How Long Does It Take to Pack a House for Long-Distance Move

October 13, 2021 / Posted in Before the Move
Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.

When we plan to move, we are already aware that it’s a fairly complex process. We have a lot to think about and many tasks to handle. But the crucial question is – how long does it take to pack a house?

A man under a pile of boxes ready for long-distance moving
Friday is the most popular day of the week for relocations, but just how many days before Friday should you begin packing?

Each relocation we go through brings something different. Initially, we moved out for the first time to venture into independence. The next step takes us to the packing for college, and then we have things to consider when relocating for a job, and the next thing you know, you’re relocating across the country for love. These are all very different reasons to move, which require somewhat similar preparatory steps, although they vary on time needed to handle them. So, just how long does it take to pack up a house and get everything ready on schedule?

How Long Does It Take To Pack a House Depends on the Size of Your Living Quarters

The one thing that is definitely different is the time we need to pack everything up. When we leave our parents and their nest and venture into the unknown, there aren’t that many things we need for our first apartment. But when we’re packing a whole residence because we’re relocating to the best mountain towns to raise a family, that’s a completely different story, and parents are well aware of this fact. So, how long does it usually take for people to pack up a house for a move? It will depend on the size of your home but also on your organization, skill, and experience in packing.


A Roughly Estimated Days Needed for Preparing and Packing Your Household

When should you start packing to move? We’ll try to give you a rough estimate of how many days it will take you to pack up everything and leave your old home behind:

  • A studio or a one-bedroom apartment takes around half a day when it comes to packing, while a one-bedroom residence may take up to two days.
  • If you’re wondering how long does it take to pack a 3 bedroom house, we’d say it usually takes three to five days.
  • If you’re in a large family home, you’re probably wondering just how long does it take to pack a 4 bedroom house. A rough estimate would be at least a day more than a three-bedroom one.

Heavily furnished rooms will take a lot longer to pack up than the spaces with just a few items. And keep in mind that it will take longer if you have to go to work and a bit more if you’re relocating while pregnant because you should avoid heavy lifting. Parents have it rough, too. They’ll have to handle everything while taking care of their little ones, and let’s not forget about packing toys. But there are a lot of tricks out there to help you be as swift and efficient as possible.

A couple packing their belongings
A typical residence has around 6,500 pounds of items

Can I Pack a House in 2 Weeks? If You Declutter First, Packing Will Be Done in No Time

The average homeownership period in the US has risen above ten years. This information is essential to understand that people tend to pile up unnecessary belongings while they live in one place. Statistics say that we don’t use 80% of the things we keep around our homes, so there’s a lot of unnecessary stuff in our life. And their number just keeps rising each year. That’s why one of the best relocating interstate tips out there is to rummage through your old possessions, and decide what to get rid of relentlessly, and set aside what to keep and transport through long-distance moving services. Be a real Marie Kondo, and keep only the things that spark joy.

Declutter to Make Your Move Real Swift, and Donate to Make Someone Else’s Life Better

Another crucial step is to make a pile of items you can donate. See if there’s anything usable that can be given to a charity after you decide what not to pack. Organizations such as the Salvation Army will accept most of your belongings, like furniture, linen, or dried and canned foods. They will also appreciate it if you pack books for donation or pack shoes you no longer need but are still usable.

Set Aside Some Items for Selling

On your quest to find the easiest way to pack for a move to a new place, you should declutter some more.  After you’ve thrown away anything you deemed unworthy of packing and donated to charities, it’s the perfect moment to go over your possessions once again. There are probably a lot of items you won’t use anytime soon (or ever,) still in good condition. You can either sell them online or throw a garage sale. It’s the perfect opportunity to add money to your budget for cross-country moving. And even after you move, and start living in your new residence, decluttering can be adopted as a way of life.

Moving Around the Residence Will Be Easy if You Empty a Room to Place the Boxes

There are a few places in every residence that should be decluttered thoroughly and emptied almost completely. The best way to pack a garage is to make a list of questions to ask movers and contact your car shipping company to find out several things. The first is to find out how to prepare the car for shipping if you’re going to use an auto transport service, and the second – to get a list of items they won’t move. Once you get rid of everything from the list (and these items are usually found in our garages and tool sheds,) you can continue emptying and packing up. After you clean up these rooms, you can use them to place all the packages that are ready to be shipped to the new abode. Ensure you place the heavier boxes underneath the lighter ones so nothing gets damaged.

The following video shows you a few hacks to make your packing process efficient.

No Packing Can Be Done Without the Right Materials and Tools

Before you begin the packing process, ensure you have enough packing materials to pack and secure everything you want to be shipped with long-distance movers. Here’s a list of what you’ll require:

  • If you need to choose the best-sized boxes to pack up your household, keep in mind that you’ll mostly need medium-sized ones. Also, get a few small ones and a couple of really large packages meant to pack the lighter items. If you want to save on relocation costs, you don’t need to buy everything new. You can save some money if you get some boxes from a local retailer, liquor shop, or bookstore. There’s probably a lot of hand-me-down packages on Craigslist as well.
  • You won’t be able to close and secure each package without some heavy-duty tape, so make sure you get enough of it. It’s way better than a plain ol’ duct tape because of its sturdiness. You can also acquire some painters’ tape to secure the glass surfaces of your mirrors, artwork, and framed photographs.
  • Another necessary material is the one you’ll use to cushion all your belongings inside the boxes. You can use bubble wrap as the ultimate packing and cushioning material, but also foam peanuts, packing paper, and pool noodles for anything framed.
  • You can properly protect all the furniture pieces by using specialized furniture blankets. It will be easier to keep them in place by sticking some tape or by using plastic wrap.
  • You will also require some tools that will help you have an effortless packing experience. Besides getting a high-quality tape dispenser, also get a pair of scissors and a marker.

For additional budgeting tips, your household softies, such as old t-shirts and towels, can be used for cushioning.

An auto transport company mover carrying boxes
On average, a cardboard box can be reused from three to ten times

How Long Should It Take To Pack a 4 Bedroom House?

We know that packing a large residence sounds dreadful and, overall, terrifying. But there are many ways to move efficiently and make the packing process a breeze. If you have kids, finding someone to watch over them will give you more free space in your schedule to commit to packing. If they are old enough, they can help by packing their rooms, and that way, you’ll be focused on your tasks while they feel included in the move.

Use the Preparation Strategy Before You Start Packing

If you want to know how to make yourself even swifter when it comes to packing, the trick is to prepare each box you’re going to use. Build them up beforehand by taping the bottom lids with several layers of tape. The next step is to cushion each bottom, so when you begin to pack, you can freely just grab a box and start placing your belongings into them.

Pack Like a Breeze With These Simple Tricks

Consider how you want to wrestle with packing through the abode. Perhaps one of the wisest strategies is to go from one room to another and pack accordingly. Your starting point may be the rooms you use the least, such as the attic and the garage. Don’t leave until the last item is placed away into a box and ready to go on a relocation truck.

When it comes to dressers and wardrobes or any other furniture piece with drawers and compartments, there’s a hack that will enable you to be quicker. Don’t empty the contents, but instead, pull each drawer out, cushion it, and thoroughly wrap it with plastic wrap. Once it’s back inside, ensure you wrap the whole piece once again to secure its insides.

Use Colorful Tape, Labels, or Numbering for a Swift Unpacking Process

There’s one hack that will help you to unpack in an instant that is quite simple and won’t take too much effort to pull off. Grab a marker so you can label each package while you close them. You can write to which room they belong to or take a quick photo of the contents and number them. An awesome tip is to take a colorful washi tape and designate a color to a room and label the boxes accordingly. Before the cross-country movers arrive in your home, label the doors of the rooms so they will know where to unload your stuff.

You’ll Move Furniture Easier if It’s in Pieces

If you want to make the whole process easier and ensure you have enough room in the back of the truck, you should disassemble all the bulkier furniture. Large pieces such as a heavy desk should be dismantled with care. Also, make sure that you place all the hardware parts into ziplock bags which you should tape to the corresponding pieces of furniture.

A woman packing a blanket
You can use household softies to cushion each box

How Can I Pack My House Up Fast? It Takes Movers Just a Couple of Hours to Handle It All

Anyone that has already moved before realizes that each relocation requires a lot of work. But if you choose to relocate with a professional team, they will provide you with much more than simple shipping and storage service. If you don’t want to do everything yourself or you simply already have too many tasks on your plate, you can invest in the packing service. A trained and vetted mover working for a reliable long-distance moving company will handle everything in just a couple of hours while you focus on other essential things.

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