I receive a lot of emails from people who are moving households. One of the most frequently asked questions is how long before a 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, the busiest time of the year.
I always recommend giving yourself at least 8 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 mover more time. So for international or 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 monies 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.
So for those people moving who want a more detailed answer, find your moving scenario below to see how soon you should book your 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 4 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 2-3 months out.
Local Move Within the Same City Off Season
If you're not moving in the summer, then you can book anywhere from 2-4 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 I'd recommend 10-12 weeks before you move. 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 summer. Learn more about hiring intrastate movers.
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 4-8 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. If this is the type of move you're making, learn more about interstate moves and hiring movers.
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.
With just one category for international moves, the key is to book at least 3-4 months in advance all the way up to six months. It is because there are so many other things that need to get done that the movers require notice. Personally, we've moved from Canada to the US with only an 8-week notification and managed to secure a really good mover, but that's also because we were moving in March and we moved across an international border that's much easier to navigate than if we were moving to Europe or Asia. Find out how to move your stuff to another country.