Summer Moving Tips: 6 Ways to Prepare

Mirthful Afro American man and woman drinking coffee on the floor in their new apartment. Boxes near them

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Peak moving season occurs from the beginning of May to the beginning of September. The summer sun is shining, the kids are out of school, and there are more hours of daylight to get work done. But depending on where you live, the summer months can also be a time of oppressive heat and high moving costs.

If your move time is flexible, it’s wise to plan the move before peak season. But the reality is, many moves are not flexible. Perhaps you’ve got a new job in a new town, or your landlord decided to sell their rental and you’ve got to move quickly. For those of you who will be making a big move during peak season, we’ve put together some summer moving tips to help make things go more smoothly.

6 essential summer moving tips

Tip #1: Make your reservations a month in advance

If possible, make your move-related reservations at least one month ahead of your move. Whether you will be hiring a moving company or renting moving equipment to do-it-yourself, get your plans in place as soon as possible.

Forethought and planning are vital if you’ll be moving within a tight timeframe. As summertime peak moving season gets into full swing, moving companies begin to book up quickly. Secure your reservations so that you can shop around for the best deals and ensure you have everything for your move. Waiting too late to make your reservations may result in having to take whatever you can get at that time, including higher prices.

Tip #2: If you can, avoid weekends

Weekends are an obvious time to move because many people are off work on those days. Because of the surge of moving volume on Saturdays and Sundays, services get booked quickly. And since movers are in high demand on weekends, moving rates tend to be a bit higher on those days.

But consider your own unique situation. If moving on a weekday means taking an unpaid day off from your job, paying a bit higher rate to move on weekends may be the better financial choice.

Tip #3: Make a moving plan for your kids 

Change can be hard, especially when you’re a kid. Moving to a new home, a new neighborhood, and potentially even a new school can be overwhelming and stressful.

Take the time to make a moving plan to share that with your children. By preparing them in advance, they’re more likely to feel excited and included in the moving process (as opposed to out of control and, therefore, resistant).

We recommend creating a kids’ moving checklist to make your little ones feel included and in control during the move.

Tip #4: Look for deals

Some moving companies offer special deals. In addition to seeking referrals from trusted friends and family, we recommend asking service representatives about current promotions or new customer moving deals. These deals may be found directly through the company or through sites like Groupon. When it comes to renting moving equipment for a do-it-yourself move, you will find various deals from companies like UhaulBudget Truck Rentals, and more.

Tip #5: Take health precautions to beat the summer heat

A hot day can seem pretty harmless from the indoors. However, heat-related illnesses — like heat exhaustion or heat stroke — are real risks during the summertime. In addition to the summer moving tips above, make sure that you’re considering your health as you move.

Careful planning (and honesty about your body’s limitations) can help prevent scary heat-related illnesses from happening.

Dr. Celine Thum, medical director at ParaDocs Worldwide Inc., has several tips for staying safe in the summer heat:

  • Aim to hydrate every 15 minutes.
  • Try moving in the morning when it’s cooler.
  • Apply sweat-proof sunscreen, at least SPF 30, to protect your skin from UV rays, which can burn even on cloudy days.
  • Avoid coffee and alcohol, which are diuretics and could increase your risk of severe dehydration.
  • Be on the lookout for signs of heat exhaustion, including confusion, dizziness, nausea, and headaches.
  • If you experience signs of heat exhaustion, find shade or get inside where it’s cool and seek medical attention.
  • Wear oversized sunglasses with a UV protection label. Just because they are dark or mirrored doesn’t mean they block UV rays.
  • Try to plan your moving schedule for when the sun is not as strong, and UV radiation is lower.

Dr. Carolyn Dean is a nutrition and diet expert and author of The Complete Natural Guide to Women’s Health. She stresses the importance of watching out for the signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Symptoms may include:

  • Flushed skin
  • Increased body temperature:  Heat exhaustion temps will be below 104 degrees, while heat stroke temps will be above 104 degrees.
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle weakness and fatigue

If you see someone exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, take them to the hospital immediately. Get that person out of the sun and heat, remove excess clothing, and cool them off, following these steps by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Place the person in a tub of cool water.
  • A cool shower
  • Spray them with a garden hose
  • Sponge the person down with cool water
  • Fan them while misting with cool water
  • Place cold, wet towels or ice packs on the person’s head, neck, armpits, and groin.

Tip #6: Make sure to keep these items out of direct sun and heat

Preparing your belongings for a summer move also requires a little extra thought. Some items are more vulnerable to high temperatures and could be damaged if left in a moving van for extended periods. Take extra precautions with the following items.

  • Batteries
  • Candles
  • Cassette or VHS tapes
  • CDs
  • Cleaning products
  • Cosmetics
  • Crayons
  • DVDs
  • Electronics such as laptops, cameras, smartphones, and tablets
  • Medicine
  • Sunscreen

The bottom line

Moving during peak season can be risky for your health and for your bank account. To reduce these risks, learn the signs of heat-related illnesses, take precautions to keep yourself safe, look for summer moving deals, include your little ones in the planning, and make reservations in advance. By following these summer moving tips, you’ll have a safer and smoother Moving Day.

Frequently asked questions

Is it more expensive to move during the summer?

Peak moving season is between May and September. As a result of high demand and higher risk for heat-related illnesses, the prices of moving during the summer will be higher than in non-peak seasons.

Should I move during the summer? 

If you have the choice to move during non-peak moving months, we recommend it. However, if you follow the summer moving tips above, you can accomplish a peak season move successfully and safely.

How can I find free or inexpensive moving supplies?

We recommend asking friends, family, and local businesses for their unneeded boxes. Many businesses receive large shipments in boxes and either throw them away or send them for recycling. Here are some other tips for finding inexpensive moving supplies.

Should I negotiate moving prices?

No matter the season, it never hurts to attempt to negotiate rates. If you are willing to be flexible on your move date and time, moving companies may be willing to offer you a better deal. Part of the advantage of planning in advance is also that it gives you time to shop around.

Originally published on May 16, 2018. Updated on May 28, 2020.