How Early Should You Start Packing for a Move? [2023]

How much in advance should I start packing to move?

Moving is stressful, and to make sure everything goes smoothly, you need to have a solid plan. Packing is one of the most crucial phases of moving, and the question that arises is, how early should you start packing for a move? The answer is not always straightforward. It depends on a variety of factors. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know to create an efficient and effective packing timeline and avoid last-minute surprises.

The Factors that Affect Your Packing Timeline

Before we dive into the "When to pack" question, we need to consider factors that affect how early you should start packing for a move. Here are some crucial things you need to consider when planning your packing timeline:

1. The Size of Your Home

The size of your home directly influences the amount of time it takes to pack. A studio apartment, for example, will take less time compared to a four-bedroom house. Similarly, the number of people living in your home also impacts the time it takes to pack.

2. The Amount of Stuff You Have

The more stuff you have, the longer it will take to pack. You also need to consider the type of items you have and how fragile they are. If you have a lot of fragile and delicate items, you will need to spend more time packing.

3. Your Packing Speed

Your packing speed depends on how organised you are and how much time you have available to devote to packing. Packing speed may vary from hour to hour, and some days, you may achieve more than on others.

4. How Early You Start Planning

If you start planning your move well in advance, you can avoid any last-minute surprises. Starting early can help you organise everything systematically, starting from deciding what to take with you to choosing a moving company. Proper planning can save you a lot of time and stress.

Now that we have covered the factors, let's discuss the ideal timeframe for packing when moving.

The Ideal Packing Timeline for Moving

We recommend starting your packing process at least 8 weeks before the moving day. This allows you to take things slowly and plan your move systematically.

1. 8 Weeks Before the Move: Preparing for the Move

Eight weeks before the move, start by decluttering your home. It's time to get rid of anything that you don't need. You can donate some items or even earn some extra cash by selling those items online. Also, create a floor plan of your new home and figure out what items can be taken with you.

Quick tip: Use a colour coding system to differentiate your boxes. For example, use blue tape for your kitchen items and green for your bedroom items.

2. 6 Weeks Before the Move: Hire a Professional Moving Company

Six weeks before the move, you should hire a professional moving company. We suggest booking a company early to guarantee availability, especially if you are moving during a peak season.

Quick tip: Research the moving company before hiring them. Read customer service reviews and ask for their licenses and insurance policies.

3. 5 Weeks Before the Move: Start Packing the Non-Essentials

Five weeks before the move, start packing items that you don't use frequently. For instance, if you are moving in the summer, consider packing winter clothes first. You should also start packing any decorative items.

Quick tip: Start boxing items you no longer need, like out-of-season clothes, holiday decorations, and safety deposit boxes.

4. 4 Weeks Before the Move: Get a Head Start on the Packing Process

Four weeks before the move, you should have a clear idea of what items you want to take with you. Start packing the things you don't use every day, like books, DVDs, and non-essential clothing. Check with your moving company and make sure that they transport hazardous materials like cleaning supplies or gasoline.

Quick tip: Start packing items that have sentimental value. This will give you enough time to take care of them.

5. 3 Weeks Before the Move: Label Everything Clearly

Three weeks before the move, label every box after it is packed. Make sure that each label includes the contents and the room it belongs to in your new home.

Quick tip: Label the boxes on all sides so that you can easily identify them even if they're stacked.

6. 2 Weeks Before the Move: Notify Others About Your Move

Two weeks before the move, notify your utilities (electricity, water, gas, and phone) and any subscriptions (like magazines or newspapers) of your change of address. Make sure you inform your bank, credit card companies, and other essential services.

Quick tip: Create a checklist of all the companies you need to notify of your address change.

7. 1 Week Before the Move: Finishing Touches

One week before the move, pack everything except emergency items and last-minute necessities like your phone charger, snacks, and a few books or magazines.

Quick tip: Use towels and clothing to wrap fragile items. This will save you money on packing materials.


Q1. How early should I start packing for a move?

We suggest starting your packing process at least 8 weeks before your move. This allows you to take things slowly and plan your move systematically.

Q2. How do I pack fragile items?

Use soft items like towels, clothes, blankets, and bedding to wrap your fragile items. This will not only help you save money on packing materials but also help you transport them easily.

Q3. What should I do with items I don't need to take with me?

Consider decluttering your home by donating or selling items that you don't need. You can also rent a storage unit to keep them safe.

Quick Tips and Facts

  • The average time it takes to pack for a move is 3-5 days.
  • Label each box with the contents and the room it belongs to.
  • Hire a professional moving company to ensure that your belongings are safe during transit.
  • Starting your packing process early will save you time, money and prevent any last-minute surprises.
  • When packing, put heavy items in small boxes and light items in larger boxes.

In conclusion, packing for a move requires time and planning. Starting early and taking things slow can save you a lot of stress and frustration. Consider the size of your home, the amount of stuff you have, your packing speed, and how early you start planning when figuring out your packing timeline. By following our guide, you can make sure that your move goes smoothly and stress-free.


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