The easy answer to how soon you should book a mover is as soon as possible. However, there is more you should know beyond this general rule depending on the time of year, type of move, and much more.

Below, we shed light on how soon you should book a mover, the benefits of booking a mover early, and how seasons and times of the week affect a move.

Not sure which mover to go with? Read our list or Our Top Moving Companies.

Benefits of Booking Early

There are many benefits to booking your move early. Here are just a few:

  • You’ll likely get a better deal. Booking early means you can have your choice of movers and gather more free moving quotes, allowing you to negotiate a better deal. Good movers are also often willing to reward customers with discounts for early booking, helping you stay within your budget.
  • Confirm your move date early. If you have a specific date you must move on, booking early is absolutely essential to ensure you get that date reserved. If you wait until the last minute, you could face changing your date or preferred moving time.
  • More experienced movers. Booking early means having your pick among moving companies, often leaving you with more experienced, reputable movers.
  • Reduces your stress. Booking early gives you peace of mind that your move is secure, leaving you with more time and mental energy to focus on packing and handling other moving details.
  • Allows you to explore other options. If you book in advance, you can take your time considering other moving options, like moving container companies or moves by freight.

    How Early Should I Book a Mover?

    So, what is considered early in the world of booking a moving company?

    This will depend on your location and the time of year you’re moving. Summer is almost always the busiest time to move because many families move when their kids are out of school, and college students are also moving into dorms and college apartments. As a result, moving during fall, winter, or spring can provide you with better options, less expensive rates, and lessen the need to book extremely early.

    If you must book during the summer, plan on booking at least two to four months in advance, depending on the type of move. During other seasons, you can likely get away with one to three months in advance, again depending on the kind of move.

    Another factor to consider is the day of the week you’re moving. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are by far the most popular move days. If possible, move during the week, especially on a Tuesday or Wednesday, to save money and give yourself more options. Mid-month is also an ideal time to move because many renters wait to move until the beginning and end of the month.

    You’ll also want to consider the size of your move. If you’re moving from a small apartment and don’t have heavy furniture, this will be easier to book than a family with a large home. Certain items, like large rugs, heavy furniture, fine art, pianos, and exercise equipment, will need to be accounted for, making booking a mover more difficult. Book as early as possible if you have a large home, specialty items, or need additional services.

    Lastly, consider what type of moving service you need. A full-service move requires more moving professionals, so plan ahead and book early if you want movers to pack and unpack your belongings in addition to the move. Fewer companies offer these services, so you’ll want to make a reservation immediately to ensure you have access to these services. On the other hand, more companies offer a moving truck rental or basic moving service, giving you more flexibility when booking your move.

    Booking for Different Types of Moves

    The distance of your move makes a huge difference in when you should book. As a general rule of thumb, the bigger your move is, the earlier you’ll need to book your move.

    Local Moves

    If you’re moving within the same city or to a close suburb, you won’t need to book as early as other types of moves. However, it can still be beneficial to do so that you receive the best deal and have your pick of the local movers in your area.

    We recommend booking a local move at least two months in advance, particularly if you’re moving during the summer or weekend. Off-season moves can often be left to book until a month in advance. However, booking two months early is ideal for finding the best deal.

    Long-Distance Moves

    If you’re moving to another state, you’ll need to book much further in advance. We recommend booking at least 12 weeks in advance, if not more, to ensure you get the move date you want at the best deal possible. If you’re moving during the summer or weekend, aim to book at least four, ideally five months in advance.

    You may be able to get away with booking only two months in advance for an off-season move, but you’ll likely be paying higher rates if you choose to wait. So, plan ahead and save yourself the money if possible.

    Most moving companies will need at least a day for your intrastate move, so give them and yourself as much notice as possible so that you can plan to take time off of work for your move.

    Cross-country or Interstate Moves

    For larger moves, like a cross-country move or interstate move across multiple state lines, you’ll want to book at least three months in advance, especially for peak moving seasons.

    During the off-season, you may be able to book only two months in advance for your move, but you may still face premium rates for booking later.

    Ideally, book your cross-country move at least four months in advance so that you have time to shop around and negotiate moving costs.

    International Moves

    An international move will take the most planning and can be the trickiest because peak seasons fluctuate wildly. International moving companies can become busy at seemingly random parts of the year and don’t usually follow the busy summer formula that other companies in the moving industry do.

    When moving to another country, book your move at least six months in advance, if not more, to ensure you’re getting a reputable moving company. If you’re moving somewhere with strict regulations and customs, your movers may need even more time to arrange transporting certain belongings. Speak with international moving companies as soon as you become aware of your impending move to learn more about customs and what they’ll need from you.

    Final Thoughts

    Booking a mover early is not only a smart practice that helps you save money and work with the most reputable companies, but it helps all other aspects of your move. Once you have a confirmed move date, you can create a moving inventory and moving checklist and plan. You can also schedule donation pickups, a cleaning service, and other arrangements you may need to make before moving to your new home. In short, book your movers as early as possible. There is really no downside.

    Editorial Contributors
    avatar for Lora Novak

    Lora Novak

    Senior Editor

    Lora Novak meticulously proofreads and edits all commercial content for Today’s Homeowner to guarantee that it contains the most up-to-date information. Lora brings over 12 years of writing, editing, and digital marketing expertise. She’s worked on thousands of articles related to heating, air conditioning, ventilation, roofing, plumbing, lawn/garden, pest control, insurance, and other general homeownership topics.

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    photo of Andrew Dunn

    Andrew Dunn

    Senior Editor

    Andrew Dunn is a veteran journalist with more than 15 years of experience reporting and editing for local and national publications, including The Charlotte Observer and Business North Carolina magazine. His work has been recognized numerous times by the N.C. Press Association and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. He is also a former general contractor with experience with cabinetry, finish carpentry and general home improvement and repair. Andrew earned a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a certificate in business journalism. He lives in Charlotte, N.C.

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