So the decision has been made. It’s time to move! Every day, up until the actual day of the move, you will likely be filled with anticipation and hope to get some preparation done. Although a more realistic presumption would be that no packing is ever done until the last week, at which point it’s just full blown panic. Either way, we can all agree that the day of the move is exciting and busy.
So when is the best time to move exactly? It is obviously a crucial decision, as many of the preparations like packing and hiring movers and renting moving vans, all revolve around you having set a date. With this article, we are here to give you all the information you need to make your decision on the best time for your move.
The Best Season To Move
Now it’s quite possible that you may have to move sooner than you would have hoped. But if you have the liberty to choose when you would prefer to move, then choosing the right season might make the move easier and cheaper.
Winter is the off-peak season in the moving industry and it also happens to be the cheapest season during which to move. Moving companies can charge 25% lower for a move, as fewer people choose to relocate in the winter.
Being the off-peak season, moving companies are also more accommodating of your moving schedule. This gives you the freedom to be more flexible with your dates and times and the companies tend to comply, making it easier for you to plan your move according to your convenience, as opposed to their availability.
Many moving companies choose to keep fewer staff members on call during the winter as there are fewer customers looking to move. More likely than not, as it can be cumbersome and tricky to move during the winter, the staff that they do have on duty tend to be the more experienced and better trained employees.
If you are looking to move and have not purchased a house yet, then the added benefit of a winter move is that the real estate market does tolerate cheaper offers. So it’s possible for you to purchase a house at a cheaper price compared to the price in other seasons. Now don’t cheer just yet. Cheaper prices do not mean that you may have an easier move.
The winter season does come with its share of obstacles. Moving in the winter requires a lot of preparation and planning in advance. Many, if not all your boxes and packing material will have to be waterproofed to avoid damage. Loading and unloading heavy boxes from the vans can be dangerous over icy surfaces. If you are moving with children, then you have schooling to consider. Especially if you are moving far and have to enroll them in a new school.
Speaking of travelling far, during the winter, you are prone to harsh weather, wet and icy roads and shorter days. This can make the move dangerous, especially over long distances. It is ill advised to make your move after the sun is down, as it increases the chance of injuries and accidents. There is a reason that moving companies tend to keep their more experienced employees on call during this season.
If you can circumvent these hurdles and are only moving a short distance, then the winter months of December to February might be ideal for you to move and be easy on your wallet.
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With allergy season bringing in better weather conditions for a move, the months of March, April and May might actually be preferable for some. Compared to the harsher climates of winter and summer, moving in the light jacket weather is rather pleasant. If anything, it would make the move enjoyable rather than tedious.
From the start of spring in March to early or even mid May, you will get good prices with moving companies as this is still part of the off season, albeit the end of it. Mid to late May is the start of the peak season with summer poking its hot head around the corner.
There is one other benefit to moving in spring, especially if you are looking to sell your house. Since Summer is when most of the people look to move, they need to go house hunting in Spring. This makes Spring a great time for you to get great offers on your home.
But this season also comes with its fair share of reasons that make a move tedious. If you have children, then you may face a few problems moving in spring. Being the end of the school year, they will have year end exams and activities, so packing and moving during this time may prove to be a bit more difficult than you anticipate.
It is also possible that you get hit by the rains during this season and so your boxes and packaging would have to be waterproofed. Take extra care during the move as slippery surfaces and heavy boxes can lead to accidents and injuries.
It is quite possible for you to face issues with moving companies being available towards the end of May with summer a couple weeks away. This can affect scheduling and lead to hiring problems. With the peak season kicking off mid May, it is also plausible that the moving company rates would also go up. Hence we advise that if you choose to move during spring, try and do so before mid May.
Summer! Everyone’s favourite season for outdoor activities, like moving for instance. With the warm weather comes the long days. Though summer can get hot during mid season, in the early days the climate in most parts is pleasantly warm and enjoyable. This makes summer one of the best times to move, especially over long distances. And everyone knows this. It is one of the reasons why summer is the peak moving season.
If you have children, then there is another reason that summer is the best time to move – summer vacation! Kids having summer vacation means you do not have to worry about school or plan around it for your move. Besides, you can put those tiny hands and feet to work, and have them help you pack.
Many people prefer to do a DIY move rather than hire a company, and summer gives them all the time in the world to make their move with the long hours of daylight. This is another great time to sell your house as the real estate market peaks during this season as well. With everyone looking to purchase a home to move into, it is possible to sell yours for a better price than any other time of the year.
As with every season, Summer does have its drawbacks. First of all, being the peak season for moving, you may find some difficulty in hiring a moving company. The moving industry is flooded with customers and so even if you manage to hire a company, scheduling may be an issue. More often than not, you will find yourself having to change your plans based on their availability. It is quite possible that a moving company could cancel due to overbooking or too much demand.
Remember how we said that during the off season in winter, companies would most likely only keep the experienced staff on call? Well the opposite is true here. With the overwhelming number of customers, companies hire a full workforce to handle the demand. These need not be experienced workers and so you should prepare yourself for the possibility of incurring some damages to your items. Unless of course, you hire a really good and reliable moving company.
Speaking of damages, keep in mind that moving trucks can get hot. So it’s best you take extra care when moving heat sensitive items. It is very common for people to move interstate to their new home with some immediate items in tow and to hire a company to deliver the rest of their items at a later time. It’s possible that this delivery can also be delayed, as some of these moving trucks can carry items from more than one home. So they may make multiple stops to make deliveries to the other customers on route to you.
And to top it off, you will not enjoy those low costs from the winter and spring season. Peak season means peak prices.
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Let’s face it, fall has the best weather, period. The summer heat starts to cool off and along with it the real estate and moving industry. Fall is the start of the off season and so with the demand reducing, you get a great deal if you are looking to purchase a new home to move into. Moving companies are easier to hire and are more flexible when it comes to accommodating your schedule and requests. There are less chances for cancellations and higher chances of you getting experienced workers handling your move.
Moving in fall gives you the opportunity to settle into your new home and neighbourhood before the December holiday season and that winter chill. You will also get to celebrate Christmas and rein in the new year, in your new home. As much as it seems like fall is the best time to move, it may not be so if you have children. The issue you are faced with is the start of the school year, especially if your children have to switch schools. When moving with your children, we advise that you avoid a fall move as best you can.
There is one other thing to keep in mind. It is not the peak moving season like in summer, but there are still people looking to move during fall, majorly because people want to make the move before the holidays. So it’s possible that moving companies would not be available for weekend moves, as they may be booked already.
Cheapest Months To Move
If your main concern when moving to a new home is keeping your wallet as heavy as possible, then the best time for your move would be in the off season. This window starts in September and ends at the end of April. Sometimes it may bleed into mid May, but don’t risk that.
Although this gives you 7 months to really take advantage of, your wallet would be the happiest if you plan to move during the months December, January and February. This is literally the three months when the moving industry is at its slowest and so companies will charge you better rates for their services. However, as we mentioned above, if you want to move in winter, you really have to plan it out meticulously just to make sure nothing goes wrong.
Cheapest Time To Move In The Month
Now irrespective of which month you decide to move, making a move in the middle of the month is usually cheaper as most people make their moves at the start or end of a month. This means companies may charge you more favourable rates if you plan your move mid month. Also with less demand in the middle of the month, companies are more flexible to fit your schedule.
If you want to take this a step further, then plan your move in the middle of the week. Some companies will offer better weekday rates, compared to weekend rates.
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When Should You Move?
That is entirely up to you. There are a large number of variables that you will consider if you are looking to move. There are situations unique to each individual that we would not be able to cover or get into, in an article. What we have touched upon is just a rather general overview and should help you plan and start your moving process.
But ultimately, if all the boxes were to be ticked and this was an ideal world, then we would say the best time to move would be early December or January. Of course, that is considering you wanted to keep your wallet happy. Similarly, April or October would be the best time if budget isn’t a problem for you.