Have you ever found yourself wondering what time of the year is best to move? While slightly lower rates in the winter might be attractive to you, both summer and winter moves present unique challenges for you to consider.
Pricing: Peak moving season is typically from May to September—roughly between Memorial Day and Labor Day—and is therefore associated with higher rates. Moves are primarily based on factors like weight of items being hauled, storage requirements and the distance traveled, so do not base your move solely on saving money during one season vs. another.
Scheduling: While the winter is slower and allows for greater scheduling flexibility, there is usually a slight peak during the holidays. Another fact to consider is that it gets darker sooner in the winter, cutting the moving workday shorter, and sometimes resulting in a 1-day summer move being a 2-day winter move. Any good moving company, however, will not have their crews working on a shift longer than 12 hours. Another tip to increase your booking flexibility is to choose the middle of a month, as many people choose to move at the beginning or end.
Items: The type of items you are planning to move also need to be taken into consideration when choosing a season. Items like antiques, glass and musical instruments typically do better in warmer weather while items such as an abundance of candles would be better suited for a winter move. While most movers go to great lengths to protect objects from temperature changes, extreme temperatures can still have an impact on more sensitive items. Regardless of what season you are moving in, ensure that any items you choose to self-pack are adequately protected from the elements.
Traveling: Additionally, you will need to consider if you have a time sensitive move. The winter can present moving companies with unforeseen issues like ice-covered walkways, driveways that need to be shoveled, and treacherous road conditions. While quick and efficient moves are a top priority, moving companies put the safety of their drivers and your goods first. They closely monitor weather and road conditions in order to avoid potential obstacles, but they will not risk the lives of their drivers by sending them out in dangerous conditions. Therefore, if you are looking for the greatest chance at having a move without weather obstacles or delays, the spring and summer months can be most promising.
Abby Phillips is a relocation consultant with E.E. Ward Moving & Storage, a North American agent based in Columbus, Ohio.