The holiday season is around the corner. Soon, sparkling lights will be hung, Christmas trees will be decorated, and festive gatherings will bring friends and family together. But it can be hard to get into the holiday spirit when you have a winter move planned, especially if it’s right around Christmas or New Years. Around the holidays, you already have extra responsibilities on your plate, from completing work assignments before the New Year to preparing for holiday parties and gatherings. Add the many responsibilities involved in moving to the mix and you may wind up feeling overwhelmed, exhausted or even panicked.
In an ideal world, you could simply shift your moving date ahead a few months so that you can get through the holiday season and have plenty of time to pack and prepare. But sometimes that simply isn’t feasible due to closing dates, work, family responsibilities or a myriad of other reasons.
The good news is that there are practical action steps you can take to ensure your winter move is a success. At All Jersey Moving & Storage we have been helping families move during holiday season and year-round for over 60 years. Our moving experts understand that moving around the holidays comes with added stress. To help make your winter move as seamless and stress-free as possible, take a look at our “Must Have Holiday Moving Checklist”. Work your way through this checklist to ensure you have all your bases covered and can celebrate the holidays with peace of mind.
- Research reputable local movers. Ask friends and family for recommendations, do some research and check online reviews to find a well-established, highly professional moving company. Look for customer endorsements and membership of associations and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). All Jersey Moving & Storage has been serving the community since 1992 and earned an A+ rating from BBB and the “Circle of Excellence” designation from the New Jersey Warehousemen and Movers Association.
- Get three written moving quotes. A professional moving company will provide you with an itemized inventory and stand by their quote. Be wary of moving companies that quote a price much lower than everyone else’s. They're likely either very inexperienced or will charge countless "hidden fees" when moving day comes around. Movers charge either by the hour or by the weight of your shipment, so there's a good chance that the low estimate you received will shoot up when your move is complete. Find a moving company that charges fair, competitive prices and has a track record of providing excellent service.
- Book your preferred movers as early as possible. Once you have chosen your moving company, secure your moving date. You don’t want to wind up moving on a less than ideal date because your preferred movers are booked (and you certainly don’t want to be forced to work with second-rate movers because your first choice movers aren’t available). The sooner you book your movers, the better. While All Jersey Moving & Storage recommends booking as far in advance as possible, we do our utmost to accommodate last minute moves and weekend moves.
- Make sure there is a contract in place. A professional moving company will provide you with a contract that needs to be signed by both parties. Don’t proceed without a contract in place. Companies can't be held to anything they haven't put in writing! All New Jersey licensed movers are required to provide a contract at least 24 hours in advance of moving day. It's a red flag if your mover wants you to sign the paperwork on moving day.
- Give yourself ample time to pack. Because it takes a lifetime to accumulate your furniture and belongings, packing can be time-consuming. When packing is left until the last minute, items are poorly wrapped and packed in an unsafe, disorganized fashion. This increases the likelihood that items will be damaged or lost in the moving process, not to mention the headache of organizing a houseful of goods when you arrive at your new home. Make packing a top priority on your moving to-do list. Remember - you’ll be stressed enough about moving during the holiday season without having to stay up all night frantically filling boxes. Start as early as possible to ensure you have enough time to pack in a relaxed, organized manner.
- Create a packing and labelling system. Remember that you will likely have numerous boxes for each room so marking a box “Bedroom 1” etc. won’t indicate exactly what it contains. Instead, make a detailed inventory, on paper and/or on the boxes themselves. This will help expedite the unpacking process so you can feel comfortable in your new home much faster.
- Create an “open first” box. This will contain items like a change of clothing, toothbrushes, a kettle, tea bags, can openers and dish detergent. Make sure that your children’s favorite toys or blankets are easily accessible.
- Consider investing in packing/unpacking services. If you don’t have the time to invest in safely packing and unpacking your belongings in an orderly fashion, consider hiring someone to take over the job for you. This is especially important to consider during the holiday season when your schedule is already busier than usual. All Jersey Moving & Storage offers fast and expert packing and unpacking assistance that’s surprisingly affordable.
- Sell things you no longer want or need. Moving is the perfect incentive to take stock of your furniture and other belongings and decide what you do and don’t want to take with you. The earlier you do this, the better, especially if you want to sell pieces of furniture at a reasonable price. Leaving this until the last minute could result in you taking unwanted furniture with you that you couldn’t sell in time or having to give it away for free.
- Donate unwanted furniture and other items to charity. In addition to the options of selling items or giving things to friends, you can donate unwanted furniture, appliances, clothing or other items to a local charity. Ask your moving company which local charities will pick your items up at no cost. Again, it’s key not to wait until the last minute to organize pick up. Be sure to call at least a week or two before moving day.
- If necessary, arrange for a secure storage solution. If you want to store furniture that you don’t have room for in your new home, research local storage options. To ensure your belongings are stored securely in clean, cool condition, look for storage facilities with excellent customer reviews. All Jersey Moving and Storage offers reliable, convenient short-term and long-term containerized storage, document storage and logistical storage. Investigate the difference between self-storage and containerized storage to see what option is right for you. All Jersey Moving and Storage's storage facility is containerized, which means that your items are blanket-wrapped, sealed and secured in large wooden containers to keep them safe.
- Notify your mover if they’ll be transporting fine china, paintings, antiques or pianos. If you are planning to take any fragile or heavy but delicate items to your new home, let your mover know. An experienced moving company like All Jersey Moving & Storage will pack your fine art and antiques quickly and securely. Unlike many moving companies, we also have extensive experience safely moving pianos.
- Inquire what your movers will or won’t transport. Most people assume that their movers will pack and transport everything. A professional moving company will advise their clients well in advance of the items they won’t transport in the moving truck. These items may include:
- Lawn movers and snow blowers if the gas hasn’t been drained ahead of time
- Bleach, cooking oil, flammable material like paint and perishables like food
- Live plants
- Valuables like jewelry, coin collections, personal documents, firearms and furs
- Exercise or play equipment that hasn’t been dismantled
- Arrange for child and/or pet care on moving day. Even if you’re well organized for your move, getting through moving day while caring for children and pets can be challenging. If you can, ask a friend or family member if they can babysit or pet sit for the day. If that isn’t an option, consider boarding your pet for the day or hiring a babysitter. This way, you can focus on the details of the move without jeopardizing the quality of their care. If this isn’t an option, plan well in advance. Have snacks and games set aside to keep them occupied and pack a bag of essentials that will stay with you throughout the move.
- Record serial numbers of electronic equipment and photograph for insurance purposes. When you disassemble electronics, place colored stickers on each cord and the place where it connects to the device. Draw a diagram as a reminder of how to reconnect pieces.
- Have area rugs cleaned in advance and roll them up. Doing this ensures that they won’t have muddy footprints if you have workmen in the house. It also means that you can unroll them immediately upon arrival, making it quicker to set up furniture in your new home.
- If you’re moving out of or into an apartment, reserve the elevator. Apartment, condo and office buildings have strict rules about when in the day and month moves are permitted. The elevators have to be reserved well in advance and often there are special loading zones reserved for moving trucks. Often people are forbidden to move even a few items through the main doors. Don’t book a move too late in the day in case the superintendent is only available until 5 p.m.
- Disconnect and drain appliances ahead of time. Defrost your fridge and freezer. Clean the interiors of all appliances and leave them open to dry. Hire a professional to disconnect and reconnect all gas powered appliances. Remove the glass turntable of your microwave and pack it separately. Most professional movers will transport appliances carefully on moving day but disconnection, servicing and reconnection are the owners’ responsibility. A reputable moving company will advise you ahead of time of what you are responsible for
- Notify your insurance agent, doctor, dentist, pharmacist, and utility company about the move. Arrange with your current utility company to have your services disconnected the day after you move and with your future utility company to provide services a day or two before the move. Get copies of your dental and medical records and prescriptions and ask for references for new health professionals, if necessary. Obtain change of address forms from the post office.
- Tell your financial institutions about your change of address. No one wants their confidential information to fall into others’ hands or risk being swindled out of money. Make sure that you’ve advised your bank, investment advisor, insurance broker and credit card companies of your change of address. It’s also worth paying the post office to forward your mail for several months following your move.
- Plan the route you’ll take in advance. To avoid aggravation on moving day and ensure your move is executed on schedule, find out ahead of time whether there’ll be construction or roadwork that will require a detour. Remember to check where there are rest and dining facilities too, especially when you’re traveling with seniors, children or pets.
- Pack a bag of essentials. The contents of this bag will vary depending on who you’re moving with but may include favorite toys or blankets, changes of clothing, tea, coffee and snacks, a box opener, a few rolls of toilet paper, etc. This can save the day during your trip and will come in handy upon on arrival at your new premises.
- Ensure you have heat or air conditioning at your destination. There’s nothing worse than arriving at your new home to discover you don’t have utilities, especially when your blankets are buried in a box or protecting items you didn’t plan to unwrap yet. You’ll also need towels for a refreshing shower after a long day.
The right movers will be a valuable resource to help you execute a smooth, stress-free move so you can enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones. The All Jersey Moving & Storage team is dedicated to making your winter move memorable for all the right reasons. Contact us now for a free moving quote
– you’ll be glad you did.