How Long Should It Take
To Move House?

Have an upcoming move? You might be underestimating the amount of time you really need. In this article, we’re answering the question, “How long should it take to move house?”

Published on January 27, 2020
by The Neat Team

If your lease is about to expire and you find yourself asking, “How long should it take to move house?”, you might be underestimating the amount of time you really need. Like many duration based questions, the act of moving itself is short-lived, but the amount of preparation required can take anywhere from weeks to months.

If you’ve read our Ultimate Moving House Checklist, you’ll know that the stages of moving include preparation, packing, relocating, and settling in. In short, it’ll only take a day to move your things, but in reality, it can take up to 6 to 10 weeks to fully move house. In this article, we’re breaking down both of these answers, so you know exactly how to budget your time.

How long should it take to move house?

Depending on how you look at the problem, it can take just one day or up to 10 weeks to fully move house. On moving day, it will take 4 to 8 hours depending on your property size, the distance of travelling required, and the number of movers available to help. To fully move house, it will 6 to 10 weeks, broken up into these stages: preparation, packing, moving, and settling in.

Moving day (4-8 hours)

When it comes to moving, you’ll roughly need a half or full day to transport your belongings. However, there are a few questions that you can ask to help determine the number of hours you should schedule for. Answering these questions will give you a rough formula for how you should proceed.

Property Size
How many boxes are there?
Distance Travelled
How far are we going?
Number of Movers
How much help do I have?

What type of property do you live in?

Well, let’s start with the obvious. Properties come in all shapes and sizes. The type of property that you’re moving out of will be the most significant factor in gauging the difficulty of your move. It can be implied that the larger the property, the more packing that will be required, and the more rooms you’ll need to contend with.

A studio apartment will require the least amount of work, both in size and obstructions. Apartments, on the other hand, will potentially require multiple trips up and down elevator lifts. And with houses, removalists will need to work around hallways, staircases, and potentially attics.

Property type
Studio 2 – 4 hours
2 Bedroom Apartment 4 – 6 hours
3 Bedroom Apartment 6 – 8 hours

How far is your new place?

Depending on the distance you need to travel, you’ll need to factor in potential traffic, the number of trips you can fit into one day, and the vehicle size you’ll decide to hire. With larger vehicles such as moving trucks or vans, you’ll be able to pack more of your belongings on each go instead of having to make multiple trips.

Are you hiring professionals?

The very last thing you’ll want to consider is if you’re looking to hire professional help. Even if you have your fair share of willing friends, professional removalists will still drastically reduce moving times. The same can be said for handling your bond refund. You may want to consider having professionals perform your vacate cleaning to further reduce time and effort.

With years of experience, movers will be physically capable of lifting heavy loads, have the know-how not to damage property, and will also have the right equipment at hand. As always, do your due diligence by asking for recommendations, comparing quotes, and reading reviews online. Here’s some advice from the professionals.

You should consider your removalists partners and being well organised can help them do a much better job. Dismantle all furniture prior to the movers arriving so they can start wrapping and loading the truck immediately. As much as you can, place items into boxes so they can easily be stacked on a trolley. This will help in moving items to and from the truck. Lastly, distribute heavy and light weight items evenly across boxes so they don’t collapse when removalists carry them.

The Act of Moving (6-10 weeks)

couple taking a break while moving house

Now to the bigger question of how long it should take to move homes fully. The answer is 6 to 10 weeks. This might seem drastic to some, but it includes everything from preparation to packing, relocating, and settling in.

  1. Preparation (4-6 weeks)The first task in your preparation should be to let the right people know. This includes your real estate agent and landlord, any utilities and service companies, and professionals that you plan to hire. You’ll also want to clear your calendar, scheduling time off work so you can solely focus on the move.
  2. Packing (2-4 weeks)Packing will take the majority of your time, especially if you’re still living in the property. You can make a significant start by decluttering your life. Consider donating old clothing, discarding unused furniture, and throwing away belongings forgotten in your storage. For a more in-depth read on packing, check out our How to Pack For A Move article.
  3. Moving (1 day)It’s time to relocate, and the work that you’ve done packing will now begin to pay off. Don’t forget that you’ll need to perform a move out cleaning and schedule a final inspection with the real estate agent before returning your keys.
  4. Settling In (1-2 weeks)Just because you’re done moving, doesn’t mean you’re done moving. You’ll still need to unpack, redecorate, and furnish your new home. The bulk of the work is behind you, so take your time and enjoy settling into the new neighbourhood.

Wrapping Up

Well, there’s the short and long answer to how long should it take to move house. Depending on how you look at the problem, it can either take just a day or up to 10 weeks to move fully. If you’re currently in the midst of a move and are looking for cardboard boxes, check out our article Where Do You Find Cardboard Boxes for Moving?

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The Neat Team