How long it takes to pack for a move

How Long Does It Take to Pack for a Move?

How Long Does It Take to Pack for a Move?

How long does it take to pack for a move? It depends on how organized you want to be when you arrive at your new home.

If you’re packing in a hurry, then you often forego some organization in lieu of speed. Some people, however, prefer to take extra time during the packing process to organize and purge belongings to simplify their moving-in process. Depending on your goals, you may take more or less time packing for a move.

How Long Does It Take to Pack a House?

The amount of time it will take you to pack a house will depend on the size of the house. Depending on how big your house is, how many belongings you own, and whether or not you have additional storage such as sheds, garages, attics, or basements, packing for a move can take anywhere from 1-7 days.


Time It Takes to Pack a Studio or 1-Bedroom Apartment: 6 hours – 2 days


Time it takes a professional mover to pack a 1-bedroom apartment or house: 2-4 hours


Packing a studio or one-bedroom apartment usually doesn’t take much longer than a single day. This is because there are generally fewer belongings and the resident doesn’t typically have outdoor spaces to contend with.


You can speed up the packing time for your studio or one-bedroom apartment by preparing in the weeks leading up to the move:

  • Reduce clutter ahead of time by donating or throwing away items that are unused, damaged, no longer fit, or no longer have use to you.
  • Use up items in your fridge and pantry in the weeks preceding your move. This will prevent you from having to find some way to transport the food safely or having to waste it.
  • Start packing early by packing boxes of seasonal items or items you won’t be using from now until the move and stacking those boxes in the corner of the room. Consider items like specialty bakeware, winter clothes, beach toys, books, or DVD collections.


Time It Takes to Pack a 2-Bedroom Home: 6 hours – 2 days


Time it takes a professional mover to pack a 2-bedroom house: 3-5 hours


A 2-bedroom apartment will typically take a homeowner or renter 6 hours – 1 day to pack. However, a two-bedroom home will likely take longer up to 2 days. This is because a two-bedroom home may also include an attic, basement, garage, or other storage areas that require extra time to pack.


You can speed up the packing time for a two-bedroom house with the following tips:

  • Start by packing all soft items—bedding, pillows, stuffed animals, blankets, etc.—in garbage bags. Have a small, medium, and large box built out for the room. Put heavy or fragile items in the small box, light items in the large box, and anything in-between in the small box. This will make moving the boxes easier when it’s time to load them into the truck

  • If you don’t love it, let it go. Even if you’re moving to a bigger space (like a house!), if you don’t love it now, you probably won’t use it later.

  • Use high-quality packing tape. Low-quality tape will split, tear, or fall off boxes, or will sag or break with heavier boxes or awkward loads. Save yourself the hassle and wasted tape by springing for heavy-duty tape.


Time It Takes to Pack a 3-Bedroom Home: 3-5 days

Time it takes a professional mover to pack a 3-bedroom house: 5-7 hours


A 3-bedroom home typically takes more time to pack since there are usually more belongings as well as more storage. If you have a 3-bedroom home, it can be helpful to start 4-5 weeks in advance by having a yard sale and donating any unsold items. This can jumpstart the decluttering process and help you avoid moving anything you don’t really want.


Some additional tips include:


  • Start early. Packing always takes longer than we think it will. Start two or three weeks before moving day, starting with items you use the least.

  • Make sure you’re well-stocked on moving supplies and carry them from room-to-room in a basket. This prevents you from having to search from room-to-room for tape or markers.

  • Use different coloured tape for different rooms. This makes unloading and unpacking a breeze.


Time It Takes to Pack a 4-Bedroom Home: 3-7 days


Time it takes a professional mover to pack a 4-bedroom house: 6-10 hours


It’s easy to let stuff accumulate over the years. When packing a larger house, it can help to do some basic decluttering beforehand. Choose one room a day or a couple rooms a week to tackle. Throw away items that are broken, damaged, expired, or otherwise obsolete items. Donate items that are no longer used, don’t fit, or—as declutter experts often say—no longer “bring you joy.”


Here are some additional tips for speeding up the packing process:

  • Build several boxes ahead of time. When packing, momentum is key. Make your boxes easy to grab and go by having several boxes of each size build and ready-to-go in the corner of a lesser-used room.

  • Don’t pack air. Don’t waste time emptying dressers, chests, or wardrobes; use stretch wrap to keep them closed and protected instead. If a chest is empty, fill it with linens. Don’t pack empty suitcases; fill them.

  • Pack room by room, starting with least used rooms first and ending with most used

  • Once you’ve packed your first room, you can use it as a staging area to keep track of things you don’t want to lose.


Time It Takes to Pack a 5+ Bedroom Home: 5-10 days


Time it takes a professional mover to pack a 5-bedroom house: 8-10 hours


Large houses can be some of the most overwhelming to pack and move. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time by starting at least 6 weeks in advance. You may also want to consider hiring a professional moving company who also offers packing and unpacking services.


If you choose to pack your home yourself, here are some tips to help the process go faster:

  • Invest in wardrobe boxes. This way you can keep clothes hanging on hangers instead of trying to wrestle them into garbage bags or folding them into boxes.

  • Label each box on at least two sides so it’ll always be clear which room a box should be unloaded into.

  • If you have to take apart furniture, put the hardware in a bag and tape the bag to the furniture.

  • Fill small boxes with heavy or fragile items and save the big boxes for lighter items. You’d be surprised by the number of people who fill large boxes until they weigh too much and break open before they even make it to the truck.


Get Help Packing & Moving


Professional moving companies such as Great Canadian Van Lines also offer packing and unpacking services. Since moving is what we do for a living, professional packers can usually pack a house faster than you could on your own. For a professional moving or packing quote, contact us today!