Moving in the Summer – Tips and Advice
With no snow carpeting your porch and no rain pouring down your windows, summers make moving so much easier. You don’t have to deal with cloudy weather and your move to the new home will be greeted with happy blue skies. Maybe this is why 60% of annual US moves take place around this season.
People with families prefer moving between May to August as it’s a break from the academic year for children. But summer moves are not limited to families alone. College students move in this season to their new college towns and working professionals find this as an ideal time to move. It’s not always sunny side up though, summer moves can be a costly and sweaty affair. Let us make your move easier with this article.
Book Movers in Advance
Being the peak season for movers, moving companies are packed to the brim in summers. High rates by movers also dampen the enthusiasm of a move in this season. If you are under a budget, try planning your move before May or after Labor Day. Every company you call will most likely be completely booked. So it is better to book your move at least 8 weeks in advance. This puts you in a better position to negotiate and get better services.
There are easily around 6,000 to 7,000 moving companies in the US. You have ample options to choose from if you start researching in advance. When you do your research, contact a number of companies. Check their reviews and whether they provide insurance cover. If all options run out, you can even check ads on Craigslist for locating local movers. High demand does not mean you don’t have rights to a reasonable quote, so keep looking until you find the right mover.
When you do zero down on a moving company, book a moving slot early in the morning. Organize and plan the move 3-4 weeks in advance so you can keep last-minute panic at bay. Because remember, panic and hot summer are a bad combination.
See also: When Should You Call Movers
Plan A Mid-Week Move
You already know that movers are in high demand in summers. Let’s understand how you can be one step ahead of others. Since the beginning and end of the month is a time most lease agreements terminate, many people move to their new home. Weekends are a time many families prefer moving, as employees are on leave. Movers are booked on such days, resulting in higher prices.
If you want to save money, plan your moving day in the middle of the month and middle of the week. You can have the full attention of your mover and their moving professionals won’t be in a hurry to cover more moves during the day. This acts as an advantage as your move will be smoother and flexible. Taking breaks during the move will also be possible when your movers are not in a rush to finish and leave. This ensures both you and your movers are away from exertion, reducing the chances of heatstroke, rashes, and exhaustion.
See also: Best Time to Move
Prepare Your Belongings
In the extreme heat between May and August, storing some items in your truck’s storage unit isn’t an idea we encourage. There is no ventilation in a pickup truck’s storage, exposure to extreme heat inside such storage can ruin some items. Some items that can melt over and spoil your other belongings should be packed separately.
There are hidden candies or chocolates in your kids’ clothing that can melt while sitting in the storage of your truck. When you pay attention to details like these while packing, your move will be more organized and less messy. Pickup trucks have no air conditioning in their storage area, so all the belongings we mention below should go in the truck’s cab. To make sure they get a place in the cab area, pack and load them in the truck last. These are the items that can melt, warp or lose their effectiveness when exposed to heat:
- Music items like vinyl, DVDs, cassettes, and CDs.
- Electronic items like laptops, handsets, tablets, compact TVs, or electronic musical instruments.
- Miscellaneous items like candles, artwork, medicine, batteries, cleaning products, cosmetics, crayons, etc.
If you don’t find a place for these belongings in the driver’s cab area of the truck, store them in your car during the drive to your new home. Unload these items off the truck/car as soon as you reach your destination so that they don’t spend a lot of time exposed to heat.
Health Precautions During The Move
Your body is going to thank you if you start the move early in the morning. When the sun is high up in the sky, harmful UV rays are best avoided. So start early and take a break during the hottest time of the day. Time the indoor tasks of the move around afternoon so you won’t be outside straining yourself. Summers in the US see temperatures soaring upto 80°F or more. Such temperatures often lead to rashes and heat exhaustion, and if you aren’t careful enough it can even cause a heatstroke.
During moves, people keep their air conditioning turned off since the doors will be open all the time to carry things out. This can cause heat buildup inside the house, staying hydrated and taking breaks is the answer. Moving around the house and loading smaller items in the pickup truck can be exhausting. In the excitement and exertion of it all, don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Keep a check on your intake, and make sure you drink at least 2-4 glasses of water every hour.
You can keep damp towels handy to sponge your face and neck to cool yourself down. Appliances are packed and loaded for moving, which means air conditioning is out of the question. You can make use of portable fans to beat that heat. Make sure that the air conditioning at your new home works, don’t blindly believe the seller when they assure you about it. It is always better to check it out for yourself a week prior to moving.
Signs To Watch Out For
- Dry skin, dizziness, sleepiness, rapid heartbeat or rapid breathing, lesser trips to the bathroom are all signs of dehydration.
- Red clusters, the appearance of small blisters, pimples, or boils can be signs of heat rash. Such rashes occur when sweat is trapped inside your skin.
- Dizziness, nausea, extreme thirst, headaches, heavy sweating are all symptoms of heat exhaustion. This happens when your body loses too much water and salt due to excessive sweating.
- Fainting, hot or dry skin, seizures, confusion, slurred speech are serious symptoms of heatstroke. Heatstrokes are life-threatening and might be fatal. If anyone in your family experiences symptoms like these while moving, move them to a medical facility immediately.
A fever of more than 104° F is a sure sign of heatstroke, until medical help reaches, some steps can act as a savior. Like removing excess clothing, sponging the person with cool water, placing ice packs near the person’s head, neck, groin, and armpits. Quickly immersing the person experiencing heatstroke in a tub of cool water can work well too.
Take Care Of Kids And Pets
You are going to be distracted with the move to pay close attention to your kids and pets. But moving in the summer can be dangerous to them, having them sent to a relative’s or friend’s place is the best bet. You can even involve your older kids in the move, this fills them with a sense of involvement and ownership.
Never have your pets lose in the home while the move is in progress as it exposes them to dangers. Nor should you tie them in a room with no air conditioning, tying them outdoors too could be harmful in summers. Making the mistake of leaving them in the car while the move is on is incredibly dangerous as the temperature in a parked car can reach 120° F within an hour or less if the temperature outside is 80° F.
Signs To Watch Out For
- Excessive panting, drooling and bloodshot eyes are clear indications of dehydration in dogs. Bring them in shade or a cooler part of the house and give them water if you notice these signs.
- Sunken and dull eyes in cats are a sign of dehydration, their gums should feel pink and moist. If it’s otherwise, offer them fluids like water or milk. Usually, cats find a shady cool spot for themselves on hot days, but it’s always good to keep checking on them.
- Irritability, headache, sweating, dizziness are signs of heat exhaustion in kids. Keep checking on your kids and remind them to drink water every half hour to keep any dehydration or heat exhaustion at bay.
Things To Remember On Moving Day
Temperatures in the morning are bearable, making it the right time to start the move. You won’t sweat a lot as the humidity levels too are low early in the morning. As the day progresses, heat climbs up. Many US cities record temperatures between 70-80° F in the summer months. To avoid high temperatures, it is better to start the move at 7 am or earlier.
You even avoid the traffic this way, especially if you are moving on a weekend. Remind your movers to arrive early and keep everything ready before they come. If it’s not possible to start in the morning, schedule the move for late afternoon or early evening. This way, you won’t find yourself carrying heavy boxes to the truck while the sun is harsh.
Ample breaks are going to keep you energized throughout the move. Snack on watermelons, cucumbers, or ice cream when you take breaks. Sit in a cool room with a portable fan or a battery-operated fan. Apart from just water, drink lemonade, juices, margaritas, or slushies. Prepare such drinks in advance and store them in coolers, offer them to your movers and they are going to remember you forever!
Wear The Right Clothes
Lightweight, breezy, and loose clothes… such breathable fabric is going to make you more comfortable. Synthetic fabrics are a huge no as they are going to make you sweat. Try going for white clothes over any dark color. When it comes to footwear, put on something that has a good grip. Though your shoe stand holds flip-flops in summers, we don’t recommend wearing them during your move. They won’t offer the same protection to your feet as shoes as you will be carrying heavy boxes and furniture around.
Apply Lots Of Sunscreen
This might sound like a frivolous tip, but you will be thinking otherwise after reading this. UV rays in the summers come to you like daggers. Lather yourself up with lots of sunscreen, get one with an SPF of 30 or higher. Clothes with long sleeves also protect you against the sun. Pay attention to your eyes as they are sensitive to sun rays. Exposure to the sun for long hours during the move can be an invitation to issues in the long run. It’s better to protect your eyes with shades that are oversized and have a UV protection label on them.
Care For Your Movers
Keep extra bottles of water, easy access to more water, cold damp towels for them. Ask them to take breaks and provide them with fruits to hydrate them. Movers sometimes move multiple houses in a single day, so ensure their safety too—especially on hot summer days. Show them a place where they can refill water and have unlimited access to it. Let them know the way to the restroom in advance. Make them feel comfortable to take breaks and rest in between the move. In the end, tip them for their efforts on a hot summer day.
See also: Tipping Movers
Prepare For The Worst
Though summers are host to clear weather, summer storms are not rare. There can be sudden rainstorms. If you are not careful enough, tornadoes or flash floods can put a roadblock on your move. Keep track of the weather forecast right from a week prior to your move. If it does end up raining on your moving day, cover belongings like clothes, shoes, electronics, etc with garbage bags or plastic sheets. You can protect larger items like furniture and appliances with shrink wrap. Lastly, rains in the middle of summer can make everything slippery. Place a carpet or cardboard in the front of your door so no one slips as they rush in and out carrying things.
In the end, don’t forget to enjoy this experience. A summer move means that your children will be around, and if you haven’t sent them off to the babysitter, it’s going to be memorable packing with them. Plan and take precautions, this will make your move less stressful. Soon, you will be sipping a margarita on the porch of your new home.
Should I Hire An Air-conditioned Moving Truck?
Temperatures in the storage of a moving truck can climb to 102° F within 10 minutes and upto 125° F in half an hour. You might want to consider a truck with an air-conditioned storage unit, but it’s not a necessity. With smart planning, you can eliminate the need for air-conditioned storage. Just make sure belongings that cannot withstand heat ride in the truck’s cab or in your car.
How To Pack Perishables For A Summer Move?
If you are moving over a long distance, it is better to dispose of your perishables and buy new food when you arrive at your new home. But if you want to retain them, there are several ways to do it. Pack perishables in pre-packed foam coolers before packing them in boxes. In case you are carrying frozen foods or refrigerated items, put them in a cooler filled with ice. That will do the trick.