How Far in Advance Should You Schedule Movers?

CitizenShipper CitizenShipper · Updated January 16, 2024

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If you’ve found your dream job in another city, or have decided to move to another state for personal reasons, one of the first things you’ll need to do is think about how you are going to make the move. Making a decision to move to another city or state can be exciting, but it can also pose some huge logistical challenges. Planning upfront is a good way to save you unnecessary headaches and extra costs. For most people, moving house will require employing the help of a moving service – which then prompts the question of how far in advance should you book movers?

When Do I Schedule Movers?

Booking movers as soon as you know the date of your move is the safest way to go. It can help you stick to your planned budget, reduce stress, and ensure the move is as enjoyable as possible. Ideally, you should schedule movers about 4 to 8 weeks in advance. So it’s really important to set the date for your move as soon as possible so you can plan the details of the move with plenty of time.

There are numerous advantages to scheduling your move in advance:

Moving Price 

When you book movers ahead of time, you will usually have a much wider choice of moving companies and moving services to consider. This will help you find a service that fits your budget perfectly. 

Mover Quality 

A key factor in answering the question of how far in advance should I book movers? is quality. Booking movers well in advance will give you wider options to choose from when it comes to choosing from the top movers in your area. You will also be able to read reviews and weigh up your options, especially if you are moving specialty items (such as pianos or billiard tables) if needed.


Knowing your moving date can make the overall organization of your move much easier. You will have a sense of how much time you need for packing, as well as time for other helpful activities before you move such as decluttering (throwing away things that you no longer need) or donating some of your old possessions to charity. 

How Do You Schedule Movers?

When considering how far in advance you should schedule movers, there are several important factors to have in mind. Being able to stick to these tips may help you to save you some money and a lot of trouble along the way.

Mind the Season

How far in advance you should hire movers largely depends on the time of the year. Wintertime is usually an off-season for moving companies, so they may have more flexibility in how they book your move as well as the possibility to offer discounts. However, during the warmer months (from May to September) it is recommended to book movers 8 weeks before the moving date. This is to avoid not being able to find a mover that can fit your budget or meet your specific requests. Keep in mind that Fridays and weekends are the busiest days to schedule for a move, whereas the middle of the week is the least busy. The beginning and end of the month are also the busiest, as that is the time when the leases end.

Long-Distance Moving

A general rule of thumb is the longer the distance, the more in advance you should book your move. Long-distance moving can be very expensive! Expect the unexpected and include it in your budget! Book in-home estimates from several companies so you can get a clear picture of your long-distance moving costs. Ask the companies if they determine the cost by the weight and the distance, or by the hour and the size of the team. Check if they offer packaging services, if they do the loading and unloading, and what kind of insurance they offer. Start your long-distance move planning at least 2 months beforehand (including scheduling a moving company), so that you can be on top of your game. For international moves, you should hire movers three to four months in advance to make sure you get both the price you can afford and the service you need.

Move Size and Complexity

When you book an in-home estimate, the moving companies will take into account different factors, such as the manpower that is needed for the move and specialty items that need to be moved. Booking your movers early means you can get all the information you need to ensure they can meet your specific needs. 

There are other aspects that may further complicate the move, such as elevators, narrow stairs, or hard-to-access doorways. Not all furniture can fit in a standard elevator, so in that case, consider the time and manpower needed for the items to be carried on the stairs. Stair carries may incur an extra charge by your mover so keep that in mind. Long carries may also be included in your bill if there is a large distance between your building access and a safe place for the truck to be parked.

What if You Need to Book a Move Last Minute?

You should always aim to avoid scheduling a last-minute move, however, sudden life-changing events may happen and that is the time when scheduling a move with adequate time upfront is just not a possibility. Still, in these cases too, you should schedule a move as soon as possible. Having said that, you do not need to despair if time is short. Just pay attention to the small details like reading reviews and choosing a well-trusted company. 

In conclusion, the best time to schedule the movers is as soon as you know your moving date! That way you can be sure to get the best deal and enjoy your move with as little stress as possible.