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Summer Moving Tips And Checklist

Planning a summer move? Check out SmartMove’s extensive checklist of 20 summer moving tips & considerations to ensure a smooth move no matter the weather!

1. Move What You Can by Yourself (Even if You Hire Movers)
It’s easy to understand why summer is peak moving season, but what isn’t easy is paying top dollar for movers who can afford to be aggressive in their pricing at a time when it seems like everyone is relocating. Simply put – it’s not cheap! But one simple way you can help cut down on moving costs if you’re making a short distance is by handling some of the move by yourself – slow and steady. Transferring boxes to your new place one carload at a time helps ensure that you aren’t overworking yourself, while also giving you the satisfaction of really starting to see a dent in the moving pile.
2. Secure Packing Supplies in Advance
In addition to paying higher costs for movers, another consideration to make during peak moving season is that everyone moving at the same time is also procuring packing supplies at the same time. Whether you’re going the economical route and asking for empty boxes at the grocery store, or stocking up on boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap and more at a home store, grab as much as you’ll need as early as possible to ensure you’re fully prepped to pack during this high demand time.
Tip: Once you’ve unpacked and are left with a mountain of boxes, considering posting them for free pick-up in a neighborhood social media page. Chances are someone who is also prepping for an upcoming move will be thrilled to take them off your hands, saving you the trouble of breaking them down while helping a fellow mover (and the environment!)
3. Check the Weather Often
In the weeks and days leading up to your move, keep an eye on expected weather where you are, where you're headed, and in the areas you'll be traveling through. For a long distance move, have an idea of when you'll be headed through which areas so you can ensure you have cooperative weather every step of the way. While we don’t have to worry about snow and ice in the summer, weather events like thunderstorms and heat waves can cause their own issues.
4. Be Aware of Common Moving Scams
While it’s always important to be thorough in researching moving companies any time of year, the increased demand summer brings draws opportunistic rogue movers out of the woodwork. In short – don’t settle! No matter how tempting the cost savings, it’s crucial to ensure you partner with a trusted, reliable, professional mover. Be aware of common moving scams in your area, and protect yourself and your valuables. If an offer seems too good to be true, there is likely a very good reason. And whether it means the mover is dishonest, or simply bad at their job, you can’t afford to take a chance with your personal safety and all your worldly possessions on the line.
Tip: Be mindful of very low moving quotes, strangely worded contracts, and requirements of a large deposit. There will be opportunities to cut costs when moving, but we encourage you to consider that you often ‘get what you pay for’ when it comes to the movers themselves.
5. Cool the House Ahead of Time
While you don’t want the AC pumping full blast with the constant open-and-close of doors during a move-in, you also don’t want to be lugging boxes into an overheated sauna of an apartment. We recommend cooling the house ahead of time, whether that means opening windows for good air circulation, or borrowing fans from friends and family for moving day. Also, be sure that all utilities – including water – are turned on in advance of your moving day.
Tip: If your new home offers room-specific temperature control, we recommend setting the AC at a nice, refreshing temp so you have one room you can really cool down in when the heat gets to be too much.
6. Keep Kids and Pets Safe and Comfortable
If it’s not possible to have someone available to keep an eye on your children and pets during a move, we recommend keeping them safe, cool, and contained in the house where they can’t easily wander off, and are protected from the heat. As always, be sure to check in on them often, and enjoy a break from the heat yourself in the coolest room in the house – literally!
7. Prepare Your Car for the Move
Blazing summer temps can have a big impact on cars; getting a thorough inspection ahead of a move helps ensure your trusty auto is up to the challenge. If you’ve been putting off repairing your car air conditioner, now is the perfect time to check that off your list, particularly if you’ll be moving heat-sensitive items in your car.
8. Be Mindful of Heat-Sensitive Items
Be mindful of properly packing items that don't fare well in heat, including chocolate, candles, electronics, instruments, vinyl records, makeup, lotions and more. If possible, and you're taking a car that will be temperature controlled, move fragile and heat-sensitive items in your car rather than adding them to the truck.
Even some furniture is sensitive to heat, including leather, so be mindful of how long these items will be on truck, and how hot and humid it will be. If moving heat-sensitive items in the moving truck is a must, add them last so they’ll be the first to come off the truck.
Tip: If you’ll be moving items that need to be kept cold, like certain medications, ensure that the refrigerator in your new place is up and running so you can transfer them to the fridge as soon as possible.
9. Leave Early
While it’s important to leave early in winter months because of dwindling daylight, the peak of the day in the summer may just be too hot for safety. Avoid heavy lifting during these hours and do inside moving day activities to make smart use of time without overexerting yourself. Leave early and plan to break during the peak of the day (roughly 11am – 3 pm) if the temps are just too high.
10. Be Aware of the Signs and Symptoms of Overheating
We can’t stress enough how important it is to stay hydrated and take adequate breaks when moving in the summer. Chilled water, fans, and cold towels (pop a few in the freezer!) can help you keep your cool when the heat is unrelenting. If you do start to experience signs of heat exhaustion – including confusion, dizziness, heavy sweating, muscle cramps, flushed skin, or skin that feels cool and moist – get out of the heat immediately. Remove any restrictive or unnecessary clothing, and lie down in a cool, shaded location, elevating your legs to increase blood flow to your heart. Help restore your body temperature to a normal range by taking a cool bath, or applying cool towels to skin. Also, be sure to take sips of hydrating, caffeine-free beverages, including water and sports drinks. If your heat exhaustion seems advanced or is causing you any worry at all, play it safe and seek medical attention.
11. Wear the Right Clothing
Dressing for a summer move is all about light, breathable, loose-fitting fabrics. As you’re packing up your clothes for the move, set aside clothing options that will be cool and comfortable – and that you don’t mind getting possible stains and tears. Thin cotton t-shirts and linen pieces are great considerations; both materials absorb sweat and allow it to evaporate quickly, helping you stay dry during the move.
Tip: Avoid wearing heat-trapping synthetic fabrics and dark colors, and top off your outfit with a wide-brimmed hat that will protect your scalp and face. Also be sure to apply (and regularly reapply!) sunscreen, and protect your eyes with sunglasses.
12. Take Advantage of Yard Sales
We often don’t realize exactly how much stuff we’ve managed to accumulate until the time comes to move it all. As you’re sorting through your things, start to make a ‘yard sale’ pile. Whether you host your own, or take advantage of a city-wide sale, summer presents an awesome opportunity to get rid of things we no longer want or need, and make a few bucks in the process.
Tip: Stay committed to purging items even if they don’t sell in the yard sale. Rather than lugging things that no longer serve you to a new location, immediately pack up items that didn’t sell – right from the curb to the car! Make a point to visit a donation center as soon as possible to get these unwanted items out of your life for good, and free up essential space for the things you truly value.
13. Pack Winter Stuff First
Winter essentials are some of the bulkiest items we own – from shovels and sweaters to comforters and coats! Moving in the summer gives you a chance to tackle these items first, knowing that you won’t need them until you’re well settled into your new space.
14. Avoid a Memorial Day or Late July Move
The busiest moving times of the summer are Memorial Day weekend and the final weekend in July. If possible, avoid scheduling a summer move within these 2 time frames as movers tend to get booked early in advance, and finding parking can be difficult during weekends when others might be moving on the same block.
15. Keep Essentials with You
Be sure to keep all true daily essentials with you, including medication, particularly if you aren't traveling in the moving truck itself. Think of it as your carry-on bag; if your moving truck experiences an unexpected delay, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that everything you need is safely in your possession.
16. Have Plenty of Chilled Bottled Water and Sports Drinks
Provide water and sports drinks for everyone involved in the move throughout the day, whether kept in an easy-grab cooler, or stocked in the fridge ahead of moving day, giving it time to chill. 
17. Have an Emergency Contact List with You
Ensure you have any and all emergency phone numbers with you, from roadside assistance to your movers’ cell phone. Also, consider filling someone in on your travel plans who isn’t a part of your move, and let them know when you’ll be checking in with them to let them know everything is going smoothly. Plan what steps you’d like them to take if they aren’t able to get in touch with you.
18. Be Aware of Possible Parking Concerns
While parking concerns are often more pressing in the winter, summer brings its fair share of possible parking problems as well. Be aware if there is a festival or event near your new home the day you'll be moving in that might compromise parking.
19. Consider the Kiddos
If you have school-age children and your move lands you in a new school district, be sure to get them enrolled at their new school as soon as possible. There is less urgency when moving in the summer months, but finalizing those details early will make things easier for all parties involved.
Tip: Help your child adjust to the idea of a new school by taking them for a tour if possible so they are less nervous when their first day rolls around. Also, be sure to see if there are summer opportunities to get your kids involved in community programs and projects so they have a chance to make new friends ahead of the school year.
20. Transfer Your Internet and Cable
And, of course – make sure to transfer your internet and cable ahead of move-in day so you can relax in the evening and catch up on shows you might have missed during ‘moving week insanity’!
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