Know When to Book the Movers Before You Move

Man in moving truck loading boxes onto a trolley.

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One of the most frequently asked questions when getting ready for a move is: how long before you move should the moving company be hired? The short response is, it's best to start calling movers as soon as possible, especially if you're planning a move during the summer months, which is typically the busiest time of the year.

Give yourself at least eight weeks before you move to book a mover. However, if you're moving to another country or across the country, you should always give yourself and the movers more time. So for international, national, or across state moves, start calling eight weeks before and no later than four weeks before you move. If possible, book 12 weeks in advance, especially if you're planning a move during the peak season such as summer.

For moves within the same city, you can push this until two weeks before your move date. Just remember, the sooner you start, the better deal you'll get and the larger selection of movers. It makes a difference in the price you pay, the money you'll save, and the quality of the service.

The two main factors that determine how difficult it might be to book a mover are where and when. While how much stuff you have to move should also be considered, it won't prevent you from finding a good mover.

Local Move Within the Same City During Summer

If you're moving during the summer, book as soon as you can. Ideally, two months before your move date. Worse case, at least four weeks, but know that if you only have a month or less before your move, you'll have a limited choice of movers. Most good movers are booked two to three months out.

Local Move Within the Same City Off-Season

If you're not moving in the summer, then you can book anywhere from two to four weeks before your move date. Keep in mind, even during the fall, winter, or spring, good movers will book up so always try to give as much notice as possible.

Move to Another City Within the Same State During Summer

Intrastate moves—moves that are within the same state—are less complicated than out of state moves, so booking movers 10 to 12 weeks before you move is sufficient. Because there are fewer movers who will move to another city in the same state, you should allow at least two to three months, especially if moving in the summer.

Move to Another City Within the Same State Off-Season

For an intrastate move that isn't happening during summer, you can get away with booking four to eight weeks before the move date with two months being the ideal amount of time needed.

Interstate Move During Summer ​

An interstate move—one that takes your stuff across a state line—is a lot more complex than interstate moves, so you should give at least 12 weeks in advance of your move.

Interstate Move Off-Season

Offseason moves that will take your things across a state border will require at least an eight-week notice. Again, the further you move, the fewer number of movers there are to move your stuff.

International Moves ​

The key is to book at least three to four months in advance all the way up to six months for international moves. It is because there are so many other things that need to get done that the movers require notice. There's also a big difference if you're moving from bordering countries, such as from the United States to Canada or if you're going overseas.

In the end, when hiring a mover, remember that the further you move and the busier the season, the more time required. It's that easy.