Best Time of Day to Move (Morning, Noon or Night?)


Best Time of Day to Move

Moving to a new place? That’s very exciting! There’s a feeling that comes with relocating to a new house or apartment that’s just hard to describe. It feels like you’re about to embark on a new journey. You’re now starting a new chapter in your life!

Of course, moving isn’t all fun and games. There’s the hassle of packing your old apartment into boxes. Then, there’s the hassle of worrying about your breakables.

There’s also the hassle of trying to fit all of your belongings into your car, which, in most cases, isn’t feasible. This is why we recommend that you get a reliable moving company. Or at least rent yourself a moving truck.

Ideally, you want to hire the moving company on a Sunday, seeing as weekdays always tend to be cheaper than weekends.

Now that everything is set, you’re ready to move! But wait a minute, what is the best time of day to move?

Cross Town Move

The best time of day to move will vary significantly depending upon whether you’re moving across town or across the country. I’m going to break down the pros and cons of moving at different times of day if you’re going to be staying in the same city or town.

Then I’ll discuss how you might want to think and plan your move differently if you’re going to be moving a long distance.

If you’re moving cross-town, chances are you’re not necessarily changing jobs, just locations. Pulling off a move while still navigating normal daily schedules is something that has to be taken into consideration.

Moving in the Morning

Moving in the Morning

Rise and shine! Getting up and attacking your to-do list is generally always best first thing in the morning, and that’s no different when it comes to moving out. But like everything in the world, there’s also a downside to it.

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of moving in the morning:

Pros:

  • You’ll avoid the hot weather (depending on where you live and time of year, this one may be the only ‘pro’ you need!)
  • You’ll have more energy to kickstart the day
  • Best time of day to have movers show on time (You’ll be the first project of the day)
  • You won’t get stuck in heavy traffic (as long as you beat morning rush hour)
  • With less traffic, you’ll lower your chance of getting into any accidents
  • You’ll move when your kids are at school
  • You’ll have more time to unpack and settle in your new home

Cons:

  • Your new house might not be ready yet
  • You’ll have to ask your boss for a day off if you have to be at work that day
  • Your boss might reject your day off request (usually not an issue if you give enough lead time)
  • Your stress levels are higher in the morning
  • You’ll get to say hello to your new neighbors

Now that you can see all the pros and cons for yourself, take a moment to decide if moving in the morning is good for you. It’s not? Then, let’s take a look at the option of moving a little later in the day.

Moving in the Afternoon

Afternoon Traffic

If you’re not a morning person, then moving in the afternoon might be the best choice for you. Yet, like mornings, it comes with pros and cons.

Let’s try to balance it out together:

Pros:

  • You’ll have more time to pack and make sure you didn’t miss anything
  • You’ll get to sleep in on your day off
  • Your new landlord will have time to clean and set up your new apartment
  • Your stress levels are lower during the afternoon

Cons:

  • You’ll finish the moving process a lot later
  • You won’t have time to unpack
  • You’ll be stuck in heavy traffic during rush hour
  • Higher likelihood moving company will run late due to traffic, other projects running long, etc.
  • Your kids will be back from school
  • You may have to deal with scorching hot weather
  • You’ll have to treat your movers to lunch. (If they’re your friends or family, you should be feeding them anyway.)
  • Your energy will be drained when you’re done

After comparing, moving in the afternoon might seem like a bit of a hassle for you. Try comparing its pros and cons with moving during the morning.

Did you manage to reach a good conclusion yet? No? Keep reading.

Moving in the Evening

Moving Truck Driving in the Evening

Moving in the evening might be a good option for you if you work during the morning. It’s also a more logical choice if you have kids who go to school every day.

Yet, there’s the good and the bad that come with this time of day:

Pros:

  • You’ll get to move in cooler weather
  • Rush hour will be over and there won’t be as much traffic
  • You’ll have enough time to coordinate your time of arrival with your new landlord
  • You won’t have to ask for the whole day off from work

Cons:

  • You’ll be tired after work
  • Movers might run late
  • Your kids will be tired after school
  • You’ll have less time or energy to make sure you’ve got everything
  • There’s still a slight chance of heavy traffic depending on where you live
  • You might arrive home after the movers
  • Some buildings don’t allow moving at night (for apartments)

Evenings are that time of day where positivity is in the air. Yet, it’s also the time when your body starts slowing down. But take a good close look at the pros and cons.

Still not your cup of tea? Then, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of moving at night.

Moving at Night

Empty Highway at Night

Are you one of those night owls? Do you perform better after dark? If you answered ‘yes,’ then it will be difficult to convince you to consider moving at a different time.

But you should know that there are both pros and cons that come with moving at night:

Pros:

  • There will be almost no traffic
  • Won’t have to deal with the heat of the day (a pro unless it’s winter time up north!)
  • You won’t have to worry about asking your boss for a day off
  • You’ll have the whole day to pack and prepare everything you need

Cons:

  • Your new landlord will probably not be available when you arrive at your new place (if renting)
  • A moving company will not move you in the middle of the night, will have to be a DIY move
  • You’ll be very tired
  • Your kids will be asleep
  • All shops will be closed, in case you need to buy anything
  • Your new neighbors might file a noise complaint against you

Moving at night comes with more cons than pros, so weigh them carefully.

Best Time of Day for Long Distance Move

If you’re moving long distance, some of the things that you need to account for in a cross-town move probably aren’t applicable.

Long distance moves usually means new jobs and new schools (if you have kids), so worrying about asking for the day off or working around school schedules is not going to be a concern.

Most of our moves since college have been long distance moves – sometimes 5 hours away, a few times about 18 hours away.

The best piece of advice I can give you for a long distance move is to plan when you’re going to be driving through big cities around morning and afternoon rush hours.

The last thing you want to do, especially if you’re driving the truck yourself, is to roll up on a big city during 5 o’clock rush hour. It will slow you down and likely cause a lot of stress. Planning your route to avoid cities at these times of day will make your trip go 1000x smoother.

And if you’re really nervous about driving a moving truck in traffic, drive at night. When I had to drive a 26 foot truck with my Mustang in tow behind it from Miami to Richmond, Virginia, I was completely freaking out.

So, I left at 9 o’clock at night. Drove through the night until 7 in the morning when I stopped at a pre-planned hotel with a giant lot for parking the truck. Waited until 9 the next night to drive the remaining few hours. I don’t think I changed lanes more than 10 times the whole trip.

Did it mess up my sleep for a few days. Absolutely. But, if I had to do it all over again, I’d do it the exact same way.

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, getting moving day started first thing in the morning is the best way to go if you’re staying within the same town or city.

You’ll have the most energy (which you’re going to need!), be ahead of morning rush hour traffic and you’ll leave yourself plenty of time to unload and unpack.

If you’re moving long distance, take some time and plan out your route so you’re missing those big cities during morning and evening rush hours.

However, that’s just our opinion. To each their own. Hopefully this article helped you make your decision on when the best time of day for YOU to move is!

Ryan

I've been a college coach for going on 20 years now and that career has led Jen and I on quite the journey. We've lived in 7 different states and have moved a dozen different times. We've learned A LOT over the course of all those moves and we want to pass on our knowledge to help others going through the moving process.

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