The Bite-size Summer Moving Guide

Summer moving takes the cake for the majority of all moves in the U.S. Between May and August, it’s estimated 60% of all moves take place in the U.S. — that’s about 15.3 million out of 28 million. No seriously… 15.3 million.

On top of the better weather and summer being a very social season, it’s a great time to move because kids will be out of school and there will be less hassle working around their schedule. Work schedules also typically relax, and more housing options tend to be on the market. That’s not to say summer is the end-all best time to move; there’s still a lot to factor in.

So, sit back and skim below for key points (bolded) in our bite-size guide to moving in the summertime.

How many times have you heard the word ‘preparation’ when it comes to moving? Probably a lot by now. But there is a reason behind it. Arranging things prior to moving can save you time, money, stress, and a potential headache. Start by being aware before you prepare.

Give Yourself Space

If you’re planning on moving in the summer (or anytime for that matter) the biggest thing to keep in mind is also the simplest: Set aside enough time to prep.

Planning and preparation are key in just about any situation, even being ready for an emergency, and that stays true when it comes to a big event like moving.

If you are moving on short notice, focus on where you’re going and how you’re getting there. The rest will come later.

Higher Temps, Higher Rates

As summer temperatures rise, you’ll be charged more. With the better weather, leases ending, peak season in real estate, and so many people moving (remember that 15.3 million?) costs go up exponentially.

Setting Your Timeline

If you’re able to take one or two months in advance to plan, go for it! Utilize as much time as you’re able to give yourself. If that’s one month, plan during that time, and if that’s one week, use that time for your benefit. Avoid moving on or around holiday weekends when nailing your timeline down.

  • Document your household inventory — Using resources such as a checklist, spreadsheet, or inventory management tool can help you stay organized before you pack everything up. This list of items can help you get started: Creating a Moving Inventory
  • Purge what doesn’t bring you joy (or what you don’t use) — Before or after you start documenting your belongings, it’s a good time to consolidate and set aside what to throw away, donations, and things you could sell on Facebook marketplace or in a yard sale. Keep any old sheets or blankets for packing, but everything else is fair game. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t used or worn it in one year and don’t have immediate plans to use it, give it away or donate it. If it no longer brings you joy, maybe it’s time to toss it. The sheer relief you’ll feel once you start packing will be significant!
  • Secure moving insurance — We typically focus on having insurance for our houses and cars, but it’s not always what crosses our thought threshold when it comes to moving. It’s added security for anything that gets damaged, lost, or broken, so consider having this as a backup.
  • Get a storage unit — After you’ve consolidated and documented, and still find you’re holding onto mementos or things you won’t need with you right away in your new home, consider getting a storage unit. A small- or medium-sized one can fit more than you might realize and would be worth the cost to keep some of your items safe during the move or even for some time after until you’ve unpacked and reorganized.
  • Boxes, Boxes, & More Boxes — Yes, having excess boxes sounds ridiculous. But in the long run, you will thank yourself for having the foresight to make sure there’s enough. Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Your local supply or grocery stores, Home Depot, Uhaul, Lowes, and even dollar stores will have them. While you’re making a trip, it’s a good habit to pick up packing tape, bubble wrap or packing peanuts, black markers, and pre-printed room labels to save you time and effort.
  • Schedule your movers or truck — Booking a moving truck or a moving company in advance can save you a hassle as you get closer to your move date. A month in advance would be best but give at minimum two weeks. When they arrive, keep a courteous and respectful mindset, offer water if possible, and pay attention if they have questions.
  • Change of Address — Prep your Change of Address form and submit to USPS right before or after your move. Make sure your insurance providers, utilities, internet, doctors, workplace, banks, credit cards, benefits or social security, the DMV, and any subscriptions you have are updated as well.
  • Start packing — Now comes the heavy stuff. Start with what you won’t be using or need up to the last week of the move. Keep these in mind as you go:

Wrap any delicate items carefully, and with plenty of padding.

Newspaper is great bunched up in and around cups and bowls.

Bubble wrap works well for wood, breakables, and electronics.

Old unused thick blankets and sheets prevent staining or scrapes on mattresses and damage to heavy furniture.

Electronics need to be kept secure and separate from other items.

Set aside an essentials bag per person and per pet.

Prep as needed food containers, coolers, and temperature safe bags for moving groceries and medicinal items.

Mark and label boxes accordingly, by room or category of things within.

  • Buy fewer perishables — As the moving date grows closer, try to spend less on perishables and groceries that will need to be refrigerated. If possible, eat and drink whatever is expiring close to the moving date and keep snacks and water on hand the day of. Meal prep is incredibly helpful, and can save a week of buying groceries, making meals, and stress as well.
  • Turn on the AC — The day before your move date, call the utility company your air conditioning is through and have them turn on the AC. This will give the space time to cool down for when you (and if you have movers) arrive.

You have all your plans set and solid. You’ve prepped until you can’t prep anymore. It’s the day of the big move. So…what now?

Your most important steps in making the day go smoothly:

  • Hydrate — keep plenty of cold or room temperature water on hand.
  • Start Early — beat the heat and set your alarm to begin early morning if possible.
  • Dress Comfortably — and in old clothes…prepare to get dirty! Have a large container of wipes nearby
  • SPF, Fans, & Coolers — battery-powered fans, lots of sunscreen, and coolers with ice are a LIFE-SAVER!
  • Pet & Kid Safety — keep your pets and younger kids separated from the moving chaos!
  • Tech Precautions — pack and transport electronics last, if possible, but definitely securely wrapped and padded.
  • And…start moving!

Moving is a massive feat, no matter if you’ve got months to plan or hours. Whatever timeframe you have, take the above pointers, and make them work for you.

Prioritizing in the moment can outdo planning if you do it right and you need to make it happen — take care of yourself first and foremost, then your loved ones, and most importantly, breathe. You can absolutely get through anything.

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