Summer is the most popular season to move house because of the great number of advantages that a summer move has to offer. Statistical data show that for millions of Americans, summer is the best time to move to a new home: kids are out of school, the weather is nice, and the home buying season is at its peak.
However, moving during the peak moving season isn’t a walk in the park by any means, and you will still need to achieve perfect or close-to-perfect organization in order to crown your relocation efforts with success.
Pay attention to the following summer moving tips as guidance when preparing and planning your summer move.
1. Start the summer move preparation ASAP
As Soon As Possible sounds like the perfect time to start preparing for your summer move. Gift yourself a good head start – for example, if you’re moving in July, start your preparations in May, or even in April.
The great thing about planning your relocation as far ahead as possible is that you’ll have a much higher chance of being 100% ready for your Moving day. But that’s not all. Planning your summer move early will
- keep your stress levels within reasonable values because the more tasks you’ve completed, the less worried you will be that you won’t finish the preparation on time;
- give you a fighting chance to tackle the laborious and time-consuming task of packing your home for a move;
- give you much better options to select a top-rated moving company to handle the most difficult aspects of your move (see below for more info);
- compensate for any moving mistakes you may have made due to inexperience or unawareness.
How to prepare for a summer move? It’s strongly recommendable that you follow a good moving checklist – a detailed to-do list that will guide you from the first day of your summer move until the very last one, or even beyond that.
2. Combat the higher demand for movers
Thanks to the benefits of moving in the summer – nice weather, summer break, time off work, peak home-buying season – summer is the busiest period of the moving industry. About 70% of all residential moves take place between May and September (the official peak season is said to be between May 15 and August 31), which automatically means that the best moving companies will be in great demand during that period.
How these relocation statistics relate to you and your home move, you may ask? The high demand for movers in the summer means that if you fail to secure a top-rated moving company in advance, you may have to settle for a less reputable one. While not necessarily a bad mover, a mediocre moving company will hardly offer the quality services you need and expect for a problem-free move.
Do yourself a favor – book a trustworthy mover well in advance, preferably as soon as your home move is confirmed. Oftentimes, early booking may prompt a welcoming discount from the mover’s price.
3. Manage the higher moving costs
Is it more expensive to move in the summer? Unfortunately, it is.
The increased demand for professional moving companies during the summer period will usually mean higher moving company rates too. As a result, you may be forced to pay more for the same moving services and conditions than you would during the off-peak season.
One good way to make up for the higher movers rates in the summer is to manage to find an affordable moving company that still offers high-quality services. This is not an easy thing to do, but it’s perfectly achievable as long as you know the steps.
Another proven way to move in the summer while still keeping within your budget is to cut your moving costs and expenses with the help of special cost reduction techniques. Here are the top 3 ways to make your summer move cheaper:
- Move only the items you really intend to use in the future. Fewer items = lower transportation cost;
- Sell online or at a garage sale all the stuff you’re not taking with you. Add the earned money to your budget;
- Pack up whatever you can by yourself and leave to professional packers only the special items you own, if any.
4. Be smart when choosing your move-out date
Moving in summer – the busiest period of the relocation industry – will require careful scheduling on your part. It’s easy to guess that booking your move-out day during Memorial Day weekend or the last weekend in July will cost you even more money and the chance of securing a good mover in that time frame is minimal.
Be prudent – avoid booking your move at the beginning and the end of the summer months as well, including the weekends. That’s not always possible, but it’s good to keep it in mind as a bonus cost-saving technique. Ideally, you’ll want to schedule your summer move on a weekday roughly in the middle of a month.
If you have school-age children, then it’s important to take into consideration the best time to move in relation to their school year. One of the pros of moving in the summer is that students don’t go to school during the summer break, so you should be able to complete the move with minimal disruption of their academic year.
5. Take control of your summer packing
Considering the importance of packing as the major task in your moving checklist, our tips for moving in the summer continue with a few pieces of summer packing advice.
- Be realistic about packing in the summer. Do not underestimate the time you’ll need to complete the packing project – after all, that task is labeled as the most time-consuming one for a good reason. Inventory your entire home and start packing your things little by little from Day 1 of your preparation.
- Make sure you secure all the required packing materials early enough as packing supplies are also in high demand during the peak moving season. If you’ve hired full-service movers and you’re paying them to take care of the packing job for you, then you have little to worry about. But if you’re packing on your own, then one of your biggest worries will be where to find free moving boxes.
- Avoid the most common packing mistakes – costly errors that can slow down or even halt temporarily your packing inertia. As a rule of thumb, as long as you follow a good packing timeline, you should be able to tackle the toughest moving task with great success.
6. Be careful when packing and moving heat sensitive items
Moving during the peak moving season will often mean that you’re going to have to battle your way through the very high temperatures outside.
Our tips for moving house in the summer continue with practical advice on how to protect any heat sensitive items from the summer heat – after all, there are specific items that won’t fare well in the extreme temperature inside a moving truck.
Sensitive electronics. It’s best to transport relatively small electronic devices (stereos, laptops, tablets, smartphones, or even more compact TVs) in your own personal vehicle where you can have a much higher control over the temperature. Remember that the temperatures inside a moving truck can reach extreme values pretty quickly. Whenever possible, pack the electronic equipment in its original packaging for best protection and air circulation.
- Blu-ray disks, DVDs, CDs. Media disks just can’t handle the summer heat so well, so it’s best to keep them in their original plastic cases. Place any disks that are particularly important inside travel (storage) CD cases equipped with individual vinyl sleeves for extra protection. Backup the information, either online or on an external hard drive, of any computer disks that contain really valuable information.
- Candles. If possible, do not take with you any items that will most certainly melt during the summer move, for example – wax candles.
- Perishable food. Perishable food is forbidden for transport during any season, not just in the summer. Use up or give away your remaining food supplies.
- Plants. Moving companies will not agree to move your plants because the latter won’t likely survive the summer move. Click here to learn how you can move plants to a new home on your own.
7. Stay safe in the summer heat
Moving to a new home in the summer can be a bit tricky and even dangerous because of the intensive sunshine and the resulted heat. To stay safe when moving during the hottest season of the year, here are some pieces of advice on how to beat the summer heat:
- Schedule an early start. If you live in a city with a particularly hot climate, then you must start your move very early in the morning. Avoid moving out anywhere between 11 am and 4 pm when the intensity of the sun is the strongest. Select a mover that will be willing to accommodate a morning move.
- Stay hydrated. The extra summer heat and your extra efforts on Moving day mean that your organism will need much more water to stay properly hydrated. Make sure you replenish the expelled fluids in your body (expelled by sweating) by drinking enough liquids (water’s your best choice, of course) in order to avoid any undesirable symptoms of dehydration. So, when moving in summer, provide plenty of bottled water for you and your movers alike.
- Turn on the air–conditioner. If you have air-conditioning in your home, turn it on. Keeping the air cool inside will prevent you and your movers from overheating and/or sweating too much. If you don’t have an air-conditioner, then position a few portable electric fans on strategic spots to keep things cool.
- Wear suitable clothes. Our tips for moving in summer remind that it’s your top priority to maintain a high level of safety. And to do just that, you will have to wear clothes that are fitted for a summer move. Wear lightweight clothes that are made of breathable and loose-fitting fabrics. Opt for light-colored clothing that will help you stay cooler. Also, a hat and sunglasses will help you stay protected from the strong summer sun rays.
- Apply sunscreen. While working outside under the intensive sunshine, protect your skin by applying sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. The parts of your body that are the most susceptible to sunburn are your face, neck, ears, and shoulders. Apply the sunscreen around 10 minutes before going out in the sun, and re-apply it every hour to remain protected.
8. Be on the lookout for rogue movers
Rogue movers are known to take advantage of the intensified demand for movers during the height of the relocation industry. Such dishonest moving companies will often use fraudulent tactics to scam the people who are getting ready to move to another home.
Check out the most common moving scams used by rogue moving companies so that you can stay protected during your summer move. Remember that prevention is still the best medicine.
Low-ball estimates. Dishonest movers will frequently give unrealistically low-cost estimates to their potential customers to hook them. If you do happen to get a moving quote that is too good to be true, then you need to be extra cautious how you proceed.
- Large deposits. Moving deposits are normal during the peak moving season because moving companies want to make sure they will be protected in case some of their customers back out from their scheduled moves at the last minute. Nevertheless, moving deposits should not be more than around 20% of the estimated sum. So, stay away from companies that demand much larger deposits in cash. ALWAYS pay the deposit with a credit card or a debit card (easier to despite the payment in case of fraud), and select a refundable deposit, whenever applicable.
- Suspicious paperwork. Every single agreement between you and the moving company should be laid out in writing, in a clear and unambiguous way. Request your moving contract in advance and read it thoroughly to check for any tricky clauses. Dishonest movers rely on the assumption that customers won’t make the effort to read the entire moving documentation. Discuss with the movers anything that doesn’t feel right, and NEVER sign blank documents.
Must-read: Protect your move: How to avoid moving scams