When is the Best Time to Move?

I have spent my life moving. Or, so it seems. Because of one reason or another I have averaged moving every 18 months for most of my life. I consider myself an expert on the many facets of the moving experience. And since moving stuff is a part of the Storage Unit Auction life, I will share some of my wisdom.

According to Google, most Americans move between May and September, so the most popular time to move is probably going to be during the spring and summer months. People move for many different reasons and in many different conditions. Job opportunities in another town, military reassignment, upgrading from an apartment to a house, home sold while renting and on and on the reasons go. But, each of these situations opens the door to new possibilities. And  there should always be a sense of excitement. New starts are refreshing.

Hiring movers, renting a truck, packing boxes and decluttering closets and then deciding the right time to move are all right there at the top of your To-Do list. But the decision on when to move can make all the difference  for your family, the house you are leaving and the one you are going to and, most importantly, your checkbook. Each season has its pros and cons when it comes to such an event. If you have the opportunity to choose the Big Moving Day, there are certain things that can help with not only your financial bottom line, but to make the process easier. When you move is just as important as how you move.

If you can move during the summer months there are certain advantages that make the move much easier than at other times of the year. First, you don’t have to drag furniture through mounds of snow or slush. Summer is a great time for kids as they have completed another grade and have said their goodbyes to school friends. They will be better prepared for a new school if they have time to make their new house their home first. Moving at this time lets you prepare your children for a new school. It gives them some time to checkout the school and its grounds. Familiarity allows for some comfort when school actually starts. They can possibly meet their teachers and see the classroom. If it is early enough in the summer, you can enroll them in a summer day camp or other local programs so they can start making friends.

Finding a place to buy or rent is also easier during the summer months. Homeowners and landlords most often sell or rent in the spring and summer, so you have more places to choose from when hunting for a new apartment or house. But...So many other people are searching for a new home that you may have difficulty finding a good deal on a home purchase or apartment rental. The other downside of a summer move is the cost. Rental trucks and moving companies charge higher rates in the summer.

Winter, as you can imagine, is not the perfect time of year to move. But, sometimes, you don’t have a choice. Even though temperatures can be harsh (unless you live in the deep south) and conditions such as snow mounds, slushy driveways and tough road conditions can slow down the moving activities, there are some things that are good about winter!  First, it is much cheaper! Since the number of people moving in the winter are lower, moving companies have lower prices. You can rent a truck, drivers and loaders for half the price as in the summer months. Also, if you need a storage unit for a few months, many facilities give amazing deals on rent during the winter. And, if the weather is inclement during this time, make sure that you.clear snow or leaves from your driveway and the street ahead of time, and throw salt on any ice. Lay tarps or plastic sheeting down on your car seat so that your car won’t have damage from wet items. Lay more tarps down in both the old place and new place, so that you don’t ruin carpets and floors from the wet outdoors.The weather in the winter can also be both good or bad. So you have to keep an eye on it and trust your common sense.     

In my opinion, the best months of the year are late September through late April. Yes, the winter months are in the middle of that time table, but the temperatures of late September and October and April cannot be denied as the best of the whole year. Also, these months have lower moving costs because kids are back in school and families have resettled from the summer rush; college students are back in their dorms or apartments and there is a glut of moving trucks on the market. Because business has slowed for movers, rates are low. Plus, those big burly moving guys are so much happier! Moving your double hutch up stairs, walking back and forth to the truck while unloading all of your heavy things, the movers are much less likely to break a sweat in the cool air, and they much less likely to have to stop to take a breather, even if it is just for a few minutes.

Next, the time of day you move can also make or break the moving complications. Getting started as early as possible allows you to get the work done during the cooler part of the day and the time when people are the most energetic. If you are making a short move, you can get started at 8am and be done by 2pm and still have the rest of the day to see what you packed 2 weeks ago in the boxes!

Picking a day of the week to move can be interesting. Most people just say Saturday is the day because of work schedules and the availability of help. But, if you can move things around to move Monday through Thursday, there is less demand for trucks and for professional movers..

Moving on a weekday also gives you the entire upcoming weekend to unpack and get organized before you have to go back to work  

Just like midweek moves, mid month moving is also less expensive and easier to book professionals. Don’t move the first or the last weekends of the month because of high demand for equipment as they dates match up with the typical rent or mortgage due dates. You will find deals on trucks, moving equipment and help mid month because of high availability.

Another unspoken rule is to try not to move during a holiday. Not only is it hard to find professional movers willing to be away from family, but it is hard on your own family. It is best to plan a move right AFTER the holidays as decorations begin to be packed away and things always feel fresh and new with the holiday clean up.

Moving is a pain, but when you must move, making timing choices can help that pain go away. It doesn’t matter if you move down the block, across town or all the way across the country, there are lots of ideas and ways to make your moving day easier and better. Timing is everything!

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