Daydreaming about living in a new space? A new neighborhood? Maybe even a new climate?
Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, it’s an exciting time. It’s easy to get caught up in the fun visions like having a new local cafe or enjoying a barbecue in your new backyard. It’s also easy to get overwhelmed by the practical side of moving – like packing, shifting, and unpacking.
The practicalities don’t have to be a burden. A bit of preplanning helps you to optimize your move so you can get back to the fun parts. One big and often-overlooked aspect of a move is when you plan to do it.
If you have the luxury of choosing exactly when you move, there are a few factors to consider.
There’s no clear one-size-fits-all answer to what season is the best time to move. The best season to move depends on your locale and your budget. If you’re looking to save money, moving in late autumn, winter, or early spring tends to offer the lowest prices. Of course, that means you’ll likely have less appealing weather to contend with. Those with school-aged children will likely want to make the move while they’re out of school for the summer to ease the transition. If you live in a place with extreme weather, spring or autumn is the best time to plan for as the conditions will be milder.
Autumn will offer lower prices and more mild conditions for moving. If you’re purchasing a home, you’re likely to get a better deal then as well.
Winter is the cheapest time of year to move as the demand is at its lowest. When demand is low, more movers, trucks, and equipment are available and there are plenty of options on the calendar to suit your schedule.
Spring sees the weather warming up and demand picking up, but it’s still lighter even into March and April which offers some flexibility without high-season prices.
Summer is a great time to sell your home as demand is at its peak. That said, it’s a more competitive season to move and will require planning ahead if you want to secure your chosen dates and required equipment. Summer is the best time for a family to move as school is out.
If you’re looking to save money then your definition of the “best” time to move is when prices are lowest. You’re most likely to save money from September to April when demand is lowest.
Moving professionals tend to agree that “moving season” lasts from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and roughly 70 percent of moves take place during this period. With kids out of school, longer days, and more ideal weather conditions, it’s no wonder these months are at the height of demand. Of course, that means prices are also at their highest.
If you’re living in a city or town with a college or university, try to avoid planning a move in September. Students will be looking to move into their dorms or apartments making competition stiff.
Oftentimes leases begin at the start of a month, making the beginning and end of a month a popular time for a move. If you can help it, try to plan to move in the middle of the month.
When you’re choosing a day of the week, it’s best to plan for a weekday. Monday through Thursday tends to have less demand than weekend days so you’ll have more options. If you move on a weekday, you’ll have the whole weekend to get settled rather than having to rush off to the start of a week with a home full of boxes.
Are you an early bird? Well, we have some good news for you: the best time of day to move is the early morning. Early mornings tend to mean lower temperatures in the higher or hotter seasons. Your moving company will likely want to arrive between 8 and 10 am, though some opt for an earlier start if you’ll agree to it. Starting early means you can shift without the pressure of counting down to dusk, and you’ll have the evening to relax on the other side.
Here are some overall conditions to consider:
Weather is likely a given but consider this a little reminder. The weather is a factor both in the best and worst times to move. If you’re moving to another state or across the country (or even internationally), consider the conditions in both locations. Bear in mind, whatever is best or worst for you is the same for everyone else, so this can affect demand and prices. If you live somewhere that winter is harsh, you likely don’t want to move right in the middle of the season. If you’re somewhere hot and muggy, the same may go for the middle of summer.
Work may also dictate when you’d prefer to move. If you work during the week but have the option to take a personal day, it’s best to choose a weekday. If you’re moving during a busy time at work or you don’t have vacation days saved up, you may need to opt for the weekend.
Family should be taken into account when making decisions about moving. If you have school-aged children, moving in the summer months will help ease their transition and avoid school disruptions, particularly if you’re moving to a new school district.