Moving during the "most wonderful time of the year" is anything but wonderful. At a time when people look forward to cozying up at home, the last thing most of us want to do is pack boxes, clean, and wrangle odds and ends.
But some people don't have a choice. Selling your home in the winter, graduating from college, or relocating for a new job are just some of the reasons people move during the holidays.
If you find yourself in this scenario, trust us when we say that moving doesn’t have to ruin your holiday fun. The following tips will help make it less hectic and more bearable. We promise!
“If you know your new address, consider including a change-of-address note in your holiday cards to alert family and friends,” says Melissa Pollock, lifestyle and organization expert at PODS.
Donate seasonal items The holiday season is a prime time to spread goodwill to others.
"Consider giving some of your gently used items to those who may otherwise have no way of affording them," says Jonathan Self, a real estate agent at Center Coast Realty in Chicago.
Warm clothes, in particular, are in demand at consignment stores during winter months, and parents welcome toys for their kids. If you’re not sure where to donate your goods, your local Salvation Army is a good place to start.
Ask for a holiday discount You may find that movers are in the giving spirit this time of year and will show their appreciation for your business.
“Book your moving company early and ask for a discount,” says Val Burmester, an agent with Engel & Völkers Seattle. “This time of year is not as busy as others, so the movers might feel more generous and agree to a reduced price for their services."
Another bonus: Your moving date is more likely to be available to book because movers aren't as busy during this time of year.
Keep gifts to a minimum this year Secret Santa gift exchanges, Yankee Swap parties, and traditional gift-giving among your friends and relatives are all part of the holiday season. However, the last thing people who are moving need is more stuff.
To keep the mess to a minimum, Pollock recommends asking people to not bring or send presents until you have moved into your new home.
“As an alternative, consider keeping gifts wrapped until you arrive at your new place for easy packing and unpacking,” she says.
Recycle supplies Relocating involves a lot of moving supplies like bubble wrap and boxes, but you don’t have to spend a lot on them.
“To avoid waste and save some money, reuse the boxes and paper from packages you receive during the holidays,” Pollock says.
Ask your friends for their leftover boxes and wrapping paper as well.
Pack accordingly You're bound to have a lot of boxes on your hands, which can make it difficult to find your box of decorations. But make it easy to deck your new halls by packing your ornaments, garlands, and festive adornments last.
“Load your holiday decor boxes last so when you move into your new home you can give it an instant holiday feel," Burmester says.
Give yourself the gift of a moving company If you have to move during the holidays but you’d really prefer to reduce the stress of moving, Self recommends gifting yourself (and your family) a professional moving company. It'll be more expensive than moving boxes yourself, but hiring an extra set of hands will allow you to focus on the parties and festive get-togethers that happen during this time of year.
Terri Williams is a journalist who has written for USA Today, Yahoo, the Economist, U.S. News and World Report, and the Houston Chronicle. Follow @Territoryone
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