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Moving Advice & Tips

How Far in Advance Do You Need to Book Movers?

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You’ve decided to move, to get that bigger apartment that’s not a walk-up. Or you’re moving out of town to a larger home. Or maybe it’s time to downsize and go somewhere warmer. You may have found a place already or are just in the planning stages. Either way, it’s important to consider in the planning process how far in advance to book movers

Mark Your Calendar and Work Backwards for Booking Your Move

If you’ve already signed on the dotted line for a rental or are in the process of closing on a house, look at your estimated move-in date to plan on when to book the movers. If you’re moving locally, it’s best to book a moving company at least two months before your move-in date. This, of course, depends on the time of year. Summertime is when most people move, so if you’re planning to do the same, book even earlier than two months ahead. If you already know you’re moving several months in advance, start getting quotes and book the movers.

Why Booking Movers in Advance Is the Smart Move? 

You’ll get better rates if you book far in advance. If you wait until a few weeks, or even a month ahead, you can end up paying premium rates or settling for a second-rate moving company to help relocate you. Think about it: More than 40 million on average move each year in the U.S., and an estimated 80% of those moves occur during the peak moving season, which is between April and September. The demand for movers during this season is quite high, especially during the busiest months of June, July and August. Also, remember, in May and August college students are moving in and out of dorm rooms. 

Note: Weekends are busier moving dates than during the week. If you book far in advance you can choose a day in the week and look to get better rates from the moving company of your choice. 

Booking a Local Move

If your move is local – just a town over or in a new neighborhood in the same city – you may have more flexibility in booking movers. But it’s still wise to book about three weeks ahead if you’re planning to move in the summertime. If the move is off season, try to book early as well so you have more options and are not limited.

Booking an Intrastate Move

When remaining in the same state but moving to another city, try and book movers at least three months in advance, if possible.  Intrastate moves typically require at least an entire day. Remember, summertime books up quickly. If the move is off-season then a two-month advance booking may be enough. But the sooner you book the better.

Booking an Interstate Move

If your move is to another state, book it three to four months ahead of time. Some local moving companies only operate within a defined local area, like within a specific city or state, and won’t move you across state lines.  When moving to another state, interstate moving companies are generally used and must be registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Again, you’ll have more flexibility and selection during the off-season than during the summer months. If you wait too long to book a mover to relocate cross country you may not have as many choices.

The Size of Your Move Matters

In addition to how far you’re moving and the date of the move, the size of your move also plays a role on how far in advance you should book movers. If you’re moving a one-bedroom apartment versus a four-bedroom house, the move doesn’t involve as much time and staff. Also, consider the type of items and furniture you’ll be moving. If you have heavy or valuable items, like a piano or fine art, make sure you have the right movers for this type of move and book well in advance. 

What Additional Moving Services Do You Want?

In determining how far in advance you should book your movers, consider the type of services you want. Do you want the movers to help pack up your home and then unpack? If so, this involves additional time and manpower. Will the movers disassembled and assemble furniture? Again, this involves more people and time. Will there be additional stops made as part of the move, like picking up items at a storage unit? Take these additional services into account, not only in getting a quote for the move, but also in booking the move in enough time to meet your move-in date. 

Be sure to also take into account unexpected events that can impact your move, like bad weather. Give yourself wiggle room when planning your move and booking movers so that you get the company you want when you want, so you’re not stressed out on the day of your move.