Senior Director, National Country House Department
If you’re moving house this Christmas, our tips for a hassle-free move will help get you into your new home with time to enjoy the festive season.
Christmas parties, late-night shopping and escaping work early to attend your children’s carol concert: the Christmas period can be stressful enough without throwing in a house move.
Despite this, moving at Christmas is surprisingly popular. You can make the most of your time off work and it can be nice to have a fresh start to the new year.
Follow our stress-free tips for moving house over the festive period.
1) Book your removals company in advance
Some removal companies close for the Christmas period and many get booked up far in advance. Get some quotes ready, and as soon as you have a moving date confirmed, book your preferred day.
2) Do your Christmas shopping early
Avoid the last-minute rush and get your Christmas shopping done early. If you shop online, remember to double-check your shipping address to make sure your parcels get delivered to the correct house.
If you’re going to stay with family or friends for Christmas, you could drop off your wrapped presents early so there’s no chance of them getting lost during your move.
3) Hire a packing service
Save precious time and make sure your fragile and valuable possessions are well taken care of by booking a packing service from your removal company.
Professional packers are fast and efficient. Make sure you’ve cleared out anything you don’t want to take, and you’ve got your box of essentials in the car before they get to work.
4) Sort out your bills
Let your utility companies know you’re moving in advance and don’t forget to take meter readers at your old home before you leave.
If possible, find out from your vendor who supplies utilities to your new home and make sure there are no issues before you move in. You could even ask them to switch on the heating for you, so you’re not moving into a cold house.
5) Check the forecast
Statistically, it’s less likely to snow in December than other winter months but any bad weather will add an extra challenge to your house move.
Check the weather forecast five days before you move and always prepare for the worst. If it’s looking like snow and ice, then make sure you have a snow shovel and some grit to hand to prevent slippages. You may also want to put down some pieces of cardboard or protective floor covers to prevent snow and mud being traipsed through your house.
6) Pack an essentials box
When you arrive at your new home and are faced with a pile of identical brown boxes, it can be tricky to remember where you packed you the kettle. Pack an essentials box to take in your car so you have everything you need to hand.
A hot cup of tea and a mince pie can make unpacking a lot more palatable. We’d also suggest including some basic toiletries, towels, spare clothes and a hot water bottle – just in case the heating at your new home is temperamental.
7) Go away for Christmas
Offering to host a big family Christmas in your new home may have seemed a good idea in October, but you’ll be regretting it when you’re still surrounded by boxes on Christmas Eve.
Give yourself a well-deserved break from the stress of moving at Christmas and take a few days off. If you don’t want to stay with family or friends, you can often bag a last-minute deal at a hotel or holiday cottage.
8) Don’t forget to tell Santa!
Moving house can be stressful for children, particularly if you’re moving a long distance. Get them excited by talking about your new home and what’s in the local area. Help them write a letter to Santa, to let him know your new address, and reassure them that he will find his way in (even if your new house doesn’t have a chimney!).
Asking friends or family to look after your children on moving day can make the experience less stressful for everyone. If that’s not possible, make sure you pack some toys or activities in your essentials box. And don’t forget, there’s plenty of entertainment to be had from building a castle out of empty packing boxes!