From hiring movers and renting a truck to packing boxes and decluttering closets, it’s easy for your moving date selection to fall to the bottom of your relocation priorities. Just remember, though, this one little detail can make an enormous difference when it comes to the ease of your move and the size of your bank account. Over the course of our own multiple relocations, we’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) that when you move is just as important as how you move. So in the spirit of learning from mistakes, here are the absolute best times to plan your next move in terms of convenience and costs.
Best Season to Move: It Depends
Ultimately, this decision comes down to your own needs, budget and preferences. Those trying to save money on a move should choose a late fall, winter or early spring move. Those with school-age children should consider opting for a summertime move. Those who strongly prefer to move in mild weather conditions may want to move during the fall or spring.
Fall: Great weather conditions for moving and you may be able to get a better deal on a home during the off season.
Winter: Cheapest time of the year to move since demand is lowest. Moving companies have more flexible schedules. May not be ideal if moving with children.
Spring: The weather won’t be as harsh as the winter months and demand is still lighter in March and April.
Summer: Ideal time if you are selling your home since demand is highest and you may get a higher price. Also, if you are moving with children then this season is ideal since they won’t be in school.
Best Month of the Year: Mid-September through April
If you define by “best” by cost then, generally speaking, you are more likely to save on a move during the late September to April window. Demand for movers usually slows down during this time frame and rates are low. According to various moving professionals, peak moving season stretches from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend, with roughly 70 percent of all moving takes place in the spring and summer. The reason for this? Families with children tend to move during the summer months to avoid any disturbances during the school year. It’s also easier to move in the spring and summer when the weather is ideal.
In addition, college students and other renters usually move in the early fall and late spring, since this is when most leases start and end. Keep in mind that if you live in a large city with university students, you’ll certainly want to try and avoid moving in early September. In Boston, for instance, the majority of apartment leases begin on September 1, making it the busiest moving day in the city. If you want to avoid moving mayhem in the streets, I suggest researching the most popular moving days (or lease start and end dates) in your own city.
Best Week of the Month: Mid-month
We suggest planning a “mid-month” move instead of a move at the beginning or end of the month. If you have the flexibility to avoid moving the first and last weekend of the month, then we strongly recommend opting for a mid-month, mid-week move. This is typically when demand is lowest and therefore, your costs may be lowest as well. As a general rule of thumb: the first of the month is more likely to be busy for movers since most leases begin the first of the month.
Best Day of the Week to Move: Weekdays (Monday through Thursday)
When picking a move date, it’s best to choose a weekday. Many moving companies like Pony Express Moving Services suggest moving during the Monday to Thursday window when there is less demand. So if you can afford to miss a day of work to move during the week, I highly recommend doing so. Moving on a Saturday or Sunday may increase your costs due to higher demand for movers and limited number of weekends in a month (especially during peak moving season). Moving on a weekday also means you’ll have the entire upcoming weekend to unpack and get organized before your following work week.
Best Time of Day to Move: Early AM
Good news early birds: mornings are the best time to get moving. If you hire a professional moving company, they’ll want to arrive in the A.M. – roughly during the 8 to 10 a.m. window. Early mornings usually mean cooler conditions for the movers during those warmer months. “The elements have a lot to do with it,” long-time moving professional Scott Dickerson tells me. “When it gets to be 105 degrees outside, we want to be gone by 2 p.m. to beat the heat.” If you’re moving yourself, it’s a good idea to get an early start as well. You’ll have more energy in the mornings (after that cup of joe, anyway), and you’ll be left with more time to unpack, organize and enjoy your new digs.
Other considerations when selecting your moving date
- Weather: It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that you should trust your common sense. If you happen to live in a cold climate, you’re probably better off avoiding a move smack-dab in the middle of winter. After all, icy roads, treacherous conditions and heavy lifting make for a miserable time.
- Work: If you have to move during a busy time at work, then it may be worth the extra bucks to move on a weekend date.
- Family concerns: Have school-age children? It may make more sense to move during the summer in order to avoid a chaotic school year.
Of course, not all of us have the option to move at the most ideal time. The “best” time for you will really depend on: location, weather, budget, family matters and flexibility at work. Once you have these figured out, you’re on your way to a successful move.