How Long Does it Take to Move?

Wondering how long it will take you to move? Unfortunately, there isn’t one simple answer. The reality is, the time it takes to move depends on how much stuff you have, where you’re going, and how you decide to move.

If you’re hiring professional movers for a small local move, it’ll take a few hours. If you’re moving three bedrooms cross-country with a moving container company, it could take over a month!

So the simple answer is it depends.

This article will discuss the factors that make a move take a lot of time and what you can do to get the ball rolling on your next relocation.

Let’s get into it.

How long does it take to movebased on house size?

# of Bedrooms
Square Footage
Average Move Time
Studio/1 Bedroom
400-600 sqft
2-3 hours
2 Bedrooms
600-800 sqft
3-5 hours
3 Bedrooms
800-1300 sqft
5-7 hours
4 Bedrooms
1300-1800 sqft
6-8 hours
5 Bedrooms
1800-2000+ sqft
7-9 hours

Step 1: Pre-Move Planning

Pre-Move Tip: Stay organized with a moving timeline to keep your move on schedule from the first day to the last.

How Long Does It Take to Prepare for a Move?

If you have the time, a couple of months before you move is usually a good starting point to decide whether or not you will hire a professional mover or whether your move will be DIY.

If using movers, begin your selection process right away. Get in-house moving estimates and compare costs and companies.

Select and confirm the best candidate now so you can focus on packing.

If you are transporting a car for an interstate move, find professional auto transporters and select one just as you would a professional mover. Confirming that agreement is one less thing to worry about.

If you’re moving, get your truck rental agreement four weeks before moving day so that you know a vehicle will be available. It’s also good to see what friends might help on a moving day.

One week before the move, you should contact your utility companies to confirm when service ends at your old residence and starts at your new residence. Make changes of address with the post office so your mail gets forwarded.

How Much do Movers Cost?

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How Long Does It Take to Pack?

Get all your moving supplies, including boxes, a month before moving day. Packing is a gradual process that should begin four weeks before the move and end a few days before moving day. It’s a good idea to make a packing timeline to know what needs to be packed and when. The things you use least get packed first.

Four weeks before moving day is the time to start packing non-essentials. That means items you don’t regularly use, like family photos, books, furniture in spare bedrooms, or anything in the attic or basement. Fine china and other collectibles can also be packed.

It’s also an excellent time to eliminate unwanted items, fewer things to pack means less time packing.

It’s too early to pack your pots, pans, everyday dishes, and clothes, but you can begin labeling the empty moving boxes for when that time comes.

Certain things will make your packing process more time-consuming. Fragile items will require extra attention. Let professional packers do it for you if possible. They’ll spend less time doing it and know what they’re doing.

Around a week before your moving date, it’s time to pack all your everyday items. Because you pre-labeled the boxes, you only need to fill and seal them. The essential items you’ll use the last week should go in their box, which you can use in your new home before unpacking. Keep the meals simpler than last week so you don’t have too many things left unpacked.

Step 2: Moving Day

Time spent on a moving day can vary depending on how many belongings you need.

There are also other factors, such as whether or not you use a professional moving company.

Pro movers are more efficient when loading and unloading the truck than moving yourself.

How Long Does It Take to Load?

The number of boxes and how far the movers need to carry belongings all factor into a loading timeline.

Generally, two professional movers can load:

  • a 10-foot truck in less than an hour
  • a 24-foot truck in 4 hours
  • a 26-foot in 4.5 hours

Loading a moving truck by yourself and your friends will take longer.

How Long Does It Take to Get to Your New Home?

If factoring in loading, travel time, and unloading, you can use the following estimates for a move with professional movers.

  • Studio to the one-bedroom apartment: 2-3 hours
  • Three to four-bedroom house: 7 hours
  • Five or more bedroom house: 8-10 hours

Also, long distance moving can take days as the truck travels across the country compared to a half or full day for a local move. If you are doing the moving, always add more time to your timeline.

Step 3: Post-Move Unpacking

Post-Move Unpacking Tip: Label moving boxes for specific rooms in your new home. That way, it’s easy to unpack those contents where they belong rather than carrying boxes from room to room.

How Long Does It Take to Get Moved into Your New Home?

Astoundingly the average American can take up to 182 days to unpack in a new house. Some factors that will increase the amount of time spent unpacking are the following:

  • It needs to be a more organized moving process. Clearly labeled moving boxes will help you unpack faster.
  • Moving a lot of stuff. The more boxes you drive, the longer it will take to unload and unpack.
  • Adverse weather conditions. Heavy rain or snow will make driving slower and unloading more difficult.
  • Inexperienced labor. Hire the best movers to have the best moving experience.
  • Unexpected challenges. Flights of stairs or poor disassembly of furniture will make the average time of your move take longer.

Set unpacking goals. You may only be able to unpack part of the house in a day, but setting time frames like two rooms per day or ten boxes daily helps keep you motivated and on track to unpack.

Make your move as stress-free as possible

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How long does it take to move? Well that really depends on how much you plan to take with you, what you’re bringing, where you’re going, and how you decide to get there. If you decide to move with big items like pianos or are heading across the country, your move may take a couple of weeks. If you’re just heading to another city less than 50 miles away, you may be able to make the move in a day.

To make your move stress-free, start the process by getting a quote to estimate your moving costs. Be sure to check out our guides on moving tips for short distance moves, tips for driving a moving truck, and advice on preparing for a cross country move.

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