By Marian White
Don’t be surprised if you’ve spotted a moving truck (or several) lately! With 70 percent of all moves taking place between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend, “peak moving season” is officially upon us! Unfortunately, these sweltering summer months – while popular – are a tough time to move. Not only will you (most likely) have to deal with higher moving costs, but you’ll also have to prepare for dealing with hot and humid weather. After all, lifting furniture and heavy boxes in the scorching sun is no easy task. To help you out, we’ve included 9 tips for moving in this summer’s heat. Good luck and stay cool out there!
Get started early
Looking to beat the heat? Then do not try to move during a summer afternoon – especially if you live in a particularly hot climate. When dealing with a summer move, it’s always best to aim for an early morning move. In general, the intensity of the sun and UV rays are strongest from the hours of 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. So moving during this time frame is not ideal. Overall, early mornings mean a much cooler (possibly 10 degree difference or more) move. Most moving companies will prefer to get started in the morning anyway. But if not, I suggest choosing a different move date – one where the movers can opt for a morning start.
Wear the right clothing
There are several uniform rules to live by when dressing for a summer move. First, make sure you’re wearing something made of lightweight, loose-fitting and breathable fabric, such as cotton or linen. These materials absorb sweat and moisture, allowing faster evaporation so that you stay dry during the move. Tip: stay away from synthetic fabrics, such as rayon and polyester. Second, stick with light-colored clothing when dressing for a move. Whites and neutrals are the key to staying cool under the hot sun. Remember: black and dark-colored clothing only absorb more sunlight, and will only make you more hot. Third, wear sunglasses. And finally, make sure to remember to bring a hat! Protecting your head and face from the strong sun is extremely important.
Bring a full day’s supply of bottled water
Staying hydrated during the summer months is important. It’s especially important if you’re moving during these months. After all, when lifting boxes and coordinating a move, you’re going to be sweating a lot. If you’re not replenishing your body with enough H2O, you could experience some seriously undesirable symptoms of dehydration. According to LiveScience.com, water is the most important, yet overlooked nutrient. Keep in mind, if you’re an athlete, you’ll likely need more water than the average person to stay hydrated. So make sure to bring a cooler of bottled water for yourself and the movers. To save money, you can also bring extra paper cups and ask everyone to utilize the tap water.
Turn on utilities before the move
Don’t forget the utilities! If you’re moving during the hot summer months, make switching on the air conditioning before you move a top priority. This way, you and your movers won’t be sweating to death on moving day. By cooling down your house ahead of time, you’ll be able to better focus on the tasks ahead, instead of on that sweltering heat.
Before you get moving, douse yourself in sunscreen! Whether it’s the spray form or the lotion, make sure you’ve completely covered your face, neck, ears, shoulders, arms, hands, feet and legs. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you should choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher; one that is water resistant; and one that provides broad-spectrum coverage. Apply the sunscreen 15 minutes before heading outside, and make sure to reapply every two hours to remain protected.
Be aware that not all items fare well in heat
When packing up your belongings, be aware that not everything can handle sitting in a hot moving truck for hours. Some of your items (anything that has the potential to melt) simply won’t fare well in that kind of summer heat. So, make sure to pack these belongings (i.e. electronics) separately and get them inside the air conditioned house as soon as possible.
Bring portable fans
Not sure if the air conditioning will be up-and-running on moving day? Make sure to bring a few portable fans with you. These fans can cost as low as $10 and can be found at most big box stores, such as Target, Walmart, Home Depot and Bed Bath & Beyond. If your electricity isn’t on yet, I suggest looking for portable fans that are battery operated as well. Regardless of whether you have air conditioning or not, it may be a good idea to have at least one of these fans set up in the garage, if loading and unloading boxes near that spot.
Have cold towels on-hand
One of the best ways to stay cool during a summer move is to have cold towels on-hand for yourself and for your movers. I recommend first filling a cooler with ice. Then folding and rolling several damp washcloths up, and placing them inside the cooler. Let them sit for several hours. Having these cold towels on-hand will help keep everyone involved in the moving process as cool as possible throughout the day.
Be aware of overheating symptoms
Finally – exposure to high temperatures can be dangerous. If the weather is hot, it’s important to be aware of any signs of overheating and heat-related illnesses. According to Medicinenet.com, these symptoms can include elevated body temperature, headaches, nausea, dizziness, weakness, fainting, muscle cramps, seizures, and general confusion. If you or anyone with you on moving day exhibits any of these symptoms, get yourself or them out of the heat and into the air conditioning as soon as possible. Experts advise those affected by the heat to drink plenty of water, lie down (so that you don’t pass out and hurt yourself), and take a cool shower or dab yourself with cold towels.
To find the best moving company to handle your summer move, check Moving.com’s extensive network of reputable and reliable movers. All relocation companies in our network are licensed and insured, so you can rest assured that your move will be in good hands.