While it can be tempting to plan your move for summer, so you are not trying to move during heavy rain or a snowstorm, know that it can be just as challenging to relocate during the heat of the summer months.
First, because it’s the most common time for a move. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 14 percent of the U.S. population relocated in 2015, sixty percent of them to another state. And real estate database company Zillow says a lot of them moved during June. That’s the single busiest month in the moving industry, and July 31st is the busiest day of the year for professional movers.
Randy Peacock, general manager of the Seattle moving company Neighbors Relocations, says it’s best not to move during the summer at all if you can avoid it.
“Moving companies are very busy at that time of year,” he says, “and the rates do go up based on demand.”
Dog Days of Moving
It can be much harder to schedule movers during the summer, so call to book your movers at least six to eight weeks ahead of time.
Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest summer days for movers, so scheduling your move for a weekday can be a good strategy. Starting your move early in the morning means minimizing your activity at the hottest time of the day. And avoid trying to book movers on Memorial Day weekend.
1. Set Aside Heat Sensitive Items
Peacock says to take temperatures into account and think about items that shouldn’t get overheated, such as electronics, plants and candles, which can melt all over your other goods. CDs and DVDs may warp in a hot moving truck.
“We can’t protect items from heat,” he says, “so if it’s a heat-sensitive item, you should make other arrangements for those things.”
2. Keep It Cool
Make sure you dress appropriately for hot weather. Choose lightweight, cool clothes, comfortable and closed-toe shoes for safety. Don’t wear jewelry that could catch on something.
Wear sunscreen, and keep the bottle nearby. Use a hat and sunglasses.
3. Hydrate Your Crew
Keep cold water or sports drinks in a cooler for yourself and also the movers. If it’s uncomfortably hot, remember that they too will need water, food and bathroom breaks.
4. Cool Down the House First
If it will be hot in your new home, make sure the utilities are turned on so you can use the air conditioning right away and have power and water. Fans, too, can be a welcome relief.
Keep in mind that summers are only getting hotter. The Weather Channel points out that summer temperatures have risen steadily since the 1970s, especially in parts of the East Coast and the Southwest where temperatures have risen more than 3 degrees Fahrenheit since 1970.
5. Let Your Kids Bask in A/C
If you’re moving with children, do some planning for their well-being. Make sure there are safe and climate-controlled areas where they can play and rest while the move happens, and where they will be out of the movers’ way. Can you hire a babysitter at each end? If your kids will be at the moving site, a couple of new, small toys might keep them occupied away from the moving action.
6. Monitor Your Pets
If you’re traveling with pets, plan where they will be during the move, too. Your yard is not a good place for animals during a move because the movers will be going in and out and the gate will be open. Consider boarding pets at a kennel for a short time, so you know they are safe until you are settled. Or have someone watch them on both ends of the move.