The majority of moves in America take place sometime between Memorial Day and Labor Day. While moving in the summer is convenient for families, students and busy professionals, it can also be downright miserable thanks to the season’s oppressive heat. Fortunately, there are things you can do (and not do!) to avoid a summer move that is sweaty and exhausting. For starters, we recommend hiring professionals to help with the heavy lifting, so that you can concentrate on other moving checklist items. For more tips on summer moving, check out our dos and don’ts of moving in the summer heat.
The dos and don’ts of summer moving
Do expect to pay more
There’s no getting around the fact that summer is the most expensive time to move. Everything from moving containers to moving companies are in high demand during the summer months (also known as “peak moving season.”). The reason? For starters, with school out for the summer, families with school-age children are simply more keen to move during this time. College students are also moving into and out of their dorms during the beginning and ending of the summer. Many consider the weather to be ideal for moving as well – not to mention, there are less holidays to worry about. Given that summer is the most popular time to move, you’ll likely have to pay more to move during these months.
Don’t forget water bottles for yourself and the movers
Moving in the summer heat means you will almost certainly be thirsty much of the time. To avoid overheating, be sure to pack plenty of water bottles with you for the move. Even if you’re enlisting professional movers, it’s always a good idea to keep water bottles on-hand at the old and new home. Make sure to offer water to the movers and anyone else helping out with the move. Trust us – they will thank you.
Do start the move early in the day
Beat the heat by starting your move early in the morning. This is when temperatures and humidity levels tend to be lowest during the summer months. We recommend starting as early as possible. In addition to beating the heat, you’re also more likely to beat the traffic by starting the move early. Aim to begin around 8 a.m. – or even earlier if possible. If mornings are not a convenient time for you (and you’re planning a DIY move), then we recommend moving in the late afternoon or evening hours when temperatures cool down.
Don’t wear heavy fabrics and inappropriate clothing
Moving day is not the day to worry about being stylish. It’s also not the time to be uncomfortable. If you’re moving in the summer heat, you absolutely need to wear light, breathable clothing (think: cotton) and comfortable, closed-toe shoes with socks. Forget the heavy fabrics and high heels. Moving often involves lifting heavy boxes, walking back and forth between rooms, driving long distances, and packing boxes. None of these things can be done well if you’re donning uncomfortable and inappropriate clothing.
Do turn the AC on in your new home
The last thing you want on moving day is to arrive at a home that is unbearably hot. To avoid this situation, we recommend turning your utilities on prior to the move. If you live nearby and are able to switch on the air conditioning the day before the move, then make sure to do so pronto. Cooling down your new home beforehand will make the move and transition much more seamless. If you’re moving long distance, make sure to switch the AC on once you arrive at the new home.
Don’t move during a holiday weekend
Not only will there be less movers and truck rentals available to assist you with the move, but it will also be much more expensive to move during a summer holiday weekend. Not to mention, you can bet traffic on the roads will be standstill. You may even end up having to take multiple detours (thanks to those holiday parades) just to get to the new home. Summer holiday weekends to avoid moving include Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.
Do keep electronics cool
Use extra caution when packing and moving electronics during the summer. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for these items to become overheated and ruined on a hot summer’s day. From smart phones and laptops to TVs and appliances, electrical items do not typically fare well in hot conditions. To keep your items in tip-top shape during the move, be sure to pack them separately and keep them in air conditioned surroundings at all times. Electronics should be the last items placed on the truck and the first items taken off the truck once you arrive. Be sure to pack them in waterproof bin and baggies to prevent water damage from a summer shower as well.
Don’t underestimate the amount of prep time
Don’t just willy-nilly throw everything in the back of a truck and take off. Moving during the summertime takes careful thought, preparation and planning in order to be successful. Start packing your boxes and bags at least a month ahead of time. Interview and hire your movers several months before. For help creating and sticking to a moving timeline, use our move planner tool, which includes a customizable moving checklist, personal tasks list, email reminders and coupons to help you stay organized during a move.
Do bring a portable fan
Having a portable fan on-hand to help you stay cool is one of the most important things you can do during a summer move – especially if the air conditioning in your new place hasn’t been turned on. You’ll want to have a fan set up near the entrance of the home and/or where your movers will be loading and unloading the truck. Fortunately, portable fans are fairly inexpensive and can be found at plenty of nearby stores including Target, Walmart and Home Depot.
Don’t forget to put perishables in coolers
Moving close by? If you have the right packing supplies, there’s no need to throw out perishable food items. Instead of dumping the contents of your fridge into the trash, try placing them in coolers full of ice and/or icepacks the morning of your move. As long as the coolers are cold enough to keep things fresh, you should be able to salvage everything from milk and juices to veggies and fruits.