Moving tips

12-point checklist for a Christmas Move




If your Move Day is scheduled close to December 25, you’ll need to carry out some extra-careful planning ensure things run smoothly.

Few people plan to move during the festive period – but sometimes, such as when things overrun, you’re left with little choice. Here are some tips to make the best of it.

Organise your removals team well in advance

As with many businesses, removals firms are likely to operate with skeleton staff over the holiday season – and can get booked up early. Make sure you factor this in and – while it’s usually a working day – avoid Christmas Eve if possible.

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Get your Christmas shopping done and dusted

As Move Day is going to require a lot of time and energy, try to get all your Christmas shopping wrapped up early. It will ease your workload and stress levels.

Plan your packing

Even if you’re super-organised, your home may still be brimming with presents – meaning there are additional items to move to your new house or flat. Check you’ve got enough boxes to transport everything from A to B and label everything clearly.

Check your home insurance

Make sure your contents insurance for your new home will cover for all the gifts you’ve bought. These items will increase the value of your contents, and could even exceed your policy limit.

The good news is, many insurers – such as the Co-op – offer an ‘automatic seasonal uplift’ in cover of 10% over Christmas and New Year period. Check with your own insurer to know where you stand.

Make the most of the daylight hours

Bear in mind it gets dark in the afternoon in December, so plan to get as much done as possible during daylight hours.

Prepare for challenging weather

Everyone loves a white Christmas – unless you’re trying to move home that is. Keep a close eye on weather forecasts and make sure you are well equipped for all eventualities.

Keep a pile of warm clothes and wet weather gear – including wellies or other sturdy shoes – out of the boxes you’re packing, and leave them somewhere they can easily be reached.

Be ready with salt and grit for drives, pathways and other access points. Remove piles of wet and slippery leaves which can present a hazard.

Take extra care of pets – or book them into a kennel or cattery for the day.

Finally, if severe conditions are forecast which will make the Move unfeasible, have a back-up plan.

Put the heating on

Protect people – and pipes – on Move Day by keeping the heating on low at the property you are leaving and firing up the heating as soon as you reach your new place. Keep a plentiful supply of hot drinks.

Plan your journey

Roads can get busy at Christmas time so allow more time for your journey. Poor weather conditions could also delay you.

If you’re planning a DIY-Move, give your car or van a winter once-over before starting out. This should include a check of the tyres, lights and anti-freeze levels.  Remember to carry a torch, shovel – and breakdown cover with you. And never drink and drive.

Remember that shops will shut early

Plan ahead for meals on Move Day – and the days immediately after it. Many shops will operate reduced hours over Christmas.

Don’t advertise to burglars

The sight of a removal van and cardboard boxes outside your new home will attract attention, especially in winter when the lights are on.

Hang curtains in your new home as soon as you can to deter opportunistic thieves. Try to keep gifts out of sight – attics and lofts are good hiding places.

After December 25, dispose of your rubbish with care, as discarded boxes from expensive items advertise what you got for Christmas.

Reward yourself with a tree

If you do manage to get into your new home before December 25 – even if it’s as late as Christmas Eve – pop out and buy yourself a tree and a few decorations so that you can still feel festive despite the boxes.

Most stores will open at their normal time on Christmas Eve morning – and you may even get a discount.

Don’t over-commit

While you may be keen to show off your new pad to friends and family, think twice before offering to play host. Trying to find pots, pans – and even plates – when you’re barely unpacked could soon turn into a chore.

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