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What to do if you have to move during the holidays

What to do if you have to move during the holidays

No one wants to move at an inopportune time, but sometimes it has to happen. If you relocate for work or because a house you just couldn't pass up was on the market, sometimes you get stuck moving close to major holidays like Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

How can you make the process as simple as possible and avoid potential pitfalls? Read on for some valuable advice:

Know what's open, and when

From your movers to the closest grocery and department stores, you'll need to plan around limited hours and days where almost nothing is open when you move during the holidays. Knowing when you can schedule your move and turn on essential services in your new abode is vital to make the transition as smooth as possible.

You have to anticipate your needs and schedule things well ahead of time to make sure your new home is comfortable and ready to be lived in when you arrive. Start with setting a date with your movers and packers as soon as possible, then make sure you can have your electricity and, if in a colder climate, heating fuel activated for moving day. Whether you're moving the day after Thanksgiving or just before Christmas, colder temperatures and shorter days mean you'll need light - and heat, in many parts of the country - to feel comfortable.

You may also want to set up appointments to turn on your TV, internet and phone line before moving day, as the holidays tend to make it harder to secure a quick visit from an installer or technician.

Knowing where and when you can get a few home essentials or simply a pizza after a long day's work of moving can make day one in your new home more comfortable. Take 15 minutes to seek out a nearby department or big-box store that has regular hours around the holidays and a place to get a quick meal. If you end up needing anything the day of or the day after your move, you'll be in a much better position to get it.

For sale sign, house in background with wreaths on front and snow on ground.Moving during the holidays doesn't have to be difficult.

Don't forget the holiday

Moving is a major event, and it can leave many people feeling drained or focused on unpacking and setting up their new homes in the days afterward. If a major holiday falls soon after your move, make sure to set aside some time to celebrate. Boxes can stay packed for an extra day if it means enjoying the holiday - and taking a well-deserved break from moving.

It can be especially tough to host a holiday celebration right after a move. Unless you're very dedicated, ask family and friends if you can attend one of their celebrations this year. Then, return the favor for the next holiday, once your home is set up.

Watch the weather

Winter can mean difficult driving conditions. Pay attention to forecasts during the days leading up to your move and allow for extra time in transit. Make sure you have a shovel and rock salt on hand if snow is expected, and have extra cardboard on hand to lay down in entryways to prevent tracking snow inside. Finally, consider using your garage, if practical, to move your belongings into your new home.

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