The day of your big move is looming, and you’re anxiously wondering: how long will it actually take me to pack up my entire house?
Unfortunately, as you may have guessed, the answer is: it depends. On average, you can count on spending about a full week packing a medium-sized, single-family home — assuming you’re spending the same amount of time and effort per day packing as you’d normally spend working.
If you don’t have the luxury of taking a whole week off of work to pack, you’ll probably be doing most of your packing in the evenings (or otherwise planning around your work schedule), meaning you’ll need to account for at least an extra day or two of packing. If this is your first time packing for a move, consider giving yourself another extra day just to be on the safe side.
If you want to determine with a little more precision how long it will take you to pack for your move, consider the following factors:
How Large Is Your Home?
The size of your home will have perhaps the most significant impact on the amount of time it takes to pack for a move. A larger home with more rooms will obviously take longer to pack than a smaller home like an apartment with only a few rooms. It’s crucial to plan ahead according to the size of your home and allot enough time to pack up every room.
In general, you should plan for one day of packing per room in your house (one eight-hour work day, that is). Keep in mind that “one day per room” is just a rule of thumb — you should also consider the actual size of each room and adjust your expectations accordingly. Allow common sense to have the final say here!
How Much Stuff Do You Have?
Obviously, the more belongings you have, the more time they’ll take to pack. If you’re more of a minimalist, you may not need to spend as much time packing as someone who has a lot of possessions.
You should also think about whether or not you’ll take this opportunity to downsize what you own. If you’re planning on sorting through your belongings as you pack and possibly making a trip to the dump or the thrift store, make sure you set aside extra time for those tasks.
It’s also important to consider the sizes of the items you’ll be packing. One piece of large, heavy furniture may ultimately take much more time and effort to move than numerous smaller items. If there’s a particular item that seems like it’s going to present a challenge, take care of it first — don’t leave it for last and risk running out of time.
How Many People Are Helping You?
If you’re enlisting help from friends or family, you can cut the time required in half for each extra set of hands. Plus, not only will more bodies result in a faster move, but they may actually be required for some of the heaviest lifting.
When you’re planning your move, one of your first orders of business should be to determine how many people are available to help so you know how much time each task is going to require.
Other Tips For Speeding Up Your Packing Process
Here are a few of our best tips for creating a smooth packing process that goes as quickly as possible:
1. Start by tidying and decluttering your home.
Packing will likely be a lot less stressful when you start with a clean, organized home. Trying to pack up a cluttered mess of a house will just be confusing and probably take substantially longer. Before you start getting out the boxes and packing tape, spend a couple hours tidying and organizing your house. This will help you tackle the packing process in a more systematic manner and you’ll prevent yourself from becoming bogged down trying to locate misplaced items.
2. Make sure you have enough packing supplies.
Speaking of boxes and packing tape, it’s also essential to make sure you have all the necessary packing supplies before you start, including plenty of boxes, tape, labels and markers, and packing peanuts (or a similar material) for safely packing delicate items. It might seem like this tip should go without saying, but countless moves have been temporarily derailed by last minute excursions around town to track down extra cardboard boxes!
3. Get started sooner than you think you need to.
No matter how carefully you calculate the length of time you’ll need to pack, it’s always best to start a little earlier than you think you need to. Packing for a move is one of those things that almost never goes exactly the way you plan — much better to have an extra day to work with when an unexpected roadblock arises than to be thrown into panic mode.
4. Create a strategy for each room.
Each room in your house is a little bit different, so it hardly makes sense to expect each room to take the exact same amount of time to pack up. A great way to cut down on packing time is to approach each room with a tailored packing strategy in mind.
For example, packing up the kitchen might require you to start with a plan for safely packing and organizing all your dishes and silverware, while packing up the bedroom might require you to line up help from a friend to move unwieldy furniture like a dresser or a bedframe.
5. Label boxes as you go.
First-time movers — this one’s for you! You can save yourself a lot of trouble later when you’re unpacking by labeling the contents of each box with a Sharpie. The easiest way is to label as you go by simply writing down what you’re packing on the side of each box at the time you pack it. You can also buy dedicated packing labels to fill out if you want to get even fancier.
6. Skip the hassle and hire a professional moving company.
Proper planning and preparation can ensure your packing experience goes smoothly. However, if you’d rather just save yourself the trouble and leave it to the experts, you can hire a professional moving company to take care of all your packing for you.
An experienced mover will have the tools and expertise necessary to help you get your packing done as efficiently as possible and safely transport your possessions to their destination.