When the fall months arrive, in general, people who are thinking of selling their homes (or buying a new one) tend to put those aspirations on HOLD until AFTER the holidays. Why do you think that is? It’s because the holiday season can be stressful all on its own without adding the stress of moving. I have either moved or been getting ready for a move many times during this season and I have learned a few things that help considerably during this time. Here a few of my insights:
Prepare Your Family, Friends and Commitments – When you are moving, good preparation is key to keep stress at bay and will help more than anything else. This goes for those around you as well
Prepare Your Family –Let your family know that you may have to do gift giving or family dinners a bit differently this year, but that you will still have time to celebrate too. If you can’t host this year, make sure you can next year. Or, if you always have fancy dinners—change it up for disposable plates and cups! Family is important this time of year, so change a few ways of doing things, but, be sure to be there for those family moments.
Prepare Your Friends - Make sure your friends know they are appreciated even if you can’t make every party or outing. Tell them that you must pick and choose but will make it up to them after you are settled. Then DON’T FORGET your promise. Chances are good friends will be helping you during your move anyway, so, maybe an impromptu appreciation gift of some kind (cup of coffee, box of donuts, quick lunch out—you still need to eat!) while they are helping so they know you’re still thinking of them during this time too.
Prepare Your Commitments - Maybe you are always in charge of something at your church or school or work during this time of year, but, this is the year you need to let them know EARLY that you may not be available like previous years. Don’t leave anyone hanging—but, your move is priority number 1 and you can’t direct the children’s choir, sew 100 costumes or organize the fundraiser at work all at the same time you are packing up your entire family and life. If you let those people know your limitations ahead of time, this gives them the chance to find someone to fill your spot.
Stay Organized – Keep lists of what needs to be done daily…weekly…etc., and do the work. Schedule in the festivities too. If you know what is happening and when, you can plan the hard tasks and work in the fun!
Change up Décor – When you are moving, unpacking all sorts of decorations and putting them out is counterproductive to all the packing (and unpacking) you are already doing. So don’t do it. One year, when my oldest was about 4, we were moving during the holidays and were leaving our apartment on Christmas Eve. There was no way we could put up a tree or anything else that year, but my daughter loves everything about Christmas and she was small, so not having anything out was very sad for her. So, that year, we made a poster board tree to stick on the wall and we decorated it with peel n stick colored bows! She had such a good time doing that and it is still a special memory to her today. Taking the time to do something small like that meant a lot. Have the kids (or you and your partner) make some temporary decorations that you can throw away when you move or to put up in your new place instead of digging out all the others. It makes time for you to do something together and make some memories while everything else around you is chaotic.
Add a Totally New Tradition – Everything will be different during the holiday season if you are planning and prepping for a move. So, figure out a new tradition that year to start. That way, it may feel more like it was a planned, fun change rather than just a forced one. One year, we moved to Florida right before the holidays from northern Indiana where we usually had snow around Christmas every year, and it was too far for us to get back to Indiana to celebrate with family. So, we decided to pack up the kids and go to the beach on Christmas Eve! It wasn’t warm enough to swim, but the white sand reminded us of snow and we all had a good time there. We still lived there by the next Christmas and did the same thing the next year too. It was a limited tradition (because we moved after that second Christmas) but it was nice to have while we were there.
Remember What’s Most Important – The holiday season isn’t about stuff. It’s about the people you love and showing them how much you care for them. If you remember this first, all the other commitments, plans, ideas and traditions will fall into place as they should while you prepare for the adventure of moving. Moving during the holidays can (and sometimes MUST) be done and you will live to tell the tale—and maybe even look back with fond memories!