but moving during the holidays can be particularly straining on even the most relaxed and rooted individual. There’s so much to keep track of already on top of worrying about gift buying, wrapping, keeping track of holiday accessories, maintaining your beloved holiday traditions, etc. It’s enough to drive anyone mad!
That’s why we’ve put together these helpful tips so that if you are facing a big move during the holidays, you won’t be pulling your hair out by Christmas Eve. (Be sure to check out our other article on How to Prepare for a Smooth Move so your moving experience is as smooth as possible, no matter what time of year.)
This seems to speak for itself, but just in case you haven’t figured it out already, preparation really is key when it comes to any type of relocation. Preparing your holiday necessities beforehand will make the move so much easier in the long run. A great way to prepare is to buy or make all of your gifts a few weeks ahead of time. Then make sure everything is wrapped and labeled and put away in a box so you can pull it out in your new home. Even if it means you have to pack a few more boxes, checking that off your to-do list will help you rest easier and give you one less thing to worry about.
If you are moving somewhere close by, you can even prepare your holiday meals ahead of time as well. You can prepare an entire meal or even just make and freeze cookie dough or a pie to finish later. Anything you can do ahead of time to take the stress off of you and your family will help.
Don’t get lazy with the labels. It should not be a scavenger hunt every time you need to find a spoon. It may take a little more time in the beginning but it will save you heaps of time later on if you keep your boxes organized. A simple way to do that is to use a color system to keep track of items that belong in each room, which will make life easier for not just you, but your movers. To take it a step further, you can even staple or tape a piece of paper onto each box and keep a list of everything you put in. That way, when that holiday bug strikes, you will be able to quickly and efficiently locate or display anything that gives you those holiday feels, even if it’s just kitchen utensils.
If you’re facing a move right after the holidays, and you don’t want to pull everything out only to pack it all away again, you can still celebrate without letting the holiday madness take over your already cluttered house. For example; Get a smaller tree, or you can even fashion a tree out of string and ornaments on your wall. Limit gift giving until after the move, suggest a family member host dinner or breakfast the day of, or even celebrate the holiday after you’ve finished moving altogether. There are so many small ways to celebrate that don’t have to cause you more stress.
If you still want to fill your house with those holiday vibes, keep a few unfolded boxes handy so that you can quickly take down and pack up any of your holiday decorations without taking up too much space.
Moving is a great time to get rid of things you don’t need and the holidays provide the perfect opportunity to give to those who are IN need. Use this time to go through your belongings to find things that you know you won’t need in your new home. If you are planning on redecorating, why not donate your kitchen towels, shower curtain, or even some old pieces of artwork you won’t be using any longer. Have your children go through their toys and get rid of anything they haven’t used in a while, or that you know will be replaced soon. It will save space on your moving truck and fulfill a need somewhere else. Donating non-perishable food items is an especially thoughtful and needed gift that will save you a whole lot of space and unnecessary lifting.
The holidays are all about family and the power of kindness, so be kind to those around you and, most importantly, to yourself. If you have children especially, there will undoubtedly be some kind of disappointment this holiday season as you transition from one home to another. A time honored holiday tradition will be forgotten; a special meal will be missed; something will go wrong that will make you feel as though the entire holiday season is ruined. But instead of beating yourself or your family up for what went wrong, use this time to make some new holiday traditions. Drink hot cocoa out of to-go cups, roast marshmallows around your stove, build a makeshift fireplace out of boxes. Use whatever you have at your disposal to remember what the holidays are all about and to celebrate your new home as a family.