While it might only take a day or two to physically move all your stuff, the groundwork for moving house can take weeks. So get packing!
Moving somewhere new? Maybe the lease is coming up on your rental, you’ve purchased your first home or perhaps you’re downsizing. Whatever your reason for relocating, the more planning you put into your move, the less stressful it will be.
As any good project manager will tell you, working out a timeline is one of your first steps in planning the perfect move. Determine how long each phase of the move will take, including planning, packing, moving and settling in – then you’ll have a clear roadmap to work with.
At the end of the road? A new place that you can call your home.
Not all moves are created equal
Moving from a one-bedroom apartment around the corner to another one-bedroom apartment is not going to take nearly as long as, say, an interstate move for your family of five. Some moves are a lot less complex than others.
Plus, some people choose to pay for removalists to do all the packing for them, in which case the packing stage (which could take weeks if you do it in the evenings after work) could be reduced to a day.
Consider the unique conditions of your move when you’re working out your timeline, using the following four phases as your guide.
Phase 1: planning
Planning to move house can take weeks. As you can see in our ultimate moving house checklist, there are things you can start doing more than a month out to ensure that the final days before a move aren’t a frenzy of last-minute tasks.
In the planning phase, you should think about:
- Your budget
- Who needs to know that you’re leaving your current residence and moving to another
- Whether to book a removalist or DIY (what does your budget allow for?)
- Insurance for your new place
- Booking cleaners for your old home
- And more (it’s all covered in the checklist)
Phase 2: packing
If you’re packing up your current home yourself, then allow a couple of weeks to do this task. Think of the packing phase as a great opportunity to go through all your stuff and cull things that you no longer need. The more stuff you get rid of in the packing phase, the faster the moving and settling phases will take.
It’s a great idea to pack methodically – that is, room by room – otherwise you’ll end up with half-full boxes everywhere that do nothing more than overwhelm you. Remember to label every box you seal, so you (or the removalists) know exactly where to put it in the new place.
Phase 3: moving
This phase is short and sweet (as long as you’re not going too far and you’re not moving the contents of a mansion). A move across town should only take a day – particularly if you’ve got a truck or a bunch of willing friends to help you. If you’re moving interstate, then it can take a few days or up to a week for your possessions to get from point A to B.
Phase 4: settling in
This is the fun phase, where you get to set up a new home just the way you like it. If you worked hard in the planning phase and have been organised, then you should have little to worry about other than unpacking your boxes and getting to know the neighbours. Some people like to take their time unpacking and boxes can remain unopened for weeks. Others like to get the job done as quickly as possible so that it feels like home. How you approach this phase is up to you.
How long should it take to move house? As you’ve seen above, there’s no straight answer. For an average move across town, if you allow at least a few weeks for planning and packing, at least a day for moving and a week for settling in, then you’re off to a great start.