Kayla Coco-Stotts
July 28, 2021
Article type:
Moving Help & Tips
Applies to:
All Moving

How Early Should I Get an Estimate and Book My Upcoming Move?

Once you’ve decided you’re going to move, you’ll usually put most of your focus on finding your next home.  

However, depending on where and when you want to move, the ideal timeline for obtaining movers can differ. In the excitement of settling on your destination, you may miss your opportunity to select reliable movers to get you there.    

The Bottom Line

Though often overlooked, obtaining your preferred movers should happen somewhat early in the moving process. Ideally, once you know you’re moving, you should be researching what kind of moving company you’d prefer to use.  

When it comes to selecting your mover, two factors often greatly influence your decision: Availability and Pricing. By starting early on, you can select the mover that works best for your budget and for your timeline without having to worry so much about their availability.  

If you’re moving across state lines, you’ll want to select reliable interstate movers. If staying local, a local moving company or DIY move could be the right choice for you. Doing your research early on saves time when it comes to booking an estimator appointment with moving companies.  

As soon as you’ve got the details down, such as your destination address and when you’d like to move, go ahead and book an appointment with estimators. Ideally, you want to book your move eight weeks in advance, and no later than 4 weeks beforehand. Keep in mind that if you wait, especially in the peak season where many typically plan their moves, it’s likely most reputable movers will be fully booked.  

Instead of having to settle for your second, third, or fourth option, get your quotes early and pick the movers that work best for you. Once you book your move, your move date is officially set and much of the difficult decision-making is behind you.

How Long Is an Estimate Good For?

The timing of your estimator appointment is important for figuring out when you’d like to book your movers. Once you’ve met with an estimator and they give you a detailed quote, that quote is available for a certain time before it “expires.”  

Though it’s influenced by several factors, this is mostly due to demand and what season you’re looking to move in. If demand is high and trucks are moving across the country, then your quote may only be available for you to use for a limited time. This ensures moving companies can keep their availability accurate while still providing their customers with all the info they need.  

Generally, in the off season your estimate is good for an average of 30 days. In the summertime, a.k.a the peak season for moving companies, your estimate is typically good for 7 days.    

So, as you're gathering quotes from moving companies, keep in mind that those quotes do have an expiration date. Your decision for your mover should be made within a business week of your last estimator appointment.  

Peak Season Moving

If you’re calling around and finding that a lot of movers are booked out three, four, even five weeks in advance, you’re most likely looking to move in the summertime.  

This is the busiest time of the year for moving companies. Fair weather and end-of-lease terms mean that most people look to move between the months of May and August.  

What does that mean for those who want to move in the summertime and would like to get the exact right mover for their needs? It just means things need to be done with decreased availability in mind.  

Months before you’re going to move, determine which movers you want to get quotes from. Schedule estimator appointments nine or ten weeks in advance, then book your mover right at the eight-week mark.  Remember that most moving companies keep shorter terms on their quotes, so that quote won’t still be available three or four weeks from your appointment.    

It may seem way off but getting your moving company on the same page early on saves you from the stress of hearing, “I’m so sorry, we’re booked solid until next month.”  

Off-Season Moving

In the off season, booking a move typically feels less high stakes. Most moving companies will have open availability in the fall, winter, and spring, making your life a bit easier.  

Though it’s still recommended to book your mover no later than four weeks in advance, your estimate is good for an average of 30 days. As such, you can spread out your estimator appointments more and pricing is typically lower.    

Though things like inclement weather can shift your moving timeline, moving companies have more flexibility and availability during their off season.    

What’s Next?  

By scheduling your estimate early and booking a mover in advance, you’ll be able to pay lower prices, deal with less stress close to your move date, and secure your guaranteed movers.  

Timing is everything when it comes to summertime moves, and during the off season you can typically take a laxer approach to finding movers. Either way, it’s good practice to keep your calendar and contact information organized during this time.  

If you have any questions on availability or how long your estimate is good for, make sure to ask your estimator during your scheduled estimate.