Packing your home takes time—a lot of time. But it isn’t always easy to figure out just how much time you’ll actually need to pack for a move. While most people try to estimate based on the size of their home, other factors come into play, including how much stuff you have and how many people you have helping you.

No one can give you a definitive answer on how much time you’ll need to get ready for moving day, but the information below should give you a rough idea. You may want to add an extra day or two to your estimate just to be on the safe side, and start planning early. The more time you spend planning and preparing for your move ahead of time, the less stressed you’ll be when it’s actually time to pack your home.

Your home’s size

As a starting point, plan on spending one day packing for every room of your home. For example, if you live in a studio apartment, it should take you one day to pack your belongings. If you live in a two-bedroom home, assume it will take you at least three days, depending on the size of the rooms. Add an extra day or two if you’re packing for the first time, and don’t forget to dedicate at least a day to packing the garage.

When calculating the number of days, treat each day as an eight-hour chunk. In other words, if you estimate it will take you three days to pack for your move but only spend four hours a day packing, you’ll obviously need to set aside six calendar days.

Take into account the actual size of your rooms, too. A three-bedroom, 1,200-square-foot home will usually require less time to pack than a three-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot home. Even though basic layout may be similar, the larger home likely has larger bedrooms with larger closets and much more stuff.

Your home’s contents

The more stuff you have, the more time it is going to take to pack it. As you count the number of rooms, consider what’s in each room. You may only need an hour or two to pack a nearly empty guest room, but the garage—with its cabinets, drawers and shelves—could alone take several days. It just depends on how much you have to pack.

Your lifestyle and interests also factor into determining how much time you need to pack for a move. For example, a minimalist who owns less stuff will have less to move than an avid sports memorabilia collector. The collector will not have only more items to move but those items will require extra attention during the packing process.

Also, consider the number of people living in your house. It may not look like it, but if you have two children sharing a room, they probably have more stuff in that room than one child would. This idea applies throughout the house. For example, if you live alone, you probably own far fewer plates and glasses than a family of four.

Finally, plan on moving taking extra time if you are downsizing since you’ll need to sell, donate, trash or find new homes for the items that won’t fit into your smaller space. This will take time. How much? That depends on how much stuff you’ve accumulated over the years and how drastically you’re downsizing.

How organized you are

Your move will take less time if you are organized. For example, a craft room with neatly packed totes of supplies will require much less effort to pack than one brimming with scraps and unfinished projects. Take stock of what’s in each room and estimate how long it will take to sort through its contents.

You’ll want to add a day for each unorganized room. Have a bedroom with a mountain of toys and clothes blocking the door? Plan on spending a day going through it and discarding what’s broken or doesn’t fit. What about that “junk” room you always close off whenever anyone visits? Add a day to organize it. You’ll also want an extra day to hold a garage sale or take items to Goodwill once you’ve organized.

Whether you have help

With help, you can shave hours or even days off your move time. If you estimate it will take four, eight-hour days to pack your home, divide that in half if a spouse or friend lends a hand. Even if that person only helps for one day, that one day still reduces the amount of time you need to devote yourself to the task.

Depending on your kids’ ages, they can contribute, too. Older kids can almost entirely pack their rooms themselves. Subtract a day off your estimate of how many days you need. You may even be able to enlist them to help with packing other parts of the home and subtract more time. Younger kids can help, too, by sorting through toys or clothes. Whatever they don’t want, you don’t have to pack.

Let us help you!

You can take a lot of the stress out of your move by hiring a professional moving company to do the work for you, including packing up your home. At Advance Moving and Storage, INC. we are movers who are here to help you have the best move possible in Greenville, NC, New Bern, NC, Kinston, NC, and surrounding areas. We’re dedicated to making sure you get everything you need on your next move. Large and small moves welcome, whether you’re local, intrastate, or interstate, our courteous, experienced, personnel are ready to help. We’re happy to do the heavy lifting for you!