How Long Does It Take to Move House?

Moving house is a significant life event that can be both exciting and stressful. One of the most common questions people have is, “How long does it take to move house?” The answer to this question varies depending on several factors, including the size of the move, the distance between properties, the amount of preparation done beforehand, and whether professional movers are hired. Here, we break down the typical timeline and factors that influence the duration of a house move.

packing to move a house

Planning and Preparation

1. Finding a New Home (1-3 months): The first step in moving is finding a new home, which can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on market conditions and personal preferences. During this period, you will search for properties, attend viewings, and negotiate offers.

2. Selling Your Current Home (1-6 months): Selling your current home can take additional time. On average, it takes about 30 to 60 days from listing to closing, but this can vary widely based on the local real estate market.

3. Packing (1-2 months): Packing is often the most time-consuming part of moving. It is recommended to start packing non-essential items at least a month in advance. The more organized and systematic you are, the smoother the process will be. For larger households, this may take up to two months.

Moving day and boxes

Moving Day

4. Loading the Moving Truck (3-7 hours): On the move day, loading the moving truck can take several hours. The exact time depends on the size of your home and the number of items. A one-bedroom apartment may take around 3 hours to load, while a larger home could take 6-7 hours.

5. Travel Time (Varies): The time it takes to travel from your old home to your new one depends on the distance. Local moves within the same city can be completed in a day, while long-distance moves across the country can take several days.

6. Unloading the Moving Truck (3-7 hours): Unloading usually takes about the same amount of time as loading, depending on the number of items and the accessibility of the new home. Unpacking and setting up essential items can extend this phase.

Post-Move Tasks

7. Unpacking and Settling In (1 week – 1 month): Unpacking can take anywhere from a week to a month, depending on your pace and how much help you have. Prioritizing essential areas like the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom can help make the new house feel like home sooner.

8. Administrative Tasks (1-2 weeks): Changing your address, setting up utilities, and updating your information with banks, schools, and other institutions typically take a week or two. Starting some of these tasks before moving day is advisable to ensure a smoother transition.

Factors Affecting the Timeline

Size of the Move: Larger households with more belongings naturally take longer to pack, load, and unload.

Distance of the Move: Long-distance moves involve more logistical planning and time spent on the road.

Professional Movers vs. DIY: Hiring professional movers can significantly speed up the process, though it comes at an additional cost. DIY moves, while cheaper, require more time and effort on your part.

Level of Preparation: Starting early with packing and organizing can greatly reduce the stress and time needed during the actual move.

Complexity of the Move: Special items like pianos, artwork, or large furniture may require extra time and care, affecting the overall timeline.


The time it takes to move house can vary widely based on individual circumstances. On average, from the start of planning to settling into your new home, you should expect the process to take between two to six months. By understanding the various stages and factors involved, you can better plan and manage your move to ensure it is as smooth and efficient as possible.