It’s hard to be jolly when you have to move on Christmas Day, but if circumstances dictate that you must change residences over the holiday, there are things you can do maintain to a positive mood.
If the move is the result of landing a better job or finding a larger home for a growing family, you can turn the experience into a celebration. It helps to focus on all the good things that moving represents.
Here are 10 tips for making the most of a Christmas move:
1. Get organized
Santa isn’t the only one who needs to make a list and check it twice. A successful holiday move requires good organization, said Amy Trager, a professional mover based in Chicago. Get a notebook and make a list of all the things you’ll need to do before the move, such as arranging for utility connections.
2. Do your Christmas shopping early
If you get your Christmas shopping out of the way early, you’ll be able to focus on packing for your move, said Cathy Goodwin, the author of “Making the Big Move: How to Transform Relocation Into a Creative Life Transition.”
Bring your presents to your new home, she suggests. “Have it all done and ready to go.”
3. Round up some elves
Santa could never prepare for Christmas without his loyal crew of elves. You’ll need help if you’re planning to move without the assistance of professional movers. In order to entice friends and family members to pitch in, offer them a Christmas dinner. Trager suggests making it a take-out meal.
4. Make moving crew reservations early
If you need to book a professional moving crew or reserve a rental truck, don’t wait until the last minute. You may think there’s little demand for movers on Christmas. The problem is that most moving companies give their workers the day off.
“Make sure you have lined up your movers way ahead of time,” said Goodwin. “These people disappear on the holidays and you can’t get a backup.”
5. Find a storage unit ahead of time
If you plan to rent a storage unit, be sure to do so well before the holiday, said Diane Gibson, president of Cox Armored Mini Storage Management in Phoenix. That way you’ll have access to your unit through a security code, even if the storage facility is closed. Her company closes a half day on Christmas Eve and all day on Christmas.
6. Take a break
When you combine the physical demands of a move with the emotional stress of preparing for Christmas, the result can be exhaustion. Be sure to take time out for rest during your move.
7. Don’t try to unpack everything at once
You’ll make your move easier if you focus on bringing items into your new home rather than putting everything away. You’ll have plenty of time to do that later, said Goodwin.
8. Don’t be a Grinch
Your Christmas move will be greatly enhanced if you make up your mind not to be unhappy because you’re forced to move on the holiday. Bring some decorations to place in your new home to keep everyone in the Christmas spirit.
9. Embrace the spirit of giving
If you rely on friends and family to help with your move, give each volunteer a small present to show your appreciation. If you hire a moving crew, be sure to provide a generous tip.
10. Get to know your new neighborhood
After your move is done, an evening stroll to see local Christmas light displays can be a fun way to end the day. “You need to think about starting a new tradition,” said Goodwin.