When Is the Best Time To Move?

When Is the Best Time To Move?

Moving during the right season and time of the month can save you hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars. Since moving is already a pretty expensive process, these savings can significantly impact your overall budget.

So, when is the best time to move, and how can you optimize any season for moving to your new home?

Most Americans move between May and September, so if you’re looking for options, the best time to move will probably be during the spring and summer months. These months also have optimal weather conditions and longer days to complete the job.

No matter which season you select for your big day, there will be pros and cons. This article will discuss the good and bad aspects of moving during each time and how you can optimize your move no matter what.

Best Seasons to Move

Pros and Cons of Spring Moves (March Through May)

Pros of Moving in the Spring:

  • Ideal weather: Spring weather is usually pleasant, especially during the early part of the season. You won’t have to worry about extreme heat or frigid temperatures, making it a great time to move.
  • Reasonable moving prices: Most people move during the summer, so moving during spring can help you avoid higher rates and overbooked moving companies. If you move in spring, you’ll likely find better prices and more flexibility regarding moving dates and times.
  • Good time to list your home for sale: Summer is the most popular time to purchase a home since many people move during that time. If you want to sell your home or list a rental, doing so in spring can help you get the best price.

Cons of Moving in the Spring:

  • Rain: Depending on where you live and are moving, you’ll want to consider the likelihood of rain. Many places experience heavy and unpredictable rain, which can damage your belongings during the move. If you plan on moving during the spring, purchase tarps to cover your items if it starts pouring.
  • School: Many kids don’t get out of school until late May or June, so moving during spring can make exams, school dances, and sports much more difficult. Consider how this would affect your children and if they need to change schools.
  • Allergens: Everything is blooming this time of year, which puts your belongings at risk of getting covered in allergens. Prevent this pesky problem by tightly sealing your boxes and thoroughly covering any furniture.

Pros and Cons of Summer Moves (June Through August)

Pros of Moving in the Summer:

  • Longer days: Summertime has the longest days, meaning more sunlight and safer long-distance drives.
  • School break: Moving during the summer means that you won’t have to take your kids out of school or have them change schools mid-year.
  • Warm weather: Summer can be a nice time to be outside, making your move more pleasant. You also won’t need to worry about maneuvering a moving truck through poor road conditions or inclement weather.
  • Most popular moving season: Summer is peak moving season, so you may have trouble finding movers with availability.

Cons of Moving in the Summer:

  • Hot weather: Depending on where you live and where you’re moving, you may be outside during unpleasant heat waves. This factor can make the moving process unpleasantly slow as you and the moving crew take frequent breaks to prevent heatstroke and dehydration.
  • Seasonal movers: Many moving companies hire temporary, seasonal movers to help with the high demand for moving during the summer. As a result, you may end up with less experienced providers who accidentally break or damage your items.
  • The most popular time of the year for moving: Summer is the peak season for moving because the weather is nice and people have time off. If you must move during this season, hire professional movers ahead of time to avoid overbooked schedules and sky-high prices.
  • Delays or cancellations: Moving companies sometimes need to delay or cancel your booked move due to the season’s high demand.
  • Heat-sensitive belongings: You’ll need to take extra care while moving certain items in the scorching summer heat. Things like electronics, records, DVDs, and wine can suffer damage in hot weather conditions.

Pros and Cons of Fall Moves (September Through November)

Pros of Moving in the Fall:

  • Best weather: Autumn’s cool temperatures make it ideal for moving in most locations. You’ll be able to avoid winter’s freezing weather and snow, which could make your move a taxing, potentially dangerous process.
  • Less popular move time: Fewer people move during the fall, so you may be able to secure a better deal and have more flexibility when picking a moving company.
  • Safe road conditions: Snow and ice can make moving incredibly dangerous, so moving in the fall before temperatures drop is ideal. You’ll also avoid the holiday rush and increased road traffic that summer vacation and winter holidays bring.

Cons of Moving in the Fall:

  • School schedules: If your children are in school, their new school year likely starts during the fall. So, this is something to consider when choosing this time of year to move. If you’re only completing a short move to your new apartment, you may be able to move without disrupting their schooling.

Pros and Cons of Winter Moves (December Through February)

Pros of Moving in the Winter:

  • More experienced movers: Many moving companies only keep their best, veteran movers during the winter season because it’s a slower time of year. As a result, your move will be in better hands, and you may be less likely to end up with damaged belongings.
  • Better prices: Winter is not a popular time of year to move, so many moving companies offer lower rates.
  • Fewer delays: Since winter is an off-season for moving, you’re less likely to experience delays and overbookings.
  • Better housing deals: Winter is an uncommon time for moving, so many rentals and homes hit the real estate market for less.

Cons of Moving in the Winter:

  • School schedules: Unless you move during your children’s holiday break, they’ll likely still be in school throughout the winter. If you’re making a long-distance move and your children have to change schools, it may be difficult for them to adjust mid-year.
  • Shorter days: Winter has the shortest days of the year, meaning there’s less daylight for your move. This factor can increase the risk of an accident for yourself or your movers while driving in the evening or early morning.
  • Inclement weather: Snow and ice can create hazardous road conditions, slow your movers’ driving, and increase costs. Depending on where you’re moving, this may not be a problem. For example, if you’re moving to Arizona or Florida, you likely won’t have a problem with inclement weather.
  • Holidays: Your winter move may disrupt your regular holiday plans and traditions. The holiday season is already a more expensive time of year, so you may not want to add additional moving service costs.

Best Months to Move

Summer is the most popular time to move because the weather is warm, kids are out of school, and leases are concluding. For this reason, June, July, and August aren’t your best options if you want a smooth, flexible, and affordable move.

We suggest moving in the months leading up to or following the summer season.

Consider an April move to get your home on the market for more and book a mover for less. You’ll likely have pleasant moving weather, too, depending on the location. An October move is another excellent option. The scorching summer heat will lose its edge, and you’ll steer clear of the hazardous driving conditions winter may bring.

This being said, you should avoid moving in the dead of winter – especially if you live in a severe winter climate. Former professional mover and moving crew leader Sean Donnelly warns homeowners of potential issues during the chilly season:

“Snow and ice are serious hazards for any worker, and most moving companies will hold you responsible for clearing all points of access to your home ahead of time,” he says. “Failure to do so could result in you being billed for your movers’ time, even if a move is delayed or can’t be completed on your scheduled day.”

Peak Moving Season

Peak moving season is May through September. You may have trouble finding affordable moving services or trustworthy movers during this time because they’re likely booked to the brim.

Donnelly comments on what to expect for the industry’s peak season:

“During my years as a mover, our individual schedules were always full from May through September. We also noticed spikes in moving activity on weekends and at the beginning and end of each month,” he says. “This spike coincided with conventional work schedules and apartment leases.”

“Warm weather moves — particularly in the spring — are preferred by most,” Donnelly says. “I remember many clients remarking about the difficulty of booking a mover around this time.”

Avoid scheduling issues by booking well in advance if a summertime move is a must. Donnelly suggests planning your move for midweek or mid-month to ensure you get the service and date you want.

Best Time of the Month to Move

Without a doubt, mid-month is the cheapest time to move because rental leases typically end during the last few days of the month.

As a result, most renters are apartment hunting and trying to move during this time. So, if possible, choose to move during the middle of the month to save money. Moving companies will often be less booked up, more flexible, and have lower prices.

Best Day of the Week to Move

Tuesday through Thursday are the least busy days for moving companies.

Once you’ve selected the season and month for your move, it’s time to dive a little deeper and decide on the day of the week to book. You already know that mid-month is optimal because movers will have more flexibility and less demand.

As it turns out, midweek is also the best time to plan your move.

Moving during the middle of the week is an excellent way to save money and stress. Most people move during the weekend to avoid taking time off of work. As a result, moving companies are in higher demand and often charge higher prices for moves on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are the best weekdays to maximize your choices for flexibility, lower prices, and lower demand. If you must move on the weekend, book your move far in advance to save money and have more options on the table.

Final Thoughts

If possible, choose to move during winter, fall, or spring to avoid the extreme temperatures and high prices you’ll likely encounter during a summer move. If you can’t choose the time of year to move, consider moving during the middle of the week or the middle of the month to save money and give yourself more flexibility.

Once your moving day is on the books, read our guide to stress-free packing to prepare for a smooth move and happy hauling.

Moving FAQs

What Is the Average Cost of Moving?

A local move costs around $1,250, while a long-distance move can cost up to $5,000. Regardless of the distance, the cost of your move also depends on:

When Is the Best Time of Day To Move?

Early morning – between 8 and 10 a.m. –  is the best time to move. Not only are movers less likely to be booked during this time frame, but they’ll also start their day with your project. This means they’ll be ready to jump into your move with well-rested muscles. Better yet, temperatures are cooler in the morning, which makes for better overall moving conditions.

What Is the Best Week of the Month To Move?

Mid-month is the best time to move to get the lowest prices and most flexible bookings. Book a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday during the middle of the month for the best results.

What Factors Should I Consider When Planning a Move?

Weather

You must consider the weather of your starting location, final destination, and everywhere in between. Heavy rains, icy roads, and scorching temperatures are all factors that can make or break a move.

Family

If you have a large family with several children, summer may be the best time to move despite the high temperatures and prices. Summer is undoubtedly the busiest for moving companies, so you should typically avoid booking during this time. However, it may be the only time of year when all of your children are out of school. You could wait until winter break to complete the move, but this brings a higher threat of unfavorable weather conditions.

Cost

If cost is a deciding factor for your moving capabilities, you’ll likely want to move outside of peak season. You may even want to consider a DIY move to save on booking fees and have more flexibility.

Holidays

Avoid moving on or around holidays to steer clear of paying a steep premium. Just as you don’t want to work on a holiday, neither do professional movers. For this reason, they can essentially charge what they want for holiday moving projects.

Planning your move in the off-season will also save you some financial stress. Holidays are expensive by default, so adding a move to that expenditure may cause unnecessary strain on your family budget.

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