Planning a move to Phoenix? The Valley of the Sun is a great place to live, with gorgeous desert wilderness to explore and all the amenities of a modern city at your feet, plus lots and lots of sun to enjoy year-round.

The warm temperatures that come along with that sun can be jolting to those coming from colder parts of the country.  If you are moving to Phoenix from such a climate, you’ll want to keep these tips in mind when planning your move.

1. Schedule Around the Heat

Unless you’re moving in the heart of winter, you’ll want to avoid arriving and unloading your moving truck in the middle of the day. In the heat of summer, the best time to unpack is going to be very early in the morning or after the sun sets. During the spring and fall months it’s still best to avoid the afternoon and early evening, since Phoenix has been known to have 90-100(F) degree heat as early as March and as late as October.

2. Pack for the Heat

When you’re loading your moving truck or preparing your belongings for the movers consider what objects may be susceptible to high temperatures.  Is something going to melt? Do you have electronic equipment that came with a warning about keeping it cool?  You may need to keep those objects with you rather than putting them in the back of a moving van.  Remember, those vans are essentially large metal boxes that will heat up with exposure to high temperatures and lots of direct sunlight.

If you are loading the truck yourself and know that you will be parking it on the street or in a parking lot during daylight hours you’ll definitely need to take precautions.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Pack things in the cab of the moving truck.
  • If you are driving your own vehicle separate from the truck, load them into that car.
  • Pack temperature sensitive items at the very back of the truck, so that you can unload them first and get them out of the sun.

Bonus tip: If you are planning to take advantage of the many storage facilities in Phoenix, you’ll want to take the “heat factor” into consideration when choosing what to put in storage or whether it’s worth the extra money to rent an air conditioned or air cooled unit.

3. Dress for the Heat

Are you seeing a trend here?

Even if you are planning to unload during the cooler parts of the day you’ll still need to protect your body from the effects of the sun. In addition to the cliche “always wear sunscreen,” you’ll want to make sure you have sunglasses, a hat, and wear light-weight clothing to help keep your body cool.

Remember above when we talked about the big metal box and how your belongings will get warm? You’ll want to have thick gloves so that you don’t burn yours when moving anything metal, vinyl/plastic, or glass. You may also want to wear long sleeves and long pants as well as sturdy shoes so that you don’t brush bare skin against those objects.

4. Drink — and Eat — Responsibly

No, we’re not talking about alcohol here.  The first rule of living in a desert is to drink lots of water. LOTS of water.  Make sure you have enough water on hand for your whole family, including pets, and any friends who are helping out.  This applies when you’re not actively unpacking as well during the time it takes to unload the van.

You also need to make sure you have snacks available for arrival day.  Avoid greasy, fatty, and other “heavy” foods as they will weigh you down in the heat and exertion.  Stick to lighter fare and be wary of sugary foods and drinks that will cause you to crash and dehydrate faster.  Once the truck is unloaded and the air conditioner is running you can celebrate your move with your favorite burger or pizza.

One final note. If you’re moving to the Phoenix area during “Monsoon Season” you’ll want to keep an eye on weather forecasts and alerts. Flash flooding can occur quickly, turning streets into rivers and parking lots and lawns into lakes. Don’t try to unload during these times and make sure your truck is parked safely away from flood zones.

If you keep these few tips in mind and plan accordingly, you’ll find that moving to Phoenix isn’t any harder than moving anywhere else. Plus you’ll be on the way to developing the habits you’ll need to live here and enjoy the good things about that year-round warm weather.

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