What you need to know about moving at the end of the year

What you need to know about moving at the end of the year

Moving over the holidays

Share This Post

Can you believe that we are almost halfway through the year? Time flies when you are busy with the hustle and bustle of life. But hold on tight because December will be knocking on our doors before you know it.

Last year, we published an article on the challenges of moving over the holidays. While it’s common for individuals to plan their moves almost a year ahead, often coinciding with holidays like Easter or Christmas, many overlook the intricacies involved in planning a move during these festive periods.

Our expert team compiled even more tips this past December to help you plan ahead for this year’s holiday moves.

Moving over the December holidays is unlike moving over any other time of year. Amid a number of challenges, the roads are congested, and the building trade is closed. So, if you are planning on moving to a new city at the end of the year, you will have to book en route accommodation well in advance of holidaymakers and any urgent renovations at your new home before October or November, depending on the nature of the repairs. 

What can possibly go wrong when moving over the December holidays?

Even the most prepared person will find moving in December challenging. Over Christmas, a significant portion of the workforce, particularly contractors and professionals in the building trade, take their well-deserved breaks. This industry-wide downtime, often extending for 3 to 4 weeks, can significantly disrupt your relocation plans. Imagine finally arriving at your new home, only to find that essential installations or urgent repairs are on hold because the experts you need are unavailable. This pause in services not only delays your settling-in process but also adds an unexpected layer of complexity to your move. You’re left navigating a new city while juggling the inconvenience of an incomplete living space.

How to streamline moving over the festive season

There are a multitude of reasons to move over December. The holidays are a great time to settle in and prepare your new home for the year to come.

For this reason, we suggest the following for a seamless holiday move:

  • It is essential to keep in mind that the demand for moving services drastically increases over the holidays. Ensure that you have accepted your moving quotation, booked the moving date, and filled out the necessary forms at least 2 or 3 months before the move. This includes the insurance form and the insurance’s inventory list.
  • Book any en-route accommodation well in advance of the holidays, which is especially important if you are travelling with children, elderly persons, and pets.
  • If you need any urgent renovations or interior additions to your home (storage cupboards, bathroom cabinets, shower or bath installations, flooring, alarm system or burglar proofing and so on), book a contractor at least 3 months before the December holidays commence. Most contractors close their order book at the beginning of November. If you have not approved a quotation and likely also paid a deposit, you may have to wait until mid-January for any work to commence.
  • If you are moving into a new home that you purchased from a developer, stay on top of delays. Building contractors do not always complete a build on the date they originally estimated.
  • Make sure that you have read and submitted any paperwork associated with your new home to the relevant persons or parties before they close their offices. If you are living in an estate or other shared space, being aware of the rules, having proper access codes or apps, and any other information that makes your transition easier is recommended. Knowing the rules beforehand avoids unnecessary confrontation with the existing residents, which may put a damper on the excitement of the move. Examples are rules for the moving vehicles on entry to an estate or complex, where to place your boxes while you unpack, visitor apps, rules about deliveries and how you may collect them, dog walking, where to place recycling bins for collection and on which days, etcetera.  

    Other things you can do to make your move over December less stressful

    • Plan the placement of your furniture before you move in and ensure that you only transport what you need. If you arrive at your new home and your bedroom is smaller than what you anticipated, you may have dressing tables or other bulky furniture items taking up valuable space in a garage or in the garden if indoor space is not available.
    • Make sure that you have enough stock of any essentials you cannot go without. If your pet, for example, is on a vet-specific diet, ensure you have enough medication and food until the end of January. Some shops may run out of stock over the Christmas season because factories close, and courier services are generally overwhelmed. It is extremely stressful to be in desperate need of a product and on top of that, not know where to find alternatives in an unfamiliar city.
    • Make a list of essential contacts in your new city. Ask your doctor, for example, for a referral, and make sure to reach out to them to confirm their locations and operating hours.

    When things don’t go as planned, there is always a solution

    Even if you did everything right, things may still not go as planned. Fortunately, there is always something you can do to make your December move enjoyable.

    Although professional businesses close, private contractors may still be able to assist you, depending on the complexity of the project. Join local social media groups and pages for referrals (gardening services, painters or builders, pool maintenance providers, private refuse collection, plumbers and electricians may still be available after 20 December on an emergency number). However, make sure that you read reviews and get more than one referral to avoid being disappointed by the quality of their work if the task is functional or aesthetic in nature.

    If there is something you can do yourself, use the opportunity to meet new people and spend time with family. If you are looking for a service or a product you simply cannot find, ask a neighbour or a social community for help. And if you need to DIY, install flat packs or do some painting with the family; you will never forget that time!

    Move with Elliott

    Take the stress out of moving when you move with Elliott! With more than 75 years’ experience, our highly skilled teams will ensure that your move is planned and that your belongings arrive safely. Get in touch with a sales consultant to find out how we can help you move to a new city.

    Subscribe To Our Newsletter

    Get updates and learn from the best

    More To Explore

    If your destination address is unknown. Please fill in the city and country you are moving to and the remaining fields as To be Confirmed (TBC)
    Elliott is Amazing logo

    Thank you, your request is being submitted.

    Please do not close or refresh this page.


    Thank you for your interest in our removal services. Unfortunately, we no longer offer local/middle-distance removal services in Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal. With recent changes to our business, our focus is now solely on long-distance and international removals, and as a result, we cannot provide you with a quote for your move. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding. Please let us know if you have any further questions or require assistance.