You might already have guessed this, but do you know that nearly 60% of U.S. moves each year occur between May and August? That doesn’t even account for late spring and early fall when the weather is still perfectly acceptable for moving. In summer, most schools aren’t in session, and parents often take time off work.
If you’re planning a summer move, though, reserve your moving company or rental moving truck well ahead of time, and don’t expect to be able to reschedule readily should something else come up. If you need that degree of scheduling flexibility, why not consider a less busy time of year for moving?
Still, for many, the benefits of a summer move outweigh having to deal with the attendant inconveniences. So we’re going to offer eight helpful tips for moving in the summer in the easiest, most convenient ways possible.
Table of Contents
1. Stay in Contact With Your Movers
Assuming you booked your summer move early enough, you should expect them at the day and time they committed to. But you want to be absolutely sure that will happen—that they didn’t accidentally double-book or misplace the records for your transaction. Plus, you’ll want to apprise them of any details and changes pertaining to your move.
This is especially the case if you haven’t worked with the moving company before. What if they’ve since gone out of business? What if you’ve fallen for a scam (see #8 below)? Not likely, but it’s been known to happen.
2. Have Everything Packed and Ready to Load on Moving Day
Can you imagine being a professional mover and arriving at someone’s home only to discover that they’re still packing and haven’t prepared for the movers at all? Nobody likes procrastinators, least of all busy movers—especially when they have other customers waiting!
If you had packed all your rooms for moving according to a logical and expeditious plan, chances are you would not have become so tired and frustrated that you lapsed into procrastination. So now what do you do? Most movers are paid by the hour, you know.
It might be somewhat different with a DIY move, where you have a little more flexibility. However, you probably will still have deadlines to meet at your destination, and you might end up paying for lodging reservations you were too late to use.
3. Hydrate and Dress for the Climate and Weather
You don’t have to be driving through the desert to become dehydrated or succumb to heat exhaustion or heatstroke. These can happen to anyone, especially when lifting and carrying heavy items in the heat.
Yes, it might make sense to wear heavier clothing for protection from cuts and bruising—but only if you’re working in cooler weather. When moving in the summer, you might want to read up on the causes and treatment for heat-related illnesses.
4. Prepare Your Home, Furniture, and Other Belongings for Inclement Weather
Summer is a relaxing time of year, with pleasant weather most of the time. But it’s easy to forget that there could be a downpour or windstorm at any time. So what happens if your lovely leather sofa is sitting outside waiting to be loaded onto the moving truck when the storm clouds let loose?
What happens to the paper documents you stored in cardboard boxes?
Be sure to check the weather forecast for storm alerts, and if there are any for your moving day, you should have plenty of waterproof tarps and other protective coverings at the ready. And don’t forget to keep floors covered with absorbent materials like towels and water-absorbing doormats and mop up rainwater that gets into the house.
5. Schedule Your Summer Move on a Weekday
Do you know that moving on a summer weekend might cost 20% to 30% more than during the rest of the week? In fact, moving mid-week and mid-month (but not on or near a holiday) is optimal. Even more optimal is waiting, if feasible, until off-season months when moving costs typically decrease even more.
Of course, scheduling a move is about more than just saving money. You also need to consider personal and family needs, like career obligations, back to school time, summer vacation activities, your old and new home closing dates and the accompanying move-out/move-in time frame, and various other factors.
6. Think Twice (or more) About How You Pack Food and Other Perishables
We think of packing food and other perishables for any move in terms of red-yellow-green, like traffic lights. You can pack certain food types and load them onto the moving truck without any qualms. Some items are “maybes.” And others should get a big red flag.
It’s about how well you can preserve each food or other perishable. Commercially canned foods are full speed ahead, provided you check each container for bulging, leakage, or broken seals upon arrival. If the can is in pristine condition, it should be safe. But give it a thorough inspection before consuming just to be sure. If you have doubts, throw them away.
Shelf-stable dry goods like cereal and pasta should last through a few days in a moving truck if stored in tightly sealed containers, though they should be unpacked and checked ASAP on arrival. Among other things, check them for stored grain pests like rodents, weevils, and beetles. If you find any in one container, we advise tossing all the dry goods containers.
Any fresh foods like produce and dairy, any food in containers that can be easily crushed or leak, and frozen food should be left off the truck and, if possible, used or given away before the move.
7. Make Lodging Reservations Well in Advance
Whether you’re a camper or prefer staying indoors, lodging facilities can be bustling during the summer months. So it would help if you began scoping out places to stay for an overnight move early.
Also, remember being on the road for two or more days in a row can wear you down, so try to find a place where you can relax and get a good meal at the day’s end.
Having confirmed reservations for summer lodging is especially critical since it’s a popular time of year for conferences, conventions, recreational travel, and more. Some resort areas are fully booked a year or more in advance!
Also, don’t forget lodging for any pets you have. It’s great if you can find a hotel that welcomes our furry companions, but not all places do.
So if you’re transporting one or more pets and get a reservation at lodging that accepts them, you should do a separate search for nearby kennels or “pet resorts.” They’ll probably need to stretch their legs even more than their people will!
8. Don’t Get Scammed
People often rush their summer moves, hoping to have it done and over with and be able to settle into their new places quickly. But wait! Don’t move so fast that you forget to dot your i’s and cross your t’s, or you might get taken for a different kind of ride than you were expecting.
In other words, don’t get scammed while moving!
The AARP offers these warning signs to avoid moving scams:
- A moving company’s website doesn’t list a local address or provide information about its registration and insurance options.
- Calls are answered with a generic identification like “Movers” or “Moving company,” rather than the company’s name.
- The company gives an estimate by phone or online without making an on-site inspection of what’s being moved.
- The company requires a large deposit or full payment in advance.
- The movers show up in rental trucks rather than company-branded vehicles.
- Movers ask you to sign blank or incomplete forms, saying they’ll fill them in later.
- They demand more money once they have possession of your belongings.
For various reasons, senior citizens, the primary group served by AARP, are easy targets for scammers. But when it comes to scamming, they’re not the only ones. After all, how many of us have moved enough times to acquire the needed savvy and stay up-to-date with the latest scam tactics? So before hiring movers, do your research, and if you’re at all suspicious, ask for help.
Is Moving in Summer a Good Idea?
As with any season, moving in summer has its pros and cons. Don’t expect to get any deeply discounted moving quotes, as you would in late fall, winter, or early spring. But other seasons also have their drawbacks.
A more important consideration is doing what works best for you and your family, which varies among circumstances.
We should point out, though, that if moving in the summer is your plan, consider making alternative vacation plans for the year—possibly a winter vacation in the south? Once you’ve orchestrated a successful summer move and all that goes along with it, you might want to spend whatever time remains relaxing and getting to know your new home and its location.