How to Estimate the Time You’ll Need to Unpack After Moving?

A clock on the road.

When packing for a relocation, one should start weeks if not months ahead of time. We always estimate that we will need quite some time to pack up our belongings in order to move. However, how do you estimate the time you’ll need to unpack after moving? Now that’s the real question! If we actually think about it, it is kind of funny how we don’t really discuss this matter much. We always read about advice on how to pack, when to start packing, how to move your belongings, but we don’t often read about what we do when we are settled into our new home. In all essence, that is when the real work begins. 

How Much Time You’ll Need to Unpack

Before your relocation, your main focus is to pack everything you own, make sure it is all organized, and don’t forget anything. Ensuring that this process is efficient is essential so that everything that follows is simpler and hassle-free. Will this give you the estimate on how much time you’ll need to unpack after you move? Probably not. However, it will guarantee that your unpacking process is faster than what it would have been had you not been organized prior to your move.

An open cardborad box with some items in it.
Have you ever thought about the amount of time you will need to unpack?

For example, let’s say your packing process before you moved houses was rushed and unorganized. This probably resulted in you placing your items randomly, not categorizing, forgetting to wrap certain items, etc. Any or all of these combined can definitely cause your unpacking to be slow, inefficient and all over the place. 

Pack Good to Unpack Better

What does this mean? In order to unpack with ease, and in a fast yet efficient manner, the key is to pack in a structured and well-organized way. Ensuring that your items are packaged up systematically will enable you to unpack effectively as it all makes sense. For example, don’t place your kitchen items in the same box or container as your living room items. Mixing the two up will just make the unpacking process longer and more complicated because you will have to reorganize before you actually organize again. Therefore, categorize your belongings based on rooms in your new home. Once you open up organized and well-placed containers filled with your items, the unpacking may begin

An hourglass simbolizing your attempt to estimate the amount of time you'll need to unpack.
Proper packing leads to proper and efficient unpacking.

Home Interior and Unpacking

Ok, now that the pre-unpacking necessities and essential elements are covered, how do you estimate the time you will require to unpack in your new home? Prior to moving, you already know how your new home looks like and the rooms you need to fill. Therefore, put on your creative hat on and figure out the interior of your home ahead of time. Once you relocate, place the moving boxes or containers into the fitting space they belong to. Before you start opening up your packed items, take care of your larger furniture items. 

A drawing of labeled cardboard boxes.
Categorizing your items will help you stay on track when unpacking.

Think about the space in each room. Place items such as the fridge, the couch, the television, the bed, before you take out your mugs, or towels, or books. Furthermore, once you have the larger items placed and taken care of, then you can unpack the rest. Our suggestion is to go room by room. Another suggestion to ensure your packing is quick and simple is to clean everything prior to unpacking. Once everything is clean and set up, it’s all about placing your items the way you want to view them in your new space. 

National & International Moving

Although most elements of unpacking after your move depend on you, there is one more aspect to consider. In order for your unpacking process to go smoothly, your actual relocation from point A to point B needs to be successful. This brings us to our next point, and that is to pick the right moving company. A moving company, for example,, will bring you one step closer to an efficient unpacking process. When you can rely on your moving company to be quick, productive and efficacious, you can worry less about your items relocating and can estimate that your unpacking will be hassle-free

Whether you are moving within your country or internationally, the same rules apply. Yes, moving internationally is a much bigger step. However, if you cover your basics before your move, once you land you can rely on success. If your relocation case is international, simply ensure that you give yourself enough time to pack your belongings.

One of the biggest decisions to review is which items you will bring with you as you are traveling quite some distance. For example, moving furniture items such as your living room set, or even transporting your vehicle internationally requires time and organization. Strategizing well ahead would be key in this situation and might help you estimate how much time you’ll need to unpack

There is No Right or Wrong Answer

The estimate of how much time you’ll need to unpack after moving solely and truly depends on you alone. It depends on how fast you work around your home, how much time you will have after work, and how big your new home is. The point is not to stress over this as there are no rules or right or wrong answers. Going at your own pace is all you can do, and that’s okay. It may take you a few weeks, it may take you a few months. Either or, you moved, and that’s already a huge step in itself. 

In the end, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to unpack, but how efficient your unpacking is. As we’ve explained above, simply have a good system in place when packing prior to your move. With a good system running, all operations afterward leave little space for errors or obstacles. Stay on track, plan it all out, and happy unpacking! 


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