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When Is the Best Time To Move?

Author Image Written by Shane Sentelle + 1 other Reviewer Icon Reviewed by Kent Sisneros Updated 03/27/2024

Deciding when to move can affect your budget, timeline, and housing options. Moving companies are busiest in the summer when it’s most convenient for families to move, so moves during this season come at a higher cost. You may find lower rates in the winter, but poor weather could impact your moving timeline, and you may have limited housing options due to low supply.

In this article, we’ll cover all you need to know about the best time to move and the pros and cons of moving in each season.

When Is the Best Season To Move?

The best season to move will depend on your unique circumstances, your moving budget, and the type of moving services you need. Below is a list of the benefits and drawbacks of moving in each season to help you decide the right time to move for you.

Moving in Spring

Moving in spring helps you avoid potential winter storms and cold weather while saving you money on your move.

Pros and Cons of Moving in Spring

Warmer weather: One reason summer is so busy for moving companies is that warmer temperatures make it easier and safer to move. When you move in spring, you get the value of moving outside the peak season with a lower risk of inclement weather.
Safer road travels: Any snow or ice on the roads is likely to melt by the time early spring rolls around. While there is no guarantee that a late-season snowstorm won’t come, spring can be a great time to move if you want to maximize your chances of clear roads.
More money in home sales: If you decide to move in the spring, you could sell your home at a higher rate—since spring is the most popular time to buy a home.
School: School is still in session during spring, meaning if you have kids, they may have to miss school or change schools late in the year. If you have older children who are preparing to head off to college or take standardized tests in the spring, missing school for a move can set them behind.
Possibility of poor weather: Many parts of the United States, such as the Northeast, are still cold in early spring, making moving difficult and even dangerous in the event of ice and snow.
Pollen: Pollen levels spike in the spring, which means it’s one of the most uncomfortable times of year to move if you have allergies.

Moving in Summer

Summer is the busiest time of year to move, which makes it the most expensive. However, it can be the most convenient for parents with school-age children and those with real estate considerations.

Pros and Cons of Moving in Summer

Warm weather: With so much loading and time spent outdoors, summer’s balmy temperatures can make loading and transportation much more enjoyable.
School breaks: Parents with schoolchildren and college students may need to move in the summer so they’re already settled into their homes when classes begin.
Longer days: The summer season has the longest days, giving you more hours of daylight to load, transport, and unload your items.
High rates: Summer is the most popular time of the year to move, so you may pay higher rates even if you hire the cheapest professional movers.
High temperatures: It can be excruciating to perform physical labor in excessively hot weather. Your summer move may come with sweltering heat and high humidity.
Heat-sensitive items: Electronics, records, and other photosensitive items may need special attention or moving services during the hotter months, further increasing the price you’ll pay to move.

Moving in Fall

Fall can be another good time to move, offering mild temperatures and affordable rates. 

Pros and Cons of Moving in Fall

Comfortable weather: Temperatures are mild in the fall compared to the summer and winter, offering more comfortable opportunities to pack the moving truck.
Less demand: Like spring and winter, the fall season is less popular for moving due to school considerations, meaning you’re more likely to get an affordable rate.  
Improved road conditions: Fall poses a lower risk of bad weather, making transporting your belongings easier for movers. Traffic is less dense in fall, and roads should be in good condition before the first winter show.
Schools starting: Fall is the beginning of the school year, which can be tough to manage for families. If you move after the first day of school, kids may have to change schools or miss class at an inconvenient time.
Allergens: Mold, mildew, and ragweed explode in the fall, making a fall move painful for allergy sufferers.
Hurricanes: If you’re moving along the Atlantic Coast, remember that September through November is hurricane season. Heavy rain and wind can damage or delay your moving shipment and make transportation difficult.

Moving in Winter

Winter can be the best time to move if you are on a tight budget. It’s the least popular time of the year to move due to extreme weather and freezing temperatures, and since there aren’t as many homes for sale during the winter, you won’t have as many housing options. However, with proper planning, you can pull off a seamless winter move with significantly lower rates.

Pros and Cons of Moving in Winter

Lower rates: Most Americans move during summer and late spring because these seasons coincide with the end of the school year. Winter is the cheapest moving time because there is less demand for moving services.
Better real estate opportunities: If you’re having trouble finding housing within your budget, try home or apartment hunting in the winter. Winter is the slowest season for real estate, so you’re more likely to find a new apartment or home at a great rate. 
Lower chance of delay or rescheduling: Since there are fewer people moving in the winter, you don’t have to compete with as many people for services. This can reduce your chances of a delay or schedule conflict.
Ice and snow: Weather conditions in winter tend to be harsher and more challenging to navigate. If you live in an area where snow and ice are common, loading and transporting your items on time will be more complicated.
School year considerations: School-age children will be in the middle of their school year during winter, so it’s not an ideal time to enroll in a new school.
Holiday season: The winter holidays can be stressful and expensive. Winter may not be a challenging time to move if you already know you have inflexible holiday plans or if your budget is already tight due to other expenses.

What Is the Best Month To Move?

The best time to move will depend on your needs. If you’re on a strict moving budget, the best month to move may be December or January, when demand is low. If your children will be starting a new school year at your new home, summer moves between late June and early September can be worth the price.

What Is the Best Day of the Week To Move?

If you don’t have much flexibility in the time of year you have to move, you can still save money by picking an advantageous day of the week to hire movers. The weekend is the most popular time of the week to move, so you’ll pay more to move on a Friday or Saturday.

If you’re looking for ways to save money, the best day of the week to move can be any day from Monday through Thursday. You may also want to book your move in the middle of the month to save as much as possible. Mid-month moves are usually more affordable than those planned for the end of the month, as that’s when leases end.

Our Top Moving Company

Whether you’re moving in late fall to save money or in the middle of summer to get your kids settled into their new home before school starts, a professional moving company will make your move easier and less stressful. Our top recommended moving company for long-distance moves is International Van Lines (IVL). IVL is a full-service moving provider offering service in all 50 states.

As a full-service moving company, IVL offers a wide range of optional add-ons you can purchase to make your move less stressful, from full packing services to home gym setup. IVL will help you create a custom moving package at a price you can afford.

Get a quote: Get a free quote from International Van Lines.

Learn more: International Van Lines Review

Our Conclusion

The best time to move depends on your needs. If the cost of moving is your main concern, consider booking your move in late fall, winter, or early spring. You can book your move on a weekday in the middle of the month to save even more. Moving on a summer weekend can be a move convenient time to move if you have school-aged children, don’t want to take off from work, or want a more expansive housing market.

Moving companies consider their own schedules when setting their service prices, which means it’s possible to get different estimates for a move of the same size and distance. We recommend you get quotes from at least three moving companies before booking your move to ensure you get the best rate. Finally, check that your preferred moving company is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to ensure they’re properly accredited.

FAQ About the Best Time To Move

Is it better to move at the beginning or end of the month?

It’s better to move at the beginning or middle of the month if you want to save money, as demand for movers is highest at the end of the month.

What are the most expensive months to move?

The most expensive months to move are the summer months, including June, July, and August. These are the months when the demand for movers is highest. Rates for moving services typically begin to drop in late September.

What is the best time of day to move?

The best time of day to move is the early morning. Not only are rates lower for early morning moves, but an early start also gives you more hours of sunlight when loading and transporting your items.

What is the best time to schedule a move?

The best time to schedule a move is one to two months before you want to be out of your current space. This leaves you time to compare companies and get quotes before you book. 

Our Rating Methodology

We back up our moving company ratings and recommendations with a detailed rating methodology to objectively score each company. We conduct research by reading through the company websites, analyzing customer reviews, conducting consumer surveys, requesting quotes, and speaking with customer representatives. We then score each moving company against our review standards for services, contents coverage, scheduling, trailer and container options, additional benefits, and reputation to arrive at a final score out of 100.

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