Moving house at Christmas can be a recipe for stress, so we have compiled a list of our top tips to help make the process as easy as possible. Although Christmas may not be the optimal time to relocate, a successful move is guaranteed if you follow our advice below.
A simple guide to moving house at Christmas
Moving home can be a very stressful period of time, especially at Christmas when school holidays are in full swing, you need to finish buying presents, and the temperamental weather can cause delays. Effective organisation is an absolute must when moving home at Christmas as you do not want to miss out any important details amongst all the hassle. We want to make sure your first Christmas in your beautiful new home is perfect, so we have compiled a list of our top 6 tips. Of course, moving house, especially during the Christmas period, can be unpredictable, so it is virtually impossible to be fully prepared. However, by implementing our tips we promise you will feel confident that you can handle any unexpected issue that may arise and be able to move into your new home with ease.
1. Plan ahead
The key to a successful Christmas move is preparation. A comprehensive plan which outlines all aspects of your move from the very start will undoubtedly save you vast amounts of time and money. Having years of experience with removals in London, we are always here to lend a helping hand and make relocating an enjoyable experience. We have found that creating a moving checklist is one of the best ways to stay on track during the move, so we have made a basic list you can use for inspiration:
What to do 2 months before moving
- Check your tenancy agreement for information about your deposit protection
- Start de-cluttering
- If you are currently renting, notify your landlord
- Research your new area and try to familiarise yourself with local amenities
What to do 1 month before moving
- Purchase moving insurance
- Start looking for a removal company
- Inform your local council so you can vote at your new address
- Arrange mail redirection
What to do 2 weeks before moving
- Arrange for someone to look after pets/children on the moving day
- Deregister from your GP and find one in your new local area
- If you need extra room for your belongings book a storage unit (Part of our wide range of services include storage in London which will be able to help you here!)
- If needed, request time off work for the moving day
What to do 1 week before moving
- Confirm exact date and time with your moving company and provide them with directions
- Contact a locksmith to schedule a change of locks at your new home
- Start disassembling any flat-pack furniture you’re taking with you
- Direct your TV licence
What to do 3 days before moving
- Make a box of essential first day items (toilet paper, cutlery, first aid kit, toiletries etc.)
- Measure doorways, stairways, and lifts at your new property to make sure all your furniture will fit
- Make a list of contact details about people and services you will be needing in the first days
- Contact your existing and new electricity/gas companies
2. Use a reliable removals company
One of the most important elements of moving home is, of course, transporting all your belongings from your old house into your new property. While this aspect of moving can be quite time consuming, using a reputable removals company will give you peace of mind and ensure there are no complications along the way. In order to find the best removals company that can accommodate your needs during the big move, you need to do some research. Looking at online reviews, asking for recommendations and gathering a number of quotes will help you make an informed decision as to what company to choose. Once you have selected the perfect removals company, it is helpful to send them a briefing sheet detailing:
- Any items which require special packing
- Difficult to move items
- Wardrobes and other large furniture pieces that may need to be dismantled
- Items you will be moving yourself
A removals company that can be trusted to transport your belongings on time and securely will make you feel more at ease and ensure you are not left sitting around the Christmas tree without any furniture!
3. Be prepared for bad weather
It is inevitable that when winter comes around, you will experience some bouts of bad weather. Cold temperatures and snow can add to the stress of moving and even cause delays, so it is crucial to be prepared. When transporting your belongings from your old house into your car, you need to be cautious of potentially slippery surfaces. If it has been snowing, you also want to try to avoid bringing the snow inside when making return trips to collect more luggage. When loading and unloading your belongings, you should ensure you wrap up warm. Gloves are especially important to wear during this time as you will be using your hands to carry a lot of luggage and this could be uncomfortable if your hands are too cold.
If you are using your own transport to get to your new home, then your vehicle must be fully prepared too. If you are going cross country, a reliable vehicle is an absolute must as you do not want to be left with a broken down car in freezing cold temperatures. To make sure your car can combat the winter weather, you may want to take it for a service before the journey. Servicing your vehicle will mean any issues with it can be identified early before they become severe and cause more damage. Alternatively, Kwik-Fit offer a free vehicle safety check which includes a diagnosis of your car’s tyres, battery, coolant, wiper blades, windscreen wash system and light bulbs.
Even if you think your vehicle is in pristine condition and won’t cause any problems during the move, it is also a good idea to be prepared for any situation. For this reason, we advise having a winter breakdown kit in your car, so you are not left completely exposed and ill-equipped in the harsher weather conditions. If you want to make your own kit, here is a list of recommended emergency items to include:
- Ice scraper and de-icer
- Torch and spare batteries
- Warm clothes and blankets
- High-visibility jacket
- Boots with a good grip
- First aid kit
- Jump start cables
- Empty fuel can
- Food and drink
- Two reflective warning signs
- In car phone charger/portable battery charger
4. Organise your packing and take the opportunity to declutter
Moving home is the perfect opportunity for a good clear out and minimise the amount of baggage you need to transport to your new home. If you come across any belongings that you no longer need or want, then now is the time to get rid of them. Depending on what they are and the condition they are in, you could either decide to sell them at a local car boot sale, donate to charity, give them to family or friends, or throw them away altogether.
Although packing for your move may take some time, with a strategic plan you can easily gather all your necessities and remove any unwanted items. The supplies you will need for packing may include:
- Various sized boxes
- Packing tape
- Bubble wrap
- Old newspapers
- Stretch wrap for furniture
As packing in London is just one area of our expertise, we know that starting your packing early will make the moving process a lot more manageable. About one or two months before your scheduled moving day, you should begin packing items from rooms you do not use as often as others. Seasonal items such as garden tools and outdoor summer furniture should also be packed early on as you will not need to use them during the Christmas period. You should also endeavour to pack one room at a time as this will keep your current home from getting too chaotic and make it clear which boxes go where when it comes to unpacking in the new home.
5. Change your address
One of the most important things you need to do when moving house is to make sure you redirect your mail to your new address. The Post Office has a useful mail redirection service where you can apply up to 6 months before or 6 months after your actual moving date. However, even if you do use this service, we would still recommend informing important companies directly. To make this simple, you should devise a list of companies and organisations you need to inform, their contact details, and when you need to tell them by. Some organisations or companies you may want to contact are:
- Government bodies
- Financial institutions
- Insurance providers
- Utility suppliers
- Regular bills
- Health services
- Work and education contacts
- Leisure and family activities
It is also important that your friends and family are aware of your new home address. A benefit of moving at Christmas means you can send Christmas cards with your new address detailed inside. Alternatively, moving house postcards are a great way to announce to close friends and family that you have moved home.
6. Don’t forget to decorate
Between packing, gift buying and preparing the family for moving day, it can be hard to get into the yuletide spirit. However, decorating your new property with Christmas decor is one of the best ways to make it instantly feel more homely. The excitement which comes with hanging up the decorations on the tree promises to ease the stress of moving and make your new home feel extra festive. Just like when you were packing your items for the move, it is best to decorate the house room by room. As you will still be settling in for the first few days, your home may get a little cluttered while you organize everything, so tackling a Christmas makeover one room at a time is the best approach. You can find creative ways to decorate your home for Christmas here.
A Christmas to remember
Making sure your first Christmas in your home is memorable for all the right reasons starts with a smooth sailing moving process. Being organized, using an excellent removals company and embracing the festive season will all help you have a successful move. If you are moving this Christmas and want everything to run smoothly, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be more than happy to help.