That’s why we’ve collected top tips from moving experts to ensure that your move not only runs smoothly, but you can still enjoy Christmas in your new home.
1. Dealing with uncertainty
It can be extremely irritating if you’re waiting around to exchange with no idea of when you’ll get to move. You may be holding off on packing, or you may be completely ready to go, but living out of boxes. For many people around this time of year, moving with enough time to get the house ready before Christmas is the priority.
You’ll want to nail down a date as soon as possible, and get a removals team on side. In December, removals companies will probably want to start winding down for their own holidays, so try and keep them in the loop about any date changes.
Similarly, your conveyancing solicitors
will be ready for the festive season, so provide them with everything they need well in advance, and don’t be afraid to nudge the estate agent if the other’s sides legal team is lagging behind.
Uncertainty is incredibly difficult to deal with, especially with a deadline. If you’re giving notice on rental accommodation, be sure to arrange a rolling contract so that any changes in your move date can be accounted for.
Control what you can, but try not to worry unnecessarily. Get everything that you can packed up in advance, without disrupting your day to day life too much.
2. Preparing presents
If you’re moving with little ones, they certainly aren’t going to expect a change of address
to mean Santa forgets their presents! Hopefully, everyone else will be a lot more understanding.
Try to limit the number of presents you need to buy – agree with friends or colleagues to go out for a meal instead (it’ll give you a break too!) and save yourself the bother.
For adult/teenage family and friends who require gifts, why not stick to gift cards? It will give them a choice of something they really love and will stop your mid-pack home being cluttered with more things that may get lost before Christmas Day.
You could also use online retailers to send pre-wrapped items straight to their home, or buy something like a subscription, which will keep giving throughout the year but won’t take up much space.
When it comes to the kids, ask a friend or relative whether you can store gifts at their home – or create one specific moving box in your home for presents. Just remember to name it something else to keep curious eyes from snooping!
3. Wrapping and Packing
When you’ve just finished wrapping up your crockery and packing up your summer clothes, do you really feel like wrapping Christmas presents?
As we mentioned, keeping gifts virtual, gif card sized, or sending directly may solve this problem. You could also just wait until closer to Christmas and either hope you’ll have time in between unpacking, or take it to a wrapping service. Many of these services are offered in shopping centres or are stalls at markets. Some of them even give their earnings to charity, which is another advantage.
At the very least, just chuck everything in gift bags – you’ll be sick to death of tissue paper and tape by then, we promise!
4. Accepting change
If you’re a big fan of the festive season, it can be hard to let go of certain traditions. If there are things you enjoy every year, the expectation to fulfil them may be overwhelming. However, it may simply not be possible.
Your traditional Christmas Eve party – do you really want to worry about guests when you’re still unpacking your home and waiting for your appliances to be connected? Are you going to find time for the Christmas Panto trip or making your gingerbread house when you haven’t unpacked your baking supplies yet?
It doesn’t mean disregarding Christmas completely, but accepting that this year might be a little different will make it much easier on you. Moving home can be hard – packing can take longer than expected, and the excitement of your new home comes with lots of organisational decisions – where is everything going to go, do you need new furniture, where is that one specific item you really need?
Give yourself a break from the expectations of Christmas – enjoy being in your new home, rather than immediately rushing and worrying about making everything perfect.
5. Staying festive
If you’re waiting to complete, you’re knee-deep in packing materials and you’re worried about your move, sometimes the last thing you need is another event to worry about.
Take the time to enjoy the festive season when you can, listening to carols, enjoying a warm festive beverage, watching movies whilst you pack…there are lots of ways to inject the festive season into your home move. It’s about more than presents and putting up your tree!
Remember that the spirit of the season is about being with family and friends, and moving into your new home will allow you to do that. Take time to relax, celebrate your achievements, and don’t expect too much of yourself!
Remember that if it’s all a bit much, you can always save yourself the time and effort, and get your removals team to pack and unpack your items for you. They’re the experts – it’ll be more efficient and your items will be packed safely. Also – start being ruthless when it comes to purging your possessions – the less you have to move, the cheaper and quicker it will be!
6. Checking the Chimney
Santa’s got to get in somehow, hasn’t he? If you’re buying a property with a chimney, it may need a clean to ensure there’s no debris, damage or birds nesting in there! Check whether the previous owners used their fireplace – if it has been unused for a while, the lining can wear down or the half surround can be gone, making it a fire hazard.
Make sure your carbon monoxide and fire detectors are working – put in new batteries and test them as soon as you can.
7. Keeping toasty
The last thing you need when finally moving into your new home is to struggle with the heating. Review the boiler service record in advance and make sure it’s fighting fit – a new boiler can be a big expense, and getting someone out to fix it just before the holidays can be difficult. Check your central heating is working, look out for cold spots in case you need to bleed your radiators.
Packing a box full of warm jumpers, dressing gowns, blankets and slippers means you won’t be feeling the chill whilst you unpack boxes and put together furniture. Slip in a few festive treats, pop on the radio and pretend you’re putting up the tree instead of the shelving units!
8. Avoid dreaming of a white Christmas
Snow and Christmas go together like mince pies and a glass of port, but practically, a home move in snowy weather could cause chaos. Obviously, you have no control over the weather on your completion date, but it’s worth being prepared.
Put down covers on the floor to protect carpets as movers come in and out. Do the same thing in your new home. Keep a mop and bucket handy if any snow is tracked in on tile and wood, not only to protect surfaces, but to avoid slipping over.
You may need to prepare a little earlier if dealing with snow – clearing your car, ensuring there is space for the removals van and limiting the amount of time boxes are outside. Organisation is key. You could also cover some of the boxes/furniture in plastic bags or plastic wrap to try and keep them protected.
Wrap up warm and don’t forget to pack a ‘moving in kit’ with your kettle, mugs and anything else you might need. A hot drink will definitely ease the chills of a snowy move!
9. Keep safe
No one likes to think about the high rates of crime around Christmas, but to avoid any issues make sure you have your contents insurance set up, you’ve changed the locks, and double checked any entrances and windows.
Making friends with your neighbours will keep your home safer, so why not take over some festive goodies and introduce yourself? You may be busy with your move and the run up to Christmas, but having people to keep an eye out for you offers peace of mind. It’s also a great opportunity to be welcomed into your new community and make friends!