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Merry “Allston Christmas” – September 1st Weekend in Boston

Christmas in September? While most people think Labor Day is the first holiday in September, we beg to differ.

It seems unlikely, but for Boston movers, we celebrate our own unofficial holiday on the days before and after  September 1st. The term “holiday” is used loosely, assuming you consider furniture scattered across sidewalks, trucks stuck under overpasses, and dozens of movers at every turn to be a celebration.

What is Allston Christmas?

The Boston Metropolitan area is home to more than 50 institutions of higher education, serving over 250,000 students. With the arrival of these college students comes our favorite holiday, “Allston Christmas.” The term of endearment refers to the two-day period when roughly 80% of all Boston area leases turn over and the streets flow with discarded furniture. This mass changeover sends much of the city in search of trucks, parking permits, and an empty corner to dispose of an abandoned sleeper sofa. The day truly embodies the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

While it is most commonly referred to as Allston Christmas, this phenomenon impacts the whole city and could easily be renamed Back Bay Christmas, Brighton Christmas, or any other neighborhood where residents come and go with such vigor. The turnover period is a logistical nightmare for college students and professional movers alike, as all manner of trucks hit the road loaded to the brim in search of a perfectly placed parking spot – the true unicorn of Boston.

While Gentle Giant has been around the block a few times, so to speak, new challenges always arise so we try to approach the day with extra energy and flexibility for the unknown. If you are moving yourself, we suggest you do the same. If Gentle Giant is moving you, we suggest you sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

For those of you braving the streets this “holiday” season, we are providing tips from the pros, who have weathered over 35 years of of being a Boston moving company and September 1st moves and learned from experience how to get through unscathed.

Allston Christmas Survival Tips

  • Respect parking permits and don’t double park. These are going to be your new neighbors; it is best to avoid starting your year with a tow truck or a ticket.
  • Bring a change of clothes…or 5. Moving day is invariably the hottest day of the year, regardless of what the thermometer says.
  • Water, water, water. Bring it, drink it, refill it.
  • Check, and then double check, the height of your vehicle. Many streets around Boston, including the oft-used Storrow Drive, are low clearance. Every year at least one privately rented U-Haul driver finds this out the hard way. Side tip if you aren’t moving: avoid the roads at all cost. Google maps will be criss-crossed and covered by red snakes of traffic. It is not pretty.
  • Bring snacks. Nothing is as terrifying as the move day hunger monster.
  • If you are not moving but looking for some new-to-you furniture, choose wisely. As tempting as that mattress and box spring set looks waiting for the garbage truck, they are not worth the bed bug risk. Stick with wood furniture than can be cleaned, stripped and re-painted.

Merry Allston Christmas to all, and to all a good move!