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Is It Cheaper to Move During Winter?

Smiling man carrying cardboard box
Johner Images / Getty

When thinking about the best time of year to move, winter probably doesn’t come to mind. It’s cold, the roads are icy, and it’s the middle of the school year. While winter may not be the most pleasant season to move, it’s definitely the cheapest. Here are a few ways you can save money with a winter move.

Why it’s cheaper to move during winter

Peak moving season is between the months of May and September. Because most people want to schedule their move during these months, the demand for movers and moving-related services is high, which makes the costs of these services higher as well. 

But winter is considered an off-season in the moving world. Because there are fewer people moving, the demand for moving-related services is at a low. When there’s a lower demand for moving-related services, prices for these services are cheaper and can sometimes even be up for negotiation. 

Depending on the moving company, you can expect to see substantially reduced moving rates, sometimes up to 30% lower than what they charge during peak moving months. 

Ways you can save money with a winter move

Moving during winter can come with a few cold weather downsides like snow and ice, but if you’re looking to save some money on your upcoming move, consider planning your move during the winter months. Here are a few of the cost-saving benefits you can expect to see with a winter move.

Professional movers have cheaper rates

It’s no surprise to hear that hiring professional movers is one of the most expensive parts of planning a move, especially if it’s a long-distance one. If you’re on a strict moving budget, you’ll have a much easier time finding trustworthy movers at an affordable price during winter. This is because professional movers have less business during the winter months, which usually leads to cheaper pricing and negotiable quotes.

A cheaper weekend move may not totally be out of the question anymore since professional movers also have more flexibility during winter months. You’re far more likely to get the exact moving dates that you want because movers have more time slots available.

About a month before your desired move date, start collecting moving quotes from professional moving companies that you’re interested in. You want the best rate possible, so gather a variety of quotes from several moving companies to see who’s willing to go the lowest. And remember to start early so that you’ll have more time to compare movers and find the best rate possible for your budget. 

Discounts on additional moving services 

Professional moving companies often have additional moving services they provide for an extra fee. These add-ons can get a little pricey during peak moving season, but during the winter months, these services tend to be more affordable. Plus, moving companies may even be running special promos and discounts for their extra moving services.

A few common additional moving services you can expect to see from moving companies are:

  • Packing and unpacking 
  • Towing
  • Shipping
  • Storage 
  • Junk removal
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly 
  • Cleaning and sanitization 

If you’re planning a DIY move, then you’re in luck too. Moving truck and container rentals tend to be cheaper during winter too. Look around for any deals or discounts that moving companies may be offering once the temperatures start dropping. 

Storage options are cheaper 

Fewer people moving during winter means more storage availability and cheaper storage rental prices during the winter months. If you know you’re going to need to store a few things during your move, winter is the best option for your storage solutions. 

Professional moving companies will often offer their storage services for an extra fee. Compare the costs and benefits of a mover’s storage service versus renting your own storage unit to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. And if you currently live or are moving to somewhere that gets harsh winter, look into climate-controlled storage options to make sure your valuables survive the colder temperatures.  

Other ways you can save money during your move

Compare internet providers at your new address 

Been feeling unsatisfied with your current internet service provider? Moving is the perfect opportunity to change up your internet service, and possibly save some money while you’re at it. If you’re moving to a new city or state, you’ll likely have new internet service providers to choose from. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 

You may find that your new address offers faster speed plans that your current address doesn’t, like fiber for example. Or you may find that you can get a much faster plan at a cheaper price with a different internet service provider.  Even if you’re just moving to the next town over, take the time to compare internet providers and plans in your new area to see what internet plan is best for your new home. 

Look for free moving boxes

It’s not a move without a bunch of boxes. And the cost of dozens of moving boxes starts to add up if you’ve got a whole house full of items to pack. Thankfully, there are a few places you can go to try and find some free boxes:

  • Liquor stores
  • Big box stores
  • Craigslist 
  • Facebook Marketplace 
  • Online community groups
  • Local recycling plant

If you don’t have enough moving boxes after your free box search, there are a few places that sell cheap moving boxes. Places like U-Haul and Walmart are good options as long as you don’t mind making an in-person visit. Or if you’d rather have boxes shipped to your house, you could try Amazon. 

Watch out for change of address scams

Changing your address is one of the top priorities on a moving checklist. Unfortunately, scammers know this and will try to take advantage of people who want to change their address online. This is a form of change of address scam. 

Doing a quick internet search for “change of address” will yield plenty of results, most of which are fake. Scammers set up fake websites pretending to be the USPS, offering change of address services, and charging people upwards of $40 or more for a change of address that will never be completed. Giving your personal information to these fake service sites can also put you at risk for identity theft, so be careful. 

The USPS only charges $1.10 to change your address online. Any website asking you to pay more than that is not trustworthy. Or you change your address for free in-person at your local post office. 

When filing your change of address online, always make sure you go through the official USPS website or complete it here with MYMOVE, through our exclusive partnership with the USPS. 

Looking for even more ways to save?

Here are a few extra resources to help you save on your next move:

The bottom line

If you’re willing to brave the cold weather and icy road conditions, you’ll be rewarded with cheaper prices on professional movers, storage options, and a wide variety of other moving-related services. A winter move can be a little rough, but if you’re in it for the savings, there’s no better time to move. 

Is your new home winter ready? If you’re planning a winter move, don’t forget to set some time aside to do a little winter home maintenance.

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