You have had moving on your mind this year. You promised yourself you would be packed up and ready to go by September. Then September turned into October, and now it’s the end of the year. You want to downsize, but with the holidays fast approaching, is it really the right time to move?
Don’t worry about lost time. By waiting, you have presented yourself with a great opportunity to enjoy one last holiday at home. You may even have an easier move thanks to some special New Year’s perks.
Less Stress—The holidays are a wonderful time of year, full of shopping, cooking and family events. They can also be stressful as you rush around to finish errands. Think back to last year. How much free time did you have? Unless you have holiday super powers, probably not much time at all. Your schedule is already full. Don’t add house hunting, packing and moving to your to-do list.
Enjoy Your Traditions—Your home is the center of your holiday festivities. It is full of memories of past holiday seasons. Next year you will be making new memories in your new place. This year, cherish your holiday traditions as they are one last time. Have your family over for a holiday dinner and reminisce about the good times you’ve had in your home.
Save Money—Waiting until the new year gives you an advantage in the real estate market. Winter is considered the slow season, which means there’s greater opportunity for bargains.
- Sellers are motivated to sell their home quickly. They will offer you lower prices and extra incentives. You will have more negotiating power.
- There is less buying competition thanks to fewer people braving the cold.
- Moving companies are more flexible with their schedules in the winter. Many top movers will offer incentives and deals to win your business.
- Realtors are less busy and have more time to devote to finding you the perfect new place.
Winter is a buyer’s market. Don’t put house-hunting off. It’s worth a look to see what’s out there. If nothing else, you will have a better understanding of your options. You might just find your dream home for a great deal.
Pack Once, Not Twice—The end of the holidays means packing the trimmings away in their boxes. Since you are already in a packing mood, this is the perfect time to start the moving process. Start by packing the decorations and downsize them as you go. Save time next year by only bringing decorations that will fit in your new place. Then move on to the rest of the house, organizing and packing room by room.
Get More Help—The more help you have, the better experience moving will be. But during the holidays, everyone is busy. Your friends and family will be much more available and willing to help after the holiday season wraps up.
Stay Safe—Snow and ice may be beautiful, but it is slippery and dangerous. Moving in cold weather has its challenges. Stay safe by keeping these tips in mind.
- Clear outside paths of snow and ice and salt your driveway before you start carrying heavy boxes.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You don’t need to do this by yourself. Hire a trustworthy moving company or ask your family to help. The move will be faster and you won’t have to do the heavy lifting. It is worth your safety and peace of mind.
- Wrap delicate china and furniture in bubble wrap. Delicate items don’t like the cold. The bubble wrap acts as insulation to prevent the cold from causing cracks and other damage.
- Don’t pack winter supplies. You don’t want to be digging through boxes to find your woolies. Leave out wintertime necessities including shovels, ice scrapers and salt so you can easily access them.
- Dress in layers. Moving is hard work. Dress in layers so you can shed clothing if you start to overheat.
- Protect your floors. Put down plastic sheeting or pieces of cardboard in high-traffic areas to keep floors clean and in good condition.
- Check the utilities in your new place. Make sure the electricity, heat and hot water all work before you move in.
A New Year, a New Beginning
This holiday season, concern yourself with just one thing: the holidays. Keep that as your focus and let moving take the backseat. Spend quality time with family and friends, not with moving boxes.
Tracy Layden is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. Born and raised in Silicon Valley, Tracy leads the marketing efforts at Alert-1, a personal safety technology and consulting firm dedicated to helping seniors live safely and independently. Tracy holds a degree in mathematics from Scripps College and is an accomplished ballroom dancer and equestrian.