Moving in Boston on September 1

The sight of moving trucks jostling for space in the busy streets those first few days of September is a familiar one to every Bostonian. After helping people move around Boston, around the country, and around the world for 20 years, Olympia Moving & Storage is an authority when it comes to moving. Olympia's Keven Doherty explains how to make the process a bit less stressful.

Moving in Boston is challenging. Many of the historic charms that make our city attractive, such as narrow streets, 4th floor walk ups with no elevators, and antique floors and fixtures, add additional obstacles to the moving planning. Probably the biggest and most unique Boston moving difficulty is the tradition of the September 1st moving day.

Due to the large student population in Boston, the majority leases in the city renew on the same day—September 1st—resulting in traffic jams, completely booked moving and rental companies, and chaos. I've been helping Boston families move for eight years with Olympia Moving & Storage, a premier Boston moving company, so these are the tips I give my clients who are moving on or around September 1st.

1. If you can avoid it, move another time.

It is simply the worst day of the year to move. The volume of moves on that date will add a lot of stress and cost to your relocation. Due to the demand, the rates with the moving companies and truck rental companies are the highest they will be all year. In addition, due to traffic and the crew working around the other residents moving, your move will likely take longer than it will on a different day, which also adds expense. If you are able to wait until September 3rd to move, you will save significantly.

2. If you must move that week, book your move as far in advance as possible.

Moving crews for August 28 - September 3 are completely booked weeks in advance at Olympia Moving & Storage and other reputable companies.

3. Beware of unlicensed and uninsured moving companies.

Since the reputable moving companies book so quickly for those dates, there are more people and companies than ever trying to take advantage of consumers on those dates. A low rate may look appealing, but it's a red flag. Don't hire a company unless:

  • They are willing to give you a written, itemized estimate of the costs, not just a rate over the phone. Otherwise, you may have an unpleasant surprise when you get the bill.
  • They are a licensed moving company. If you are moving locally, you can click here to look up if the company is licensed in Massachusetts. If you are moving across state lines, you can click here to look up if the company is licensed for interstate moving.
  • They are insured. Hiring an uninsured moving company means you're liable if a mover gets hurt on your job, and you're not covered if something happens to your belongings. The best way to figure out if they're insured is by asking if they can provide a certificate of insurance. Even if your move doesn't require them, you can tell a lot about a company by how they respond to that question.
  • The company has options for valuation coverage in case one of your belongings is lost or damaged during the move.
  • It's always best to look up a company's Better Business Bureau rating, website, and online reviews before you hire them.

It's hard to believe, but Olympia Moving gets many calls during this time period from desperate families whose moving companies took their money and bailed, so be sure to do your homework.

4. If you're moving into an apartment or condo building, be sure to check the move in requirements.

Many apartment buildings, especially luxury buildings, require elevator or loading dock reservations for moves, and many will require your moving company to provide a certificate of insurance. Not having these details set with the building in advance will cause delays and expense. Again, book your move-in time with your building as far in advance as possible, since demand will be high during the last week of August and first week of September. At Olympia Moving, your moving coordinator can help you with this process.

5. Be sure to get a parking permit.

Boston parking permits are more important on September 1st moving week than any other time of year. It's not just about avoiding a parking ticket from the city, the permit reserves the space for the truck in front of your residence. Without a permit it will be nearly impossible for your moving truck to find parking that week. As a result, the truck will have to park far away from your residence, and it will double or more the time it takes for the movers to load or unload every item. Since most local moves are priced as an hourly rate, skipping the parking permit will quickly become a costly mistake. You can check out this blog post on the Olympia Moving website to learn more about getting a parking permit.

6. Be prepared.

For more tips, visit Olympia Moving's comprehensive resource center for hundreds of packing and moving tips, articles and videos. Olympia Moving also provides each client with a dedicated moving coordinator to assist every step of the way.

Best of luck! If you're ready to get a free, no obligation moving estimate, click here to request one from Olympia Moving & Storage.

Keven Doherty is a moving consultant with Olympia Moving & Storage, a local, interstate, and international Boston moving company. Olympia Moving & Storage has over 20 years of experience moving families in Boston, an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and a 95% client satisfaction rating. To schedule a consultation, call Keven at 617.231.1214 or email him at