Sep 16, 2022 by Wendy Hoke

Managing a Delay When Moving

Expect the unexpected. If there’s one thing you can count on when moving, it’s that you can’t count on everything happening as planned. There are many moving parts and players, so at some point, something will go awry. Planning well helps, but even the best-planned moves with the most dependable and reputable moving companies can hit a snafu and cause your household belongings to arrive at your new home several days past the target date.

What Causes Moving Delays?

Road and Traffic Conditions

Summer is peak season for lots of things–among them, road construction, vacationers on the highway, and traffic accidents. Highways are most crowded in July and August, so a minor fender bender can back things up for a couple of miles. Transportation officials schedule work and repairs in the warmer months, so review your route for construction delays and plan for something to pop up that slows your trucks–if they’re backed up and hit a large city at rush hour, with several more hours to go, they may need to stop for the night. Nobody wants an exhausted crew maneuvering down the highway–it’s just not worth it for anybody.

Logistical Surprises

Getting the trucks to your new front door isn’t always as easy as you’d thought. If you’re moving to an urban area with limited parking, that monster van may not have a place to park for several hours, and your things need to be loaded onto smaller vehicles that will fit on the street. Conversely, if your new home is on an unpaved curvy mountain road, a big truck can’t navigate safely.


When the weather takes a turn, you may need to pull over and wait for conditions to improve. This could mean anything from half an hour in a driving downpour, to a few days if an ice storm hits along the route. Getting your household to your new home intact is our goal, so sometimes the weather slows this down.

How To Manage a Delay

To be on the safe side, plan for a delay on either end of your move. These are the things you can do if it looks like your movers won’t arrive or deliver on time.

First, change your thoughts on “on time”. Professional movers let you know up front that they will do their best to meet the target dates, but there is a window–as outlined above, circumstances change.

Let your realtor know there may be a delay in your leaving

Allow for a couple of days leeway when you’re cutting your utility service–this is no time to not have water and WiFi.

If you’re boarding a pet, let the pup palace know you’ll need an extra day or so.

Book hotels in your new city if you get there first or bring sleeping bags and camp out.

Flexibility is the key to managing any move, so if you’re anticipating what can go wrong, you’re way less likely to have a meltdown when it does.


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