How Long in Advance to Book Movers?

Last Updated: 
Monday, May 2, 2022
How Long in Advance to Book Movers?

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    Moving spaces, whether it’s a house or a commercial space, is always an exciting but surprisingly tedious job. The literal opening of new doors and leaving behind all your memories in one place to create new ones in a new place is a bittersweet process. But to truly enjoy the process, one must have complete peace of mind, which can be difficult if you are considering DIY or moving yourself.

    While it may seem like a simple task where you pack up your belongings and move them into the new space, the logistics of it are not nearly as simple as they seem. Thus, it is important to have reliable and seasoned movers by your side who can guide you and smooth things out in the process can be an absolute lifesaver.

    Finding and booking good movers is a task in itself. Someone who has not moved previously might not know how to choose a good moving company or how early they should start looking into moving companies and book movers.

    Ideally, you should start looking into moving companies about four months in advance to book the company of your choice at least three months before your move date.

    Why Should You Book Movers In Advance?

    • Booking movers two to four months before your move date is the best case scenario. The earlier you book your movers, the more likely you will receive services that meet your demands and expectations. You will also get better deals and prices if you book movers in advance.
    • Another advantage of booking movers in advance is getting the moving date of your choice. If you book movers at the last minute, it will cost you more to get the moving date of your choice, or if they are busy, you will simply not get the date.
    • You also get more options for movers when booking in advance. This way, you do not need to compromise on the quality of the movers and can book a more experienced and dedicated team. Not only that, if you start looking into companies earlier, you can better understand which moving company you prefer. You won’t have to pick whichever company is available on your moving date.

    Booking movers in advance also gives them a chance to understand what you need and expect, and they can plan the move with you. They will also let you know if you need anything like storage services, and you can book those on time too.

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    How Early Should You Make a Booking?

    The rule of thumb for booking movers in advance is three to two months ahead of the move, but the answer depends on the time, type, and size of your move. Many factors come into play when moving, but three months in advance is the safest option for most moves.

    • The move size highly influences how much you will require workforce, resources, and work. A larger move with many items will need more planning and a longer time to set up than a small move. So if you have a large move planned, the earlier you book movers, the better. But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t book in advance if you have a small move with a few items. It simply means that such a move will require less planning.
    • The complexity of your move is another important thing to bear in mind. The complexity of the move means whether or not you have special items that would require more care and specialized equipment for handling. For example, if you have a commercial move and some machinery that requires special equipment, procuring it will probably take some time. Or, if you have a lot of valuables and fragile items like art pieces, those will also require more effort and resources to move. So if you book in advance, the movers will have time to understand your requirements and plan accordingly.

    Although these are huge factors, the most important factor influencing how long in advance you should book a moving company is the distance you will be moving and whether the moving date is during summer or the off-season.

    Most people do not move around the holidays, so moving companies are busiest from May to September, with summer seeing a peak in customers. So if you are planning to move during the summer, you should finalize the date quickly and book movers months in advance.Here is a breakdown of how early you should book movers based on how far away you are moving and in which season to give you a better idea.

    A Local Move In the Summer

    Local moves are those within the same city or roughly within a 150-mile radius. If you are planning a local move, but during the summer months, it is best to book three to two months in advance. Since this is a busy time, most movers will be booked in advance, so it will be difficult to get movers of your choice with less than two months’ notice.

    A Local Move During the Off-Season

    If your move is local but during the off-season, from October to April, you can probably get away with booking two to four weeks before the move date. But if you want a specific moving company, you should reach out a month before the move.

    Intrastate Move in Summer

    If you move within the same state, but to a different city, movers will need more time to plan and prepare for the move. If the move is in summer, this would mean that you would have to book much earlier. Since such a move is more extensive, hiring more experienced and renowned movers is better, but they get booked out earlier. There are also fewer intrastate movers than local movers.

    So in such a case, you should schedule your move with them at least three months before the moving date.

    Intrastate Move During the Off-Season

    Even in the off-season, you will have to reach out to your choice of movers pretty early since there are limited options, and it is a long process. You should book movers at least two months in advance during the off-season.

    A Summer Time Long-Distance Move

    Long-distance moves are the toughest ones to plan and execute. They take a lot of workforce, time, and resources and must be planned well. Fewer moving companies are willing to do them and get booked quickly. Hiring the best and most trustworthy movers is best as these moves require so much work. So, if you are moving out of the state during the peak months, you should book movers at least four months ahead of the move.

    Moving out of the country will be an even more complex task as some rules and regulations would have to be considered. For such a move, a five or six-month notice is the ideal amount of time.

    An Off-Season Long Distance Move

    Even in the off-season, long-distance moves are difficult, so it is best to book movers as soon as you finalize the date. If the date is in the off-season, you should still book movers at least three months in advance, if not more.

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    Things to Look Out For

    With moving being so tricky, there are a lot of things you should look into. Although booking in advance can save you a lot of money, there are some red flags you should watch out for. You do not lose money during the process or get scammed.

    One of the most important things to consider is whether or not the deposits are refundable. When booking in advance, you should book movers who have refundable deposits. This way, if your plans change for some reason, you can get back, if not all, your money.

    Another thing you should avoid is paying a large sum upfront. Although most companies would want a deposit ahead of the move, you should make sure that it is not a huge sum so that if there is a change of plans or things are not as promised, you can negotiate further. Most companies tend to take the final bill after the move, so if some moving company is asking for a huge sum upfront, that is a red flag.

    Also, consider tipping the movers before loading and the other batch once they are done unloading. Refrain from paying all the amount to the foreman; always give tips to every individual personally as per their performance. Usually, 5-10% of the total move cost is paid as tip.

    You should avoid paying your moving deposit in cash. Paying via credit cards is also safer as you will have proof of the transaction and less room for error. Most moving companies will ask you to pay most payments via credit card rather than a huge amount of cash.


    Hiring a moving company is a huge decision and one that you should make on time. You should always look to hire trustworthy and experienced movers so that you can rely on them completely during the process. A good moving company will be there for you every step and make moving a hassle-free experience. A timely booking can save you trouble and money and get you a good deal.

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