Are you preparing to move? Look around — what time of year is it?
Most people -- especially families with children, college students, and military personnel -- want to move in the summer. Because of this, summers are busy -- moving companies are overwhelmed, it's hot outside so it is more difficult to move, and in many parts of the country, rain is a major factor during the summer months. If you are moving to an apartment, it may be more difficult to find an apartment during the summer when everyone else (especially in a college town) is moving, as well.
Ideally, the best time to move is in October or November -- right before the more extreme winter temperatures kick in, but after the peak summer heat. Rain isn't a major factor, and the summer moving frenzy has ended so moving companies have more flexibility (and sometimes even better rates). And now that kids are back at school, families are settled in and the college kids have already staked claim on their apartments. If you can schedule a move during the fall, great -- if not, well, here are some tips to make your summer move easier:
If you absolutely must move in the summer, try to do at least part of the move yourself. This will save money and time since moving companies are so busy during summer months that they may not be able to work around your schedule. Also, rates are sometimes higher during the summer, so doing at least some of the moving yourself will help offset those higher moving costs.
Be careful what you pack -- especially when moving a long distance. Certain items can't take prolonged heat and could be ruined in the sweltering high temps of summer. It is best to take those items with you in your air-conditioned car. Also, take precautions in the summer -- for yourself, your children, and your pets. Make sure they have a comfortable place to escape the heat (and stay safe since doors will be open and heavy items will be moved) and be sure everyone has plenty of water.
Wear sunscreen. No, you aren't spending the day at the pool, but you will be in the sun more than you realize. Dress comfortably and cool -- but again, you aren't at the pool. Skip the flip-flops and wear tennis shoes instead for safety reasons (you don't want to risk dropping something on your toe or slipping out of your sandals while carrying a heavy box).
Be careful with perishables. You have to clean out the fridge for the move, but food can spoil quickly in the summer heat. If you can't get everything to your new home or apartment fridge quickly, be sure to pack everything in coolers filled with ice.
People move slowly when it's hot! Don't try to rush the move. Start as early as possible, before temperatures heat up, and get the heaviest items loaded first. In the heat of the day, expect everyone to slow down a little -- especially the movers. When summer temperatures soar, it is safer to move slowly and take frequent breaks. Be patient -- it will all get done.