Planning a move is surprisingly similar to going on a blind date—both can evoke equal amounts of excitement and apprehension, particularly as the day of the “big event” looms closer.

When it comes to moving, you’ll want to budget your time wisely as you’re likely having to take personal leave time from work. Many people wonder if there is a way to estimate exactly how much time you’ll need.

One day? Two? A week?

While there is no hard-and-fast rule, there are a few factors that can help you determine the approximate amount of time you’ll need to reserve for your move. Let’s take a look.


Do yourself a favor and start packing early. When left until the last minute, things get packed without care and valuables are broken. Pack for a couple of hours each evening and make sure to use proper packing materials (in case you missed it, you can read our blog about proper packing here).

Here are some general guidelines for how long it should take to pack up your place:

  • 1 bedroom apartment = 16 hours
  • 2 bedroom home or apartment = 30 hours
  • 3 bedroom home = 40 hours
  • 4 bedroom home = 50 hours

Keep in mind this is total hours packing. So, for example, if you’re in a one-bedroom apartment and plan to spend a couple of hours a day packing up your belongings, it should take you just over a week to get fully packed.


The amount of time actually spent moving your belongings from one location to another will depend on a number of factors:

    1. Are you hiring pros or doing the move yourself? There’s no way to get around it—choosing to move on your own, while potentially cheaper, will undoubtedly take longer (they call them moving “professionals” for a reason, after all). A hired team makes multiple moves a week and knows exactly how to pack, load, and unpack in the most efficient manner. You and your buddies will be hard pressed to compete.


  1. How big is your current place? The amount of “stuff” that needs to be moved (and the number of large furniture pieces you own) will factor into determining the duration of your move. Most moving companies estimate moving time by the square footage of your current home:
600 square feet 800 square feet 1300 square feet 1800 square feet 2000+ square feet
3 hours 4 hours 6 hours 7 hours 8-9 hours and up

Keep in mind these estimates are for professional movers and don’t include time for boxing up belongings or cleaning your former home in preparation for the new owners.

Moving Day Curve Balls

Once you’ve figured out how long the moving process will take, think about any other issues that might affect your speed on moving day. Curve balls like:

  • Weather – Start stalking weather apps the week prior to your move. If moving day is predicted to be icy/rainy/snowy, you’ll need to allow additional time for a safe move.
  • Your furniture – Standard bed frames, couches, and chairs are no problem for professional movers. If, however, your belongings include a baby grand piano or 10-year-old fruit trees in eighty-pound pots, you’ll need to allow extra time in your schedule.
  • Fragile Items – Consider the number of mirrors, art pieces, delicate electronic equipment, grandmother’s heirloom china—anything that is going to require a heightened level of care during transport—and adjust your time frame accordingly.
  • Your new location – Think about your new home…will movers be able to pull into your own driveway or will they have to search for a parking space? Are there any flights of stairs that must be navigated or does the building have a service elevator? How far is the new place from your former home?

By spending a bit of time thinking through the packing and moving process, and by planning in advance for any curve balls, you’ll make the most of the time you’ve dedicated to your big move.

And, if you decide to hire a professional moving team, we hope you’ll consider Holloway Removalists. We would love to create a custom quote for you. You may contact us by clicking here.

Happy moving!