Did you know that when you move can be the reason you end up paying up to 30% more for your relocation? Many moving pieces in the moving industry — pun intended — can impact your overall experience.
When you move can affect how much you pay and the quality of your move. It can all get overwhelming if you try to figure it out independently.
Since moveBuddha has helped thousands of Americans move, we know the ins and outs of the industry — including the best time to move. We have created a comprehensive breakdown to help you choose the best moving season for your move.
Know your moving date and want to find out how much it will cost? Check out our moving cost calculator. Looking for a professional moving company? Check out our picks for the best interstate movers. Doing the loading and moving yourself? Find the right rental truck for your move.
The best time to move is during winter or mid-week. Find out how much it’ll cost to move depending on your specific moving day.Learn More
Things to Consider about Moving in Each Season:
Winter is the best season to move because fewer people are moving. Peak moving season is during the summer months when prices are far higher and moving companies have less availability.
Pros and Cons of Moving in Winter (December-February)
Pros of Moving in Winter
- Better Pricing: Winter is off-season in the moving industry. Fewer people move in the winter, so moving company pricing is 20-30% lower.
- Veteran crews: moving companies only keep their best employees around during the slow winter months. Moving crews in the winter will be more experienced and less likely to cause delays or damage to your items.
- Fewer delays/cancellations: because it’s slower in the winter, moving companies overbook less, have more slack in their schedules, and are less likely to delay or cancel your move. Having experienced moving crews also helps reduce the chances of delays and cancellations.
- Better real estate deals: Similar to the moving industry, winter is the slow season for real estate. This means that fewer people are buying houses. If you are buying a house for your move, you could buy a home at a lower price in the winter.
Cons of Moving in Winter
- Ice and snow: Freezing roads should be a real concern for your winter move. Icy roads can cause delays in your move, depending on the severity of the situation. Besides affecting road conditions, harsh weather conditions could slow down your movers and make your experience less than optimal.
- School: school-age children would be in the middle of their school year. This makes a transition more difficult for some children. They must adapt to a new house, surroundings, and school. Children may feel out of place entering a school that has already been in session for a few months.
- Shorter days: Shorter days mean less natural light for your move. Movers may have to work in the dark, increasing the chances of an accident.
- Holidays: Holidays are notoriously expensive and stressful. Moving during the holidays would mean an extra expense and stressful situation. Not to mention, this might affect traditions. If you do move during the holidays, be sure to plan to avoid any inconveniences.
Pros and Cons of Moving in the Spring (March-mid May)
Pros of Moving in Spring
- Better weather: The weather during spring should be less harsh than winter and summer. This avoids all of the negatives associated with extreme heat and extreme cold.
- Best time to sell your house: Since most people want to move in the summer, they most likely want to buy a house in the spring. This will allow you to sell your house at a great price.
- Good moving deals: Summer is when most people move. The more people moving, the higher the prices are and the more booked moving companies are. In spring, the demand isn’t as high. Prices should be lower and availability should be higher. Remember that the closer you get to summer, prices increase steadily.
Cons of Moving in Spring
- Pollen: Spring is the season of pollen. Be sure to seal your boxes and cover your furniture to avoid bringing it into your new home.
- Unpredictable rain: It’s important to prepare for rain. Spring is notorious for unpredictable rain. You should prepare to avoid leaving boxes and furniture outside at any moment.
- School: Spring is an important time at school, especially for older children with exams, sports, prom, etc. This could make your move more difficult if you have school-age children.
Pros and Cons of Moving in the Summer (Mid May-Mid September)
Pros of Moving in Summer
- School is on break: If you’re a college student moving or you have school-age children, moving in the summer might be your best bet. The first day is the best day for a student to transition to a new school.
- Warm weather: People love being outdoors in the summer. Not to mention, the problems associated with road conditions in the winter months will be long gone.
- Longer days: More sunlight for your move. On average, you may get five extra hours of daylight compared to the winter. This is a significant advantage of moving in the summer. More daylight means your movers will probably not work in the dark. Also, the likelihood of getting your move done in a day is much higher.
Cons of Moving in Summer
- The busiest time of the year: moving in the summer is more expensive. Moving companies charge around 20-30% more because more people move during the summer. There’s no way around this reality. To get the best prices, be sure to book your move as early as possible.
- Movers may cancel!: It’s a reality in the moving industry. Movers cancel. The high demand for the season means that moving companies have to cancel sometimes.
- Lower quality movers: Because the demand is only seasonal, companies hire seasonal movers in summer. This means your movers can be inexperienced. This may lead to a higher chance of breaking your items on the move.
- Hot! Hot! Hot!: Especially in the southern half of the country, the weather in the summer can be hot. This can make your moving experience more difficult.
- Heat-sensitive items: Certain items (wine, electronics, and record collections) need special attention under extreme heat.
Learn more about how to protect your items and other must-know tips for summer moves.
- Moving with pets: Pets can’t be moved in a moving truck; they would have to fly or be driven. Airlines will not permit pets to fly if the forecasted temperature is too high. Moving with pets can be a big headache in the summertime.
Pros and Cons of Moving in Fall (mid-September- November)
Pros of Moving in the Fall
- Best time of year: There’s a reason everyone loves this time of year. The weather in the fall is cooler than in the summer. Also, the changing leaves are the perfect backdrop to any occasion.
- Less moving demand: Like the weather, the demand for moving companies starts to cool off in the fall.
- Road conditions are optimal: Not only is this before the winter freeze, but people are settling back into their normal life in the fall. The traffic of everyone going on vacation and moving has died down by this point.
Cons of Moving in the Fall
- School has started: School starts in the fall. It’s best to avoid moving in the fall if you have children in school to avoid disrupting their schedules.
Best Time of the Month to Move
The middle of the month is the best time to move.
Why? Rental leases.
Most leases turnover at the end of the month, so people are apartment hunting and trying to move in those last few days to their new apartment.
This is why there is less demand for moving companies mid-month. And since it’s slower, movers are typically more affordable and flexible with their mid-month scheduling.
Now, if you have to move at the end of the month, that’s fine. Just make sure to book a moving company well in advance.
Best Day of the Week to Move
Besides the month’s time, the day of the week is essential to consider when moving.
Here’s how annual moves actually break down by day of the week:
- Sunday: 8%
- Monday: 16%
- Tuesday: 11%
- Wednesday: 13%
- Thursday: 14%
- Friday: 20%
- Saturday: 18%
The best day of the week to move is Tuesday because it’s the slowest day of the week for moving companies. Wednesday and Thursday are also good times to move so aim to plan your move mid-week.
Most people have to move during the weekend to avoid missing school or work. That’s when moving companies have increased demand. If you cannot avoid planning your move date on a Friday or Saturday, make sure to book your move in advance.
Best Time of the Day to Move
The earlier, the better. If you can be a moving company’s first move of the day, do it. It is the best time of day to move, especially if it is a long-distance move.
Movers will be less tired and fresher in the morning than after moving two other houses that day. Remember, movers are people who can make mistakes — and the likelihood of those mistakes increases with exhaustion.
The best way to minimize the possibility of mistakes is by booking them early in the morning.
It’s a reality of the moving industry that movers can cancel. Be the first move of the day to avoid delays or cancellations.
If you are moving locally, movers get paid by the hour. Movers are more likely to work quickly in the morning before they’re tired. By booking early in the morning, you can save yourself money.
It’s the little decisions you make when you’re moving that can end up saving you a lot of money. Booking in the early morning is one of those things. Also, if you get to move early, you can spend the rest of the day unpacking your new home.
No matter when you decide to move, the earlier you book your moving company, the better. Check out our moving cost calculator for an instant moving estimate.
What is peak moving season?
In the moving industry, the four months between mid-May and mid-September are known as the “peak season.”
Conversely, the fall, winter, and early spring months are called the “non-peak season.”
How do I pick my moving date?
Due to work, leases and renters agreements ending, real estate transactions, and kids’ school schedules, many families don’t have flexible moving dates.
That said, for those who do, it’s always best to move during the –
- Fall, winter, or early spring
- Middle of the month
- Weekdays as opposed to weekends
Remember, in addition to significant savings, moving during the non-peak season, the best month, and the best time of the year often means better service and quicker delivery times if you relocate to another state.
What is the cheapest month to move?
You’ll pay much lower rates if you move between October and March, when most moving companies operate well below capacity.
However, if you’re locked into moving during the peak season, you may still be able to take advantage of non-peak discounts if you book your move months ahead of time.
For example, if you have to move at the end of June, consider booking your move as early as March or April.
Did You Know?
Local and intrastate movers in regulated states may not be permitted to increase their prices during the summer.
On the other hand, since long-distance movers aren’t subject to state regulations, they can (and do) increase their rates seasonally.
What is the cheapest time to move?
To get the most bang for your hard-earned dollars, shoot for a moving day that falls-
- On weekdays
- Between October and March
- During normal business hours
- At the beginning or middle of the month
- What is the most expensive time to move?
What is the most expensive time to move?
- June, July, and August
- The last few days of the month
- Holidays include the Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Memorial Day.
Just remember that if you’re heading out of state, moving on a Saturday probably won’t cost you any more than moving Monday through Friday, but if you need a pickup or delivery on a Sunday, you’ll probably pay more.
When can you expect the best service?
Why is service usually better during the non-peak season?
Tom Petty said it best – “The waiting is the hardest part…”
As a big national van line driver during the ‘90s, I was often one of hundreds of drivers stuck at truck stops across the country waiting for loads.
In states like California, it often took weeks in the fall and winter.
With most van lines, drivers with empty trucks take a number and wait in line, but in some instances, the best drivers (those with the lowest claims) get assigned loads before those who’ve been waiting longer.
This means that customers are much more likely to get top-notch drivers during the fall and winter because, during the summer, loads are usually assigned based on availability only.
That said, you can ALWAYS expect good service when choosing a vetted and high-quality moving company like those on our best moving companies list.
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