How Long Do Moving Companies Take? A Guide to Planning Your Move

Moving can be a daunting task, especially when you’re relocating to a new city or state. This is where moving companies come in – they offer professional services that help make the process of moving easier and more efficient. Moving companies handle all the logistics, from packing and loading to transportation and unloading.

However, one question often comes to mind is how long moving companies take to complete a move. The answer to this question depends on various factors, such as the size of the move, the distance travelled, and the specific services requested. This article will explore these factors in more detail, provide tips for streamlining the moving process, and help you choose the right moving company for your needs. By the end of this article, you’ll better understand what to expect during a move and how to ensure a successful and timely relocation.

Factors That Affect How Long Moving Companies Take

How Long Do Moving Companies Take

When determining how long a moving company will take to complete your move, several factors must be considered. One of the most significant factors is the distance between your old and new homes. The farther away you’re moving, the longer it will typically take for the moving company to transport your belongings.

Another factor that can affect the speed of a move is the size or amount of items being moved. Suppose you have a larger home with many rooms and possessions. In that case, packing, loading, and unloading everything will naturally take longer. This is why it’s important to be upfront with your moving company about the size of your move so they can allocate enough time and resources accordingly.

Weather conditions can also impact how long a move takes. For example, extreme heat or cold, heavy rain, snow, or ice can slow the moving process and create additional challenges for the moving team.

According to a study by HomeAdvisor, the average cost of a long-distance move is around $4,890, with an average distance of 1,225 miles. This same study found that the average time for long-distance moves was 10-14 days.

Overall, it’s essential to remember that every move is unique, and many variables can influence how long it will take for a moving company to complete your move. Understanding these factors and communicating openly with your moving company can help ensure a smooth and efficient moving experience.

Average Timeframes for Different Types of Moves

How Long Do Moving Companies Take

The timeframes for different types of moves can vary depending on several factors, such as the distance, size, and mode of transportation. Here’s a breakdown of estimated timeframes for local, long-distance and international moves:

Local Moves:

  1. A local move typically involves relocation within the same city or state. Usually, it takes anywhere from a few hours to a day, depending on the size of the move. For example, a studio or one-bedroom apartment may take 3-5 hours. In contrast, a larger home with two or more bedrooms could take up to 2 full days.

Long-Distance Moves:

  1. Long-distance moves involve moving your belongings across state lines or over 400 miles or more. These moves generally take longer than local moves, ranging from several days to several weeks, again depending on the size of the move. On average, a long-distance move can take 7 to 14 business days.

For instance, if you’re moving from New York to California, a professional moving company might take 10-14 days to transport all your belongings, including packing and loading at the origin, transit time and unloading at the destination.

  1. International Moves: International moves are even more complicated and time-consuming than long-distance moves. The exact timeframe can vary based on the selected mode of transportation (air or sea), customs clearance, and other factors like the distance, volume of goods, etc. Depending on these variables, the estimated time frames for an international move can range from 2-4 weeks to a few months.

For example, suppose you’re moving from the United States to Australia. In that case, transporting your belongings may take around 6-8 weeks by sea freight shipping. However, if you choose airfreight instead, the time frame is reduced to 1-2 weeks.

Remember that these are just estimated timeframes, and the actual duration of your move may vary based on several factors. It’s always a good idea to ask your moving company for an accurate estimate based on your needs.

Tips for Preparing for a Move and Reducing Moving Time

How Long Do Moving Companies Take

Preparing for a move can be stressful, but with the right strategies, you can make the process smoother and more efficient. Here are some tips for preparing for a move and reducing moving time:

Declutter Beforehand:

  1. One of the best ways to reduce the time it takes for a moving company to complete your move is to declutter beforehand. This means getting rid of items you no longer need or use. Reducing the number of items you need to pack and transport will save time and money on the move.

Pack Efficiently:

  1. Packing efficiently is another way to reduce moving time. Start by purchasing high-quality packing supplies such as boxes, tape, labels, and paper. Label each box clearly with its contents and room destination to help the movers place everything in the right location at your new home. Pack heavier items like books and electronics on the bottom of the box and lighter items on top to avoid damage during transit.
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Hire Professionals to Pack:

  1. Hiring professionals to pack your belongings can also reduce moving time. Professional movers have the experience and expertise to pack your items quickly and efficiently while ensuring that everything is properly protected during transit.

Be Ready for Moving Day:

  1. Ensure that you have everything ready for moving day. Please have all your items packed, labelled and organized in a central location to easily pick up and load them into the truck. Provide clear directions to your new home and ensure the movers have the contact information for both locations.

Disassemble Large Items:

  1. Disassembling large furniture items before the movers arrive can help save time and prevent damage. Ensure you have the necessary tools and know-how to disassemble and reassemble your furniture.

Proper preparation can reduce the time it takes for a moving company to complete your move. By decluttering beforehand, packing efficiently, and hiring professionals to pack and disassemble large items, you can make the moving process smoother and faster. Follow these tips to ensure a successful and timely relocation.

The Role of Moving Companies in Streamlining the Moving Process

Professional moving companies are crucial in streamlining the moving process and reducing overall moving time. Here are some ways that hiring a moving company can help make your move faster and more efficient:


  1. Professional movers have the necessary expertise and experience to handle all aspects of your move. They know how to properly pack, load, and transport your belongings quickly and efficiently, which can help save time.

Specialized Equipment:

  1. Moving companies have access to specialized equipment like dollies, ramps and lifting straps, which can help speed up the loading and unloading. Their trucks and vans are also designed to transport your items safely and securely, eliminating the need for multiple trips.

Professional Packing Services:

  1. Professional packing services offered by moving companies can help you save time. They use high-quality packing materials and techniques to ensure your items are packed correctly and safely.

Efficient Loading and Unloading:

  1. Movers know how to load and unload the truck efficiently, saving time while ensuring everything is transported safely. This can also prevent damage to your belongings during transit.

Storage Solutions:

  1. Moving companies often offer storage solutions if you need to store your belongings temporarily. Their secure storage facilities can help reduce the trips required to transport your items, ultimately saving you time and money.

Hiring a professional moving company can streamline the moving process and reduce overall moving time. Their expertise, specialized equipment, and professional packing and loading techniques can help ensure a fast and efficient relocation.

Common Challenges That Can Delay Moving Times

How Long Do Moving Companies Take

Various challenges can cause delays and hinder the overall process during a move. Here are some common challenges that can delay moving times and tips for mitigating them:

Traffic Congestion:

  1. Heavy traffic or roadblocks during transit can lead to significant delays in a move. To avoid this, it’s best to plan your move outside peak traffic hours and choose the fastest route possible.

Weather Conditions:

  1. Unexpected weather events such as heavy rain or snowstorms can also cause delays during a move. Monitor the weather forecast before your move and adjust your plans accordingly. If severe weather is expected, consider rescheduling the move for another day.

Packing Delays:

  1. Packing delays can also cause delays during a move. To avoid this, start packing early enough to give yourself ample time to finish the process. Hire professional packers if necessary to save time and ensure everything is packed correctly and safely.


  1. Miscommunication between the movers and clients can lead to confusion and delays on a moving day. Make sure to communicate clearly with your movers about any specific requirements or instructions you have so that they can plan accordingly.

Incorrect Access Pathways:

  1. A common challenge that can delay the moving process is incorrect access pathways at either location. Ensure clear access with adequate space for the moving truck to park close to your home and load and unload your belongings.

Understanding these common challenges and taking steps to mitigate them can ensure a smoother and more efficient move. Communicate effectively with your moving company, plan ahead, and be flexible in case of unexpected events to help ensure a timely and stress-free relocation.

How to Choose the Right Moving Company for Your Needs

Choosing the right moving company is crucial to ensure a smooth and stress-free move. Here are some steps to help you select the right moving company for your needs:

Do Your Research:

  1. Start by researching moving companies in your area. Look for companies with a good reputation, experience and expertise in moving the type of items you own.

Read Reviews:

  1. Read customer reviews on websites like Yelp, Google or Angie’s List to gauge the quality of services each company offers. This is an excellent way to learn about other people’s experiences with a particular moving company.

Verify Credentials:

  1. Make sure the moving company has proper licenses, insurance, and certifications. Check the company’s USDOT or MC number, verifying their operating authority with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
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Get Referrals:

  1. Ask friends, family members or colleagues who have recently moved to recommend a reliable moving company based on their personal experience.

Get Several Quotes:

  1. Get several quotes from different moving companies to compare prices and services. Be wary of quotes that seem too good to be true, as they may hide additional fees or charges.

Ask Questions:

  1. Asking questions during your consultation can help determine whether a moving company suits your needs. This includes asking about their packing materials, estimated timeframe, and any hidden fees.

Sign a Contract:

  1. Finally, make sure to sign a contract with the moving company once you’ve made your decision. The contract should include all details of the move, including pricing, timing, and responsibilities.

Choosing the right moving company is crucial to ensuring a timely and stress-free move. By researching companies, reading reviews, verifying credentials, getting referrals, getting several quotes, asking questions, and signing a contract, you can find a reliable, experienced moving company that meets your needs.

What to Expect During the Moving Process

The moving process can be complex, and it’s important to have a general overview of what to expect. Here’s a breakdown of the moving process and what you can expect at each stage:


  1. The first step in the moving process is packing. This involves sorting through your belongings and packing them securely and efficiently. This process can take anywhere from several days to several weeks, depending on the size of your move.


  1. Once everything is packed and ready to go, the movers will load everything onto the moving truck. This process usually takes several hours, again depending on the size of the move.


  1. During transportation, your belongings will be moved to your new home. The length of this process depends on the distance of your move, ranging from a few days to several weeks for long-distance or international moves.


  1. Once the truck arrives at your new home, the movers will unload your belongings and place them in their rooms. This process usually takes several hours, again depending on the size of the move.


  1. Finally, once everything is unloaded, the last step is unpacking. This process can take several days to weeks, depending on how much assistance you’ve hired for the unpacking process.

It’s important to note that the length of time it takes to complete the moving process is highly dependent on various factors such as the size of your move, the distance you’re moving, weather conditions, and more. However, suppose you communicate effectively with your moving company and follow our tips for preparing for a move. In that case, you can help ensure a timely and efficient relocation.

How to Follow Up After the Move

Following up with a moving company after the move is complete can benefit both parties. Here are some ways to follow up and provide feedback:

Leave a Review:

  1. One of the best ways to provide feedback is to leave a review on the moving company’s website or reputable third-party review sites. Share your experience, including the quality of services provided, how well the movers handled your belongings and any areas where they could improve.

Provide Feedback Directly:

  1. You can also provide feedback directly to the moving company by phone or email. This allows them to address any issues you may have had and make improvements for future customers.

Refer Future Customers:

  1. If you had a positive experience with the moving company, consider referring them to friends, family or colleagues planning a move. This helps support the company while helping others find a reliable moving service.

By following up after the move, leaving reviews, providing feedback and referring future customers, you can help others find reliable moving companies and support businesses that offer high-quality services.


In summary, moving can be complex and stressful. Still, with the right strategies and planning, you can make it smoother and more efficient.

We covered various topics to help you plan and execute a successful move. These included the average timeframes for different types of moves, tips for preparing for a move, the role of moving companies in streamlining the moving process, common challenges that can delay moving times, how to choose the right moving company for your needs, what to expect during the moving process, and how to follow up after the move.

We encourage you to use the information in this article to plan and execute your move successfully, whether it’s a local, long-distance, or international move. By following our tips and seeking the assistance of professional movers, you can reduce the stress and uncertainty of the moving process and enjoy a smoother transition to your new home.

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Josh The Mover
Josh The Mover
Hey there, I'm Josh, The Mover Guy! I have a few different moving companies and created this blog to connect with other moving company owners. I'm here to provide valuable resources about everything moving-related. Please contact me if you need a friend or advice within the industry!

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