With nearly 60% of US moves taking place from May to August, summer is known as “peak season” in the moving industry.
The high demand affects availability, quality, and pricing for anyone looking to relocate in the summer. Moving costs are typically 20-30% more expensive. Customer complaints also spike during this period as moving companies overbook and bring in seasonal labor to deal with the increased demand.
In this article, we’ll get into the details of Peak Season including statistics and tips to help you best navigate a summer move.
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There are various factors that contribute to the summer being the high season for moving. The fact that kids are on break from school is certainly the main reason for this. The following list breaks down this and other reasons.
School’s out: There is one major reason that people move in the summer. School’s out. People with school-age children prefer to move when it doesn’t interrupt their kid’s school year. College kids also tend to move to and from school at the beginning and the end of the summer.
Warm weather: For much of the country, moving in colder months isn’t quite an option. Not only is extreme cold uncomfortable for a move, but freezing road conditions can be a safety hazard. For this reason, the summer is the go-to moving season for millions of Americans.
Everyone’s lease ends!: Summer is the most popular time to move. So, most people sign their leases in the summer. This means that these leases will also end in the summer which means more and more demand in this season! Actually, the two days that the highest number of leases end is June 30 and July 31. Potential renters may move in the peak season because the home they want will be available in then.
Long story short, the more leases that end in the summer, the higher the moving demand.
Even though by definition, the peak moving season has very high demand, there are still certain days where this is more true than others.
If you are moving in the summer, you can have the best moving experience by understanding the trends of the peak moving season. This can be the difference between moving on the best day possible and the worst.
- Moving on a Weekday: If you are going to move in the peak moving season, your best bet at getting a decent deal is on a weekday. However, even Mondays and Thursdays can be quite busy at the height of the moving season.
- Moving on a Weekend: 55% of moves are on either Friday, Saturday or Monday. During the peak season, it’s especially a good idea to avoid moving on one of these days.
- Moving at the End of the Month: Most people move to their new home at the end of the month. These dates are chaos in the moving industry in this period. During the peak moving season, you want to avoid these dates.
- Moving at the Beginning of the Month: There’s high demand at the beginning of the month. The busiest non-holiday move dates are June 1 and August 1. For the best moving experience, avoid these dates in the summer months.
- Moving in the Middle of the Month: If you must move in the peak season, make your moving day in the middle of the month.
- Moving on a Holiday: Moving on a holiday in the summer months is a bad idea. Holidays in the summer such as the 4th of July, Labor Day weekend, and Especially Memorial Day weekend, are the busiest days for moving companies.
This means the prices are expensive, everything is booked, and delays and cancelations are at an all-time high.
When possible, it’s a good idea to avoid moving in the peak season. If you must move in the summer, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Moving in the high season presents a specific set of challenges. The following list will mention a few of these.
- It’s the Peak Moving Season: High demand= high prices and low availability. Actually, moving in the peak season can mean paying 20-30% more for your move.
- Low-Quality Movers: There’s no time like the summer for bad moving experiences. Since there’s such a high demand for movers, moving companies hire seasonal workers. Inexperienced Seasonal workers can cause delays or damaged items.
- Delays and Cancellations: With such high demand, delays and cancellations are more likely than at any other time. Moving companies can overbook when so many people are trying to give them money. That, along with the factor of seasonal workers make it more difficult to predict how long a move will take.
During the summer, a moving crew may be booked for up to four moves in one day! If the movers assigned to you are a seasonal crew and you’re the last move of the day you should worry. The chances of them canceling or being very late are high. The best time to move is as early as possible to avoid the high heat and the chances of cancellations.
- Scammy Moves: If you are booking last-minute or you are unsatisfied with the pricing of the companies you’ve contacted, you may run into a ‘sketchy’ moving company. The high demand of the moving season makes a suitable situation for scammy companies to make a move. To learn more about the common scams that you may encounter in the peak moving season, click here.
- 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.
Although it presents its challenges, millions of people move incident-free in the summer. The best way to assure the best possible move is to be prepared.
Some things that you can do to make sure you’re prepared for this move are to be sure you book as early as possible, have a plan B, keep in mind the tendencies of the peak moving season, and most importantly, don’t freak out.
If you cannot avoid a summer move, you have to make sure to book as early in advance as possible. During the peak season, the best moving companies are booked two months in advance. Nothing contributes more to a costly move than a last-minute booking. So book your moving company ASAP!
A major tip for booking in the peak season is that it’s important to have a backup plan for your move. If you are booking a moving company, research the best moving container companies to have a backup plan. You most likely won’t need it, but it’s nice to know you have options in case something goes unexpected.
To be really prepared and to book the smartest dates for in the summertime, remember these three things.
- Book an early morning move to decrease the chances of a delay or cancellation.
- Book your move for the middle of the month on a weekday.
- Avoid moving on holidays
Perhaps most importantly, remember it’s all going to be okay. The problems we have mentioned in this article are things that could happen, not that they necessarily will. Most moves happen without any issues. If you find yourself reading this article, you will know more about moving than the average mover. That is a real advantage.