Sometimes when relocating you are given little choice on what month to move; this is primarily the case when moving for work or right after graduating from school. If you are able to decide for yourself when to relocate, it helps to know the best time of year to move as well as the worst. The entire process is stressful enough without loading a moving truck in the snow or vacationers traveling the nation’s highways.
What follows is a closer look at what times of the year are optimal for moving, and what months aren’t. Ultimately, your location — either old or new — and personal situation are also influential, but it is good to be aware of any seasonal issues that could play a role in your relocation.
Summer is generally a Great Time for Moving
Summer generally offers the best opportunity for relocation, especially if your household includes school-aged children. Nobody wants to be disrupted in the middle of the school year, and in most cases — a new home within the same school district being an obvious exception — moving while school is in session causes problems for kids.
The summer season also typically means great weather, which is an important consideration when moving to and from the northern half of the country. Loading and unloading your belongings if moving yourself is much more enjoyable when it is sunny. Although, take steps to ensure you are sufficiently hydrated if the temperature and humidity are high.
One caveat to remember when relocating during the summer is professional moving companies tend to book up their schedules very quickly, since families typically choose the summer months to move. If you are planning on using professional movers, make it a point to get your quotes and make a final choice as quickly as possible to ensure you are able to move when you want. This isn’t as much of an issue for DIY movers, just remember that the roads are busier in the popular vacation areas of the country, so keep that in mind when it comes to driving a rental moving van or truck.
Spring or Fall works when Relocating without a Family
Consider moving in the spring or fall if you don’t have to worry about pulling any kids out of school. The weather is still decent enough, plus moving companies aren’t as busy as they are during the summer — you may even get a better rate. Additionally, you won’t have to fight with vacationers on the road when driving your own moving van.
Try to avoid Relocation during the Winter and Holiday Season
The winter months tend to be the worst time of the year to move, especially when relocating to or from the Northern United States. Cold and snowy weather makes loading and driving a moving truck a difficult process. When the weather isn’t cold and snowy, it is probably cold and rainy — hardly optimal moving conditions.
If you have kids, this is right in the middle of the school year, with sporting events, dances, and other social activities on their calendar. The holiday season also brings its own level of stress, with shopping, overflowing retail establishments, and busy traffic the norm. Imagine adding on the tension of moving.
One exception to this “don’t move during the winter” rule applies to couples without kids and empty nesters. During this time of year, moving companies generally are in the middle of their slow season. You stand a good chance of getting a lower rate and some additional flexibility on your moving dates. If you happen to be relocating to somewhere in the Southwest or in the Sunbelt, you also get to enjoy some nice weather at your new residence.
So the best time of year to move generally falls within the summer, especially for families with children still in school. Remember, professional movers tend to be busier during this season, so you may pay higher rates. Empty nesters and single movers should consider the spring or fall seasons. Avoid moving during the winter or holiday seasons, except if you don’t have any children and are looking for the best possible rate from a moving company.