When Should I Start Packing to Move? Your Ultimate Guide

It can take anywhere from a few hours to several weeks to pack for a move. When to start packing depends on several factors, the most critical of which is how much notice you have about the move.

Packing for a last-minute move is a different story than a move 2 or 3 months from now. Let’s look at how to know when you should start packing to move.

How Much Time Do You Need to Pack?

The amount of time you need to pack comes down to two things:

  1. How much stuff you have to pack
  2. How much time you can spend packing

It’s going to take a lot more time to pack up a 2,000 square-foot house that you’ve lived in for ten years than a one-bedroom apartment that you’ve only been in for six months.

And if you can spend 8 hours a day packing, you’ll need a lot less time than if you only have 30 minutes a day.

Our Recommended Timeline for Packing to Move

If you have two months or more notice for your moving date, here’s a suggested timeline to get all your stuff packed up and ready to go. If you have less than that, adjust the times accordingly.

8 Weeks Ahead of Moving Date

Give your home a thorough cleaning to get yourself off to a good start. Go through every room in the house and decide what you want to keep and what you don’t want to move.

4 to 6 Weeks Ahead of Moving Date

Now that you’ve decided what you don’t want to move, determine how you’re going to deal with it. Are you going to sell it, donate it, or give it away?

Put ads in the local newspaper or Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace to sell or give away those items. Drop off anything you’re going to donate.

Now is also an excellent time to choose a moving company to work with. This will give you enough time to research your options.

Now that you have pared down your stuff, gather moving supplies like boxes, packing paper, labels, tape and markers.

2 to 3 Weeks Ahead of Move

This is when you should start packing everything you’re taking with you. Start boxing up smaller items and organizing any more significant stuff, so it’s ready for the movers.

Pack a room at a time. Spend at least an hour a day on it instead of cramming it all into a weekend or several weekdays.

Be sure you label everything as you pack. Include a description of the contents of each box as well as the room location.

The Final Week

Leave anything you need to use regularly until the final week, including things like:

  • Kitchenware
  • Bedding
  • Clothes
  • Toiletries

In the final week, set aside what you need to use every day and pack all the rest.

The Day Before You Move

The day before your move is the time to pack everything you kept aside for your final week.

Make sure you pack everything you’ll need on your first day in your new home in a box that you can get at easily. You’re not going to want to go digging through boxes to find a few essential items.

Hiring a Professional Moving Company

Your moving company can also give you advice about packing to move. They’re experts at this and have seen what works and what doesn’t, so get their input.

If you’re in the Philadelphia and South Jersey area, Sinclair Moving & Storage can help. We’ve been in business for nearly 100 years, and making your move go smoothly is our top priority.

Get in touch with us today to get a free estimate for your move.