Figuring Out the Best Time to Move

The best time of year for you personally to move will be influenced by both your reasons for moving and the details of your lifestyle. If you are moving because of your job or to start school, you likely have limited flexibility about your moving date. If you are moving for other reasons, you may have a lot more flexibility. In any case, a little planning and research can help you choose the best timing.

Rental Options

If you are renting, timing your move depends in part on your goal. Because most Americans move between May and September, this is peak moving season and it provides the most options in terms of rental units becoming available. Off-peak season provides fewer options, but it generally costs less money and gives you more negotiating power with the landlord, who may be more motivated to accommodate your demands and strike a deal anyway.

Weekdays Vs. Weekends

Whether you rent or buy, you will also generally save money by moving during the work week instead of on the weekend. There is greater demand on the weekend because most people find the weekend to be better timing for their personal schedule. You may have a more flexible schedule with the moving company if you move when there is lower demand.

Children and the School Year

Another factor that influences moving dates is the presence of school-aged children in the family. Most parents of school-aged kids prefer to move during the summer months, when school is out anyway. However, that issue isn’t necessarily as simple and straightforward as it might seem. If you have school-aged kids, you should do some research and consider your options.

First of all, if you are moving a long distance, the current school system may be on a different schedule form the new school system. Some school systems in certain states follow a year-round schedule. For those schools, summer break does not last three months; instead, it typically lasts about six weeks. However, year-round schools typically have a longer spring break and winter break. If the goal is to have the child graduate from one grade in the current school and then start a new grade in the new school, then the timing needs to fit the summer break schedule for both systems. But if the goal is just to ensure that the child does not miss too many days of school, then Christmas break or spring break may also be good times to move.

A lot of parents do not realize it, but if you are planning to move to another city or another state late in the school year, it is sometimes possible to have your child graduate a few weeks early so that they do not need to enroll in a new school the last few weeks of the school year. In effect, it is sometimes possible to give the child an extended summer break in order to help accommodate the move, and then enroll them in the new school system starting the following fall.

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