What’s the best time to move?
As the saying goes, timing is everything. And that goes double when planning to spend your hard-earned cash. Some rules: Never buy a new phone just before the latest model comes out. Never try to go to Trader Joe’s before a snowstorm. And never buy pot-coffee from a convenience store at the end of the day.
So what about moving house? What is the best day to move into your new home?
Strap in, because this gets a little complicated.
There are several factors you will want to consider — that is assuming you have a say in your moving date.
First, let’s start with the time of the year. If you’d ideally like your moving day to be in the summertime, you’re not alone. The temperature is warm and the weather is often mild. And if you have school-aged children, you may be motivated to get them situated in their new school before the new school year begins.
But the summer months are also peak moving season. This is when professional moving companies are at their busiest. That could mean that prices are a little higher and you may have more trouble scheduling your move. There is less demand in the winter months, and you may be able to score a better rate than you might in, say, June.
That said, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have disrupted that familiar pattern a little in 2020. Moves were low in the early spring and through the summer, as people stayed put due to the pandemic. Mobility increased in the fall, peaking in September around Labor Day.
What about the best week within a particular month for my move, you may ask?
“If you’re moving long distance, you’ll want to if at all possible avoid the last week at the end of the month or the next week around the first of the month,” says one moving company owner. “Those are just heavily trafficked times, and there are not enough movers to take on the capacity to do the work.”
Leases often expire at the end of the month and many homebuyers close on a new house around the same time, as well, leading to increased demand. Shoot for the middle of the month if you can.
What about the best day of the week?
No surprise, Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest days.
“Friday is a popular day because everyone wants to be able to spend the weekend unpacking,” says the moving company owner.
Sunday is actually the least busy day of the week. You may want to avoid booking your move then, however. Many movers will charge a premium for a Saturday and an even higher one for a Sunday.
“You may be looking at paying double time or triple time for a Sunday,” the moving company owner says.
That leaves the middle of the week.
“Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday are best,” the owner says. “Monday is still pretty busy because you have an overflow of people who couldn’t move on the weekend.”
And even though those mid-week days are less congested, you probably won’t pay less. Most moving companies won’t offer a discount.
And one more moving tip: Always try to be the first move of a day, if you can. That means having the moving truck show up in the early morning. The crew will be fresh, and they are more likely to be on time, not having been delayed by a previous move.