If you have the good fortune to be able to plan ahead for a move, you’ll experience all kinds of benefits. You can shop around for the best rentals or places to buy, find the lowest-priced but most-reliable movers, and importantly, figure out exactly when to move. Choosing your moving schedule will help you make sure you can plan, pack, and get into you new home in good order. You can also pick the right time of the year to move.

Avoid Summer if You Can

This is when most people move, and so the moving companies are not only at their busiest, but self-moving is harder. You’ll have to struggle to find trucks to rent, storage units, cleaning services, and may even have to work to locate boxes to pack things in. If your town has a large population that moves regularly, such as many workers or students who have year-long leases, find out when they typically move to avoid those times. Usually, students move in late July or early August, but other workers might have their own schedules. When you’re moving yourself, also keep in mind just how many challenges you’ll face when you’re moving in hot weather.

The best time of year just for price and availability is anywhere from September to April, but that can be hard to schedule. Most companies are not very busy and may be offering deep discounts. Winter moves may be the cheapest of all, in fact, but the weather and holidays present their own challenges. Try to move in mid-Spring or Fall, when most companies aren’t incredibly busy and the weather usually is mild even if you’re the one doing all the lifting.

Best Time of Month and Week

Many leases start at a specific time, usually at the beginning of the month, but in some circumstances you may be able to negotiate an early or late move-in time. This might be a good idea, because a time in the middle of the month, during a weekday (Monday through Thursday), is usually when moving companies have the most openings and tend to be less expensive. This might also give you and entire weekend or a bit longer to unpack and settle in before you have to start your job or go to school.

Best Time of Day

The early morning really is the best time to move, even if you’re not a morning person. Most companies would rather schedule times starting at 8 a.m., and you’ll want to be up before then to get things ready. Conditions are usually cooler even in the summer months, and most people are more energetic right after they wake up. If you’ve got enough help or movers, that also means you can get on the road, get to your destination, and maybe even move in before the day is entirely over.

When You Have Kids

Obviously, if you have children, you need to keep in mind school schedules and what it takes to deal with a new school and social situation. Some people advocate for moves in the summer for that reason, but sometimes moves during the school year, especially over winter break, can be beneficial. The teachers and administration may be able to provide more personal attention to your children, and they still have months ahead to make friends and settle in. Whichever one you choose, make sure to talk to your kids and school administrators to make things go as smoothly as possible.

And remember, whatever time of the year, Gerber Moving & Storage is always available to lend a hand.