The Best Time of Year to Move
The ideal time to move depends where you are. Let’s say that your current home is in New York. Choose the wrong month and you might have to deal with heavy snow or sweltering heat. Either one will seriously inconvenience the movers and make your task much more stressful.
Avoid winter if at all possible. Snow is slippery and despite cleared sidewalks, falls and tumbles are always more common in icy weather. Moving heavy boxes and furniture is a tricky business at the best of times, and ice and snow can make it dangerous or even impossible. If moving in winter is unavoidable and you do live in a chilly place, check the adverse weather policy of potential moving companies. Some packers and movers will cancel if it snows on the night before your move, and that could throw all your plans off schedule.
Even if it never snows where you live, the holiday period is not the best time to move. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year are the busiest times of the year when it comes to travel, both on the roads and in the air. Businesses also close over the holidays, and that can make it difficult to get your life arranged at the other end of the journey. Movers may also ask for higher rates on the holidays.
The heat of midsummer should be avoided if possible, but heat is less likely to cause major disruption to moving activities. It will, however, mean that goods stored in trucks and vans will get very warm. If it’s 100F on a New York street, it’ll be a lot hotter inside a mover’s truck. Wax candles can melt and plastics can warp. Sensitive electronics can also be seriously damaged by extreme temperatures. Be aware that any item consigned to long distance movers may get hot.
If in doubt about what can safely be entrusted to movers and their warm trucks, ask the company what temperatures are likely to be like during transit. They’ll usually have a fairly good idea what can and can’t be boxed up and shipped by various different means. Valuable electronics should, if possible, stay with you anyway. That way there is no chance they’ll go missing.
In the storage & moving business, some times of year are busier than others. A particularly hectic period is the lead-up to new school and university terms. Many families try to move in between school years to minimise disruption to their children’s education, and at the start of each academic year literally millions of students are moving into dorms and shared housing around the country. Moving companies are understandably busy during these weeks.
In the USA the academic year usually starts in August or September. It varies from university to university, and if either your new or old home is in a university town, it’s worth being aware of the start and end dates of local courses.
Sometimes it’s not possible to pick the optimum date to move. The big day could be determined by leases and legal transfer dates you have little or no control over, so you might have to move in the snowy depths of winter or in the busy holiday period. In that case, the trick is to plan ahead. Keep potential difficulties in mind and allow yourself plenty of extra time to plan and execute your move.