Summer and winter are on opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to moving. Summer is the peak moving season, with nearly 45% of all moves occurring between Memorial Day and Labor Day, according to U-Haul Moving Statistics and Fun Facts. On the other hand, there are fewer people opting to move during the winter season.
People have various reasons to move. They might want to be near family, get away from traffic or high prices, or move to warmer weather. There are also many factors that determine the best or right time to move. There are work responsibilities, school schedules, and lease agreements that movers have to consider in their plans.
When it comes to the best season to move, is summer the better option? When does it make sense to move in winter? When looking to hire professional movers, look for the companies that offer or include consulting in their services. If they are good, they’ll send a team member to your home or business to ask the right questions and take inventory for your unique moving situation. Typically, once they understand what is needed to get the move done right, you will receive a detailed checklist to help best prepare for the moving day.
Moving in Summer
Relocating in the summertime comes with a lot of perks, although there are disadvantages too. Here are reasons why you might want to move in summer – or don’t!
Summer is a great time to move. Here are the benefits of moving in the summer months:
- Good weather
In most parts of the country, summer presents fair weather, making relocating a safer and more pleasant experience. Plus, rain is unlikely, which means you can avoid dangerous road conditions.
- School break and vacation time
Moving to a new house is most popular in the summer due to the fact that kids are out of school and parents often take a vacation during this time. Without work appointments or school schedules in mind, families who are planning to move are more flexible with their plan.
- Peak home-selling season
Summer is peak season for selling houses. This means two things: First, increased demand translates to a higher chance for your old house to sell and second, it’s likely to sell for a higher price.
- Longer days
Summer days are longer. This means that if you’re relocating – especially if you’re doing it yourself – you have more time to travel from your old neighborhood to your new destination.
While a summer move offers many benefits, some people might not be keen on relocating during this warm-weather season. Here are possible reasons why you might not want to change homes in the height of summer:
- Moving companies are busier
Because many people are moving in the summer, interstate moving trucks, which can accommodate multiple households at once, need to make more stops and deliveries. This means, it might take longer for them to get your things and reach your new home.
- Booking competition
With a list of clients that include the military and corporations, moving companies might put you at the end of the list in summer as they prioritize these premium clients. Plus, competition among other consumers will result in their schedules being fully booked.
- Moving costs are higher
With more people wanting to hire movers, summer rates for moving services tend to be higher (about 20-30% more) due to the increase in demand. Rates are highest from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
- Possible cancellations
With numerous customers to cater to – in addition to truck breakdowns, traffic incidents or weather issues – delays and even cancellations can occur. Experts recommend preparing a backup plan in case of these hick-ups.
- Summer heat problems
The hot and humid summer weather poses problems for those transferring to a new house. The temperature can rise and cause extreme summer heat. Heat waves can increase your risk of heat rash, heat cramps, exhaustion and heat stroke.
Extreme heat can also ruin leather and wood, or melt, warp and snap other items. If you’re traveling with pets, the heat can cause them to overheat. Symptoms include drooling, panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, mild weakness, stupor or collapse.
Moving in Winter
Few people relocate during wintertime because most are busy with preparations for the holidays, and the cold weather is also a huge hindrance. However, with the proper arrangements, winter can be a good time to move too.
Winter is the least popular season to move, but for some people, it just might offer the benefits they need. Here are the pros for moving during wintertime:
- Less demand for moving companies
Winter poses the least demand for moving companies because families generally prefer to move during the summer months when kids are out of school and parents take their vacation. With less demand comes many benefits as enumerated below.
- Lower rates for moving services
Moving in the winter months can help movers save some money. With less demand for their services, moving companies typically offer movers a cheaper rate in winter. U-Haul claims movers can save more when they time their move on a weekday and avoid relocating at the end of the month.
In addition, because summer is slow season, moving companies offer many discounts and other money-saving deals to attract more customers.
- More flexible schedule
With less competition from other customers, moving companies’ schedules are more open. They are also more flexible with their schedule as business is slow in winter months. So, movers can be assured that moving companies will be able to meet their ideal schedule and timeline.
- No traffic
Most people will be at home getting ready for the holiday celebrations in winter, so you’ll have no problem with traffic. On the contrary, summertime movers can usually expect traffic or delays on the road, especially during a long holiday weekend such as the 4th of July or Memorial Day weekend.
Unfortunately, moving in winter can have issues. Here are the reasons why most people avoid relocating during cold weather:
- Dangerous driving conditions
The cold, frigid temperature can result in snowy or icy roads, which can limit your ability to change speeds, turn quickly and stop. This dangerous driving condition caused nearly 40% of weather-related vehicle crashes, resulting in more than 1,300 deaths and 100,000 injuries annually, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- Shorter days
Winter has shorter days, so you have to start early or risk running out of daylight. Nighttime travel isn’t advisable as temperatures are higher and roads can be dark and slippery.
- Greater risk of inclement weather
Winter months can also be unpredictable, so monitor weather reports weeks and days before your move. Watch out for any incoming storms and be flexible about changing your plans if need be.
- More preparation
A winter move also requires more preparation. Wear layers and bring supplies, such as hot coffee and mittens, to keep you warm during your travel. Make sure to store your belongings in waterproofed boxes or containers. And, don’t forget to keep your walkways free of snow and ice – both in your old home and the new one. It might be a good idea to hire someone to scrape snow and ice in your new house, so the walkway is safe when you arrive.
Summer or Winter: When Is the Best Time to Move?
While the consensus is that summer is the best time to move, it might not be so for you. It really depends on various factors that affect your particular situation and your preference.
But no matter which season you choose to move, remember to ask the rates of multiple movers. Compare prices and services and choose the best one that suits your needs. Ensure the moving company you pick is reliable and trustworthy so your move will be smooth no matter the season.