Tips for Moving During the Holidays

If you’re moving during the holidays, things can get hectic FASTER than with a normal move. The tips in this post might just save your sanity. Though this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

5 Tips to Help You Stay Sane While Moving During the Holidays

Moving can be stressful enough on its own, but when you add the holidays into the mix, it can turn into a complete nightmare. The pressure of getting your move done and being able to spend quality time with family and friends is immense. I know because two Christmases ago I was pulling my hair out trying to keep up with everything on my to-do list, visit family and friends, and get ready to drive 800 miles from Tampa to Kentucky.

Because what’s wrong with uprooting your life of 30-plus years in the middle of a pandemic at Christmas? Needless to say, I wish I had thought things through a heck of a lot more than I did. So if you will be moving during the holidays, hopefully, these tips will help you stay merry and bright!

1. Prioritize and Plan Ahead

First things first – prioritize your tasks and make a plan ahead of time. Make sure to break down each task into smaller steps so that everything is organized and manageable. This way, you’ll be able to stay focused on what needs to get done. Also, don’t forget to leave yourself some extra time in case something unexpected happens! 

What does prioritizing tasks look like when moving during the holiday?

When it comes to moving, no one likes the idea of having to prioritize tasks. After all, it’s hard enough trying to remember what you need to do in the first place! But when you’re up against a deadline or have limited resources, prioritizing tasks can be a lifesaver. 

The key is finding out which tasks are essential and which ones can wait until later. The best way to figure this out is by asking yourself two questions: Is this task urgent? And does it require immediate attention? If the answer is yes on both counts, then chances are that task should be at the top of your list of priorities. 

On the other hand, if something isn’t as important or doesn’t need to be done right away, then it’s probably better off being pushed down the list for now.

For example, when I was planning my move in December 2020, I knew that certain things could wait while other things were urgent. So, I sat down with a spreadsheet and created a few columns:

  • Urgent
  • Semi-urgent
  • Low-priority
  • Can wait til the move is complete
  • Done

Under “Urgent” I included things like:

  • Declutter the apartment (so we would have a better idea of what we needed to pack)
  • Buy moving supplies (boxes, packing tape, bubble paper, etc…)

Under “Semi-urgent” I included things like:

  • Book our moving truck
  • Call the utilities company to set up services at new place

Under “Low-Priority: I included things like:

  • Close P.O. Box Account
  • Empty Fridge

Under “Can Wait” I included things like:

  • Get “we moved” postcards
  • Set up cable service

Then, as tasks were completed, I moved them to the “Done” column so I would have a space to let me know what was taken care of in case it popped in my head again.

And, as things changed in terms of priority level, I could easily cut and paste them into other columns.

If the organization part of moving isn’t your strong suit – hire someone who specializes in moving tasks. Or, consider buying a template/checklist on Etsy or a similar platform. Loads of people have gone before you, and if they can save you time, it’s a win as far as I’m concerned!

2. Start Early – Earlier Than You Think!

If you’re moving within the same city, about eight to twelve weeks before your move should be plenty of time to get everything organized and packed up. But if you’re relocating long-distance, then it’s best to give yourself at least six months so that nothing gets rushed or overlooked.

I wish we had taken more time to prepare for our move. Though we got it all done, we crammed in way too much considering Christmas and New Year’s week was the week of our move. If we had planned things earlier on, we could have enjoyed our holidays a LOT more than we did!

3. Hire Professionals (We Didn’t and it was a BIG MISTAKE!)

Nothing makes you a Scrooge when moving during the holidays quite like half-baked jerks breaking your favorite pieces of furniture and tchotchkes. 

I’ve spoken many times about this on this blog before, but if I could go back, the number one thing I would have changed would have been hiring professionals like the ones at Online Movers & Storage to make my move easier.

Enough can not be said about the importance of working with pros! We hired movers, sure, but we only hired them to pack the truck, and we didn’t do our due diligence in vetting the people we chose as much as we could have.

Had we used pros like the ones from Online Movers & Storage, we could have had a much merrier experience! 

Related: Check out my post “10 Things to Look for In a Moving Company.”

4. Ask for Help

This Goes BEYOND hiring professional movers. If I could go back, we would have:

  • Utilized meal delivery kit services
  • Asked friends to help us declutter – heck, we would have given away more stuff instead of trying to sell it on FB Marketplace
  • Taken advantage of free shipping for moving supplies and other organizational stuffs
  • Taken the doggos to doggy day care/left them with a friend for the craziest days

We also would have booked in more massages and other self-care activities. I know this probably sounds strange, but there’s so much that goes into moving that every sanity-saving activity goes a LONG way!

5. Utilize Time-Saving Strategies

We did use one incredibly helpful time-saving strategy. We meal-planned like crazy in the weeks leading up to the move. We didn’t have time to figure out what to eat at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And, we also were trying to get everything we could out of the fridge, freezer, and pantry. So, creating a meal plan not only saved us the time and decision fatigue that comes with meals, but it also help us to use as much as possible before the move (which saved us money too!).

Other time-saving strategies I wish we had used:

  • Using colored duct tape for the different rooms (i.e. red tape for living room, blue for bedroom, green for kitchen, etc…) Spending time writing out those room names prior to the move, and then looking for the labels when unpacking takes more time than you would expect
  • Dropping off donations instead of trying to sell as much as we did – this took WAY more time and energy than it was worth
  • Decluttering more than we did – we spent too much time packing crap we didn’t need to keep
  • Planning meals and snacks for moving day – Moving is hungry work – having something close by will save you precious minutes (and calories!) Instead of taking a break to eat out or order takeout, we could have snacked on something simple like granola bars or trail mix while finishing up. 
  • Keeping all documentation in one spot – Gather utility bills and other paperwork early to ensure everything is taken care of before your move date. This way you won’t find yourself frantically searching for documents while trying to unpack! 

These are just five tips to help you keep your sanity while moving during the holidays, but it’s far from an exhaustive list. I’ll update this list as more ideas come to me.

If you have a move coming up, and you’re in the Coral Gables area, consider checking out my bloggy friends at Online Movers & Storage. These Coral Gables Fl Movers are pros at what they do, and their reputation speaks for itself. 

And, if you are moving during the holidays, I feel for you. I honestly wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But, hopefully, this post gave you some ideas to make it a less painful experience.