A Black woman wearing jeans and a white shirt, sitting between piles of cardboard boxes and smiling.

Whether you just moved or you’re getting ready to, trying to celebrate the holidays when your life has been all packed into boxes can be a struggle. Here are some tips on how to enjoy the holiday season if it coincides with a big move:

Plan ahead

Okay, it’s probably too late for that now, but when you know your move coincides with another major event like a holiday or a family vacation, it can really pay off to spend a little extra planning time to make sure you’re organized.

Take Stock of What You Have (and Don’t Need)

Since you’re going to be going through those boxes anyway, this is a great opportunity to look at your holiday supplies and think carefully about how much of them you really need. Have you been accumulating fairy lights every year when they’re on sale? Consider giving them to your neighbors. Got decades worth of seasonal music … on CD? While someone might make use of it, there’s a good chance you won’t. Going through your stuff when you’re already sick of packing can help take the edge off that sentimental urge to keep all the holiday supplies.

Don’t lose your decorations!

When you’re awash in a sea of boxes, finding the one marked “Christmas” can feel like an impossible task. If you know your move coincides with a holiday you like to decorate for, plan ahead. If you’re still going to be in your old house, make sure you don’t pile up boxes in front of the closet with the fairy lights. If you’re moving right before a big day, clearly mark your holiday boxes and make sure they don’t get buried in the attic the second you move in.

Scale back this year

One of those families who goes all out with a synchronized light-and-music show? Are you the type who makes dozens upon dozens of homemade cookies to hand out? Is your house the place to go for holiday parties? Maybe pass on some of the traditions this year.

Don’t get us wrong, we love a good holiday tradition, but whether you are making repairs before your home sale can go through or just trying to figure out where the heck you packed the baking sheets, giving yourself a pass to go for a low-key holiday may help lower your stress level. A possible compromise? Ask friends or family if you can co-host your annual party at their house (Just make sure you help them with the cleanup!)

Be sure your address is updated!

The last thing you want is for that much-sought-after gift to end up at the wrong address! Especially if you’re moving a long distance, ensuring that you are using the correct address for your parcels to make it to you is an important step to make sure you’re ready for the holidays.

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