One of the most frustrating parts of moving is packing your things before your move only to unpack everything once you settle in.
Packing and unpacking are very time-consuming and labor-intensive processes. It would take the same amount of time for you to pack a typical studio apartment as a professional packing a five-bedroom home!
Make things easier on yourself by taking advantage of a professional packing service.
How long does it take movers to pack a house?
The time it takes for a professional moving service to pack up and unload your belongings varies based on the amount and weight of your furniture. It also depends on the size of the moving crew that the company sends to help pack up your house.
To give you an estimate on the time it will take for professional movers to pack up and unload your belongings, use the following chart:
These numbers are assuming that they pack the entire time, straight through without stopping. Of course, very few people will pack for upwards of 12 consecutive hours without stopping, so the time will have to be adjusted for breaks.
It would take the average person:
- 1-2 days to pack a typical studio or one-bedroom apartment/house
- 2-3 days to pack a two-bedroom apartment/house
- 3-5 days to pack a three-bedroom house
- 4-6 days to pack a four-bedroom house
- a full week to pack a five-bedroom house
Not only would packing take a lot more time on your own, but the above estimates do not include unpacking!
What items will you need the movers to pack?
Before you begin the process of finding a company that provides packing services, you should first figure out the level of service you need. Will they pack your whole house or just one room, such as the kitchen?
You could even have them pack only a few of your items. For instance, if you have a fine china collection and aren't comfortable packing these fragile items yourself, you can hire professionals to do so.
You can also hire movers to help you unload and unpack after your move. If you don't want to risk procrastinating the unpacking process, hire a packing service to do this as well.
Does your moving company offer packing services?
Many full-service moving companies offer some level of packing service at an additional price. When you contact different moving companies to get an estimate, ask them what packing services they provide. You can find a full-service mover offering packing services through Movers.com or by searching online for companies in your area.
Alternately, you can hire a third-party packing service. This is a good idea if you plan on renting a truck to move your belongings and just want help packing. You might also want to use a separate packing service if you can find one that will charge a lower rate than that offered by your moving company.
What should you expect from movers packing a house?
Whether you use the packing services of your moving company or another company, you should have them come to your house to perform an in-home assessment. This will allow them to give you an estimate based on the amount of service you require.
- Let them know exactly which rooms or specific items you plan on packing yourself and which things you want them to handle.
- The surveyor should look through your drawers and cupboards to give you the best estimate possible.
- Point out any items that are particularly fragile or expensive so they can decide the best way to pack and protect these items.
TIP: You should be at home when the packing service packs up your goods. This way, you can oversee the process, ask questions, state your concerns and answer any questions your packers may have.
Expert packers will be a lot more thorough with the job than you, even if you take your time and pack carefully and methodically, going room-by-room. That's because professional packers are trained and have years of experience that allow them to know exactly what can be packed together to minimize breakage, how to pack certain items and how to wrap and cushion belongings -- techniques that are certain to be timesavers if you know what you're doing.
Professional packers also offer you the right packing supplies that you'll need for a hassle-free, successful move. We all know that poor packing can most certainly lead to damage of your goods while they're in transit, but professional movers all but eliminate that possibility by packing carefully and securing items properly.
How much does it cost for movers to pack a house?
Though convenient, packing services can be expensive, especially if you want everything you own to be packed and unpacked.
During the in-home assessment, the surveyor will let you know how you will be charged for the packing services. The price will be determined by:
- The amount of items you need to have packed up
- How long they estimate packing will take
- If you need to have your belongings packed up in a hurry
- The cost of packing supplies if they aren't included
Though using a packing service during your move will be an extra cost added to what is already an expensive process, there is no denying the pleasure you will get from having someone else do your packing!
When should you use professional packers?
Though convenient, packing services can be expensive, especially if you want everything you own to be packed and unpacked. Sometimes, professional packing services are necessary. How can you tell when your packing job might require a little outside help?
You certainly don't want to find out halfway through the packing process, when you've gone through weeks of sporadic packing and gathering of supplies and see no end in sight. And you certainly don't want to find out after the move, when some of your most valuable belongings were damaged, because you didn't pack them correctly.
- When you're making a long-distance or international move. If you're moving down the street or 20 miles away, your move will most likely be manageable enough. While your items should still be packed safely and securely, they won't be in transit for that long, so the chances of something breaking are a lot slimmer than if they were to travel hundreds or thousands of miles in those boxes.
- When you're moving a big house that's three bedrooms or larger. Packing can take a pretty long time, especially if you have a lot of other obligations to attend to -- like your job, your family and planning for the move. The more rooms in your house that you have to pack, the longer it's going to take. Anything larger than a three bedroom house can really be a daunting task for just about anybody, so you might want to consider asking for help.
- If you have a great deal of expensive or valuable items. You know how to take care of your valuable belongings, but do you know how to pack them correctly? Probably not. But professional moving services do, and they're trained in how to prevent damage. If you have a lot of valuable items that you don't want breaking during the move, you should probably hire the pros to get the job done. Besides, the money you pay for them to pack for you will likely be less than it costs to replace or repair an antique.
Have you created a moving inventory yet?
Once you've hired a moving company to handle your packing, you may be required to submit to them a list of items in your house that you want packed.
If not, it's always a good idea to create this list anyway, as it will be a great help to the movers who will be packing your house. It will also serve to speed up the process quite considerably, as the movers will have a definitive moving inventory in front of them to reference while they pack. It will allow them to plan ahead for what will need to be packed together and in which room.
Creating a moving inventory list is as simple as writing out the items in your house that need to be packed. You might decide to have only one room packed or your entire household worth of goods. Whatever you choose, your inventory should be complete and include which items are in which rooms.
Packing in an orderly fashion is an efficient way to pack, and certain rooms generally take priority over others. For many movers, packing the most difficult items first is an effective strategy for expediting the packing process. For example, here is the general order of priority for packing and wrapping the items in a house:
- Kitchen, smallest items
- Main living room area
- Biggest items, furniture, heavy items
Can you hire just packing specialists instead of movers?
There are many packing experts in the moving industry that can provide you with full packing services that take care of everything from packing and wrapping to unpacking and arranging. You can also hire a third-party packing company, separate from the moving company you hire to handle the heavy lifting of your move, which can offer many of the same packing services at lower rates.
First, these packing professionals will do an on-site estimation during which they'll take a look through your home and through your moving inventory and assess all of the items that you are going to need packed. Everything that needs to be packed should be ready and in plain sight for the most accurate estimate.
The surveyor will provide you with an estimate for cost and length of the packing service. A trained packing specialist will typically take no more than one day to complete the packing. In the case of a last-minute move, the timeframe may differ slightly, as well as the cost.
If the packing services are too pricey though, then you can always opt to choose a packing service for only your fragile items and other valuable goods. You can also make your move simpler by hiring them to unpack your stuff.