Image shows a family moving into a new home.

Moving Delays: How to Manage Them

Moving is fraught with stress, but one thing that adds to the stress more than anything else is a delay. Unfortunately, you can’t avoid delays all the time. But one thing you can do to ensure you take delays in stride is to be prepared, and pad a little bit to your timeline so you’re not sidelined.

What Causes Moving Delays?

There are many things that cause moving delays, such as:


Cruising down the highway or zipping in and out of traffic may be easy in your sedan, but this becomes a whole lot harder – and slower – in a large truck. Your movers will have to take it easy and go a bit slower even in the best conditions. When the weather acts up, oftentimes drivers have to go even slower, or pull over and wait for conditions to improve. This could mean 20 minutes driving in rain to a few days if an ice storm hits along the way.

Road and Traffic Conditions

Likewise, road and traffic conditions also play a role. Summer, in particular, is the peak season for all kinds of distractions, such as road construction, vacationers taking to the highway, and traffic accidents. Highways — most crowded in July and August – mean even a minor fender bender can back cars up for a few miles.

Transportation officials tend to schedule work and repairs in the warmer months. Be sure to check your route beforehand for construction delays, and then plan accordingly. Professional movers who know the area understand what will slow down their trucks; for instance, they know to avoid large cities at rush hour, and they know shortcuts they can take when things get dicey.


Summer happens to be the most convenient time for most people to move. This means their trucks and crew will be stretched thin, resulting in delays for you.


Logistics can be tricky, for even the savviest moving company. Let’s say you’re planning to move to an urban area with limited parking; the movers’ huge van may not have a place to park right away and this could be delayed for a few hours. Instead, your belongings may need to be loaded onto smaller vehicles that can fit on the street. Or, let’s say your new home is on a curvy mountain road that a big truck can’t safely navigate. You may have to wait for shuttle trucks, which tacks time onto the process.

Managing a Delay

It’s better to be safe than sorry, so plan for delays on either end of your move. Here’s what you can do if your mover doesn’t arrive or deliver on time.

Know what the target dates are. Movers are careful not to promise exact times and dates, because they know delays crop up. The movers should let you know a target date upfront. This will accommodate delays caused by a 12-car pile-up on the highway, or weather events that delay the crew.

  • Tell your real estate agent of anything that is delaying your leaving the old house.
  • Allow for a couple of days’ leeway when canceling your utility service so you can still have water and wi-fi in the event of a delay.
  • Book hotels in your new city if you arrive before the movers.

Flexibility is key to managing a successful move. When you can anticipate what can go wrong, you will be less likely to have a meltdown when the inevitable happens.

Contact Charitable Movers and Packers

To get a free moving quote and a timeline for your relocation, please contact us today at 214-980-9205.