How Long Does it Take to Pack a One Bedroom Apartment?

You can be packed up and out of your one-bedroom apartment in under two days if you have a solid plan. Moving can be stressful but, using your time wisely can help fix that. 

So, what do you need to pack a one-bedroom apartment yourself in less than 48 hours? Organization, time management, and these guidelines will keep you on track.

Know Your Home

Before you start packing, there are some things to consider.

Whether you’re in a 500sqft one-bedroom apartment or a 1500sqft one, these suggestions will be extremely useful in packing up wherever you are and keep the process moving along.

However, you will probably face different obstacles.

Your packing timeline can change due to your apartment size and your lifestyle.

For example, if you have several large pieces of furniture instead of a minimalist space or a big collection of knick-knacks that need individual packaging attention, or you’re a first-time mover, you may need to give yourself more time. 

Don’t Wear Yourself Out

Just because you can pack up your apartment in under 48hrs doesn’t always mean you should.

To avoid fatigue, it’s a good idea to start well before your move-out date.

This way you have time to get anything you may have forgotten, and you’re less likely to make mistakes if you aren’t packing in a frenzy. 

Consider Hiring Help

Hiring professional movers is the only real time-saver, but many people prefer to save money by packing themselves.

They also like the added security of knowing their things are packaged to their liking. 

That said, being prepared with these tips can potentially get your whole one-bedroom home packed in a weekend.

Have a Packing Plan

  • Put aside necessary items to have on hand 
  • Sort your stuff 
  • Have the correct quantity of supplies
  • Find quality packing supplies
  • Know what won’t be packed
  • Mentally prepare 
  • Don’t sweat the details
  • Tackle it room by room
  • Manage box weight 
  • Know when to ask for help
  • Make a loading plan
  • Update your information

Packing Supplies to Have on Hand

Have a bag of things that need to remain on-hand at all times during the packing process.

It’s easy to lose the smaller packing supplies amongst all of your things, bags, and boxes. 

Scissors, markers, ziplock bags, and the tools you’ll need for dismantling furniture should have a designated bag or visually distinct box that you can keep them in and take with you from room to room. 

Sorting Your Stuff

This will help you with the next step: having your supplies ready. Not everything will fit in a box. You should take the time to decide if you’ll need anything special per room.

This could mean extra wrapping for breakables or perhaps specific packaging like tubes for wall hangings. 

You should also note what will be packed together– similar items travel well together (think clothes, cloths, and linens) and use the same packaging.

Once you know what you need, you’ll hopefully only need to make one shopping trip. 

Have the Right Quantity of Supplies on Hand

Buying supplies is tricky. You don’t want to waste money on too much, but running out of boxes mid-packing means losing time until you get more.

Here is a good chart for guesstimating how many boxes to buy. 

Remember to Consider Your Personal Needs 

Do you need ropes or bungee cords for securing large items in your vehicle? Does your apartment have a big closet?

Then you may want to have at least one wardrobe box, if not more. 

You can hang clothes directly from the closet, leave them on the hanger, and put them in the box.

Maybe you have many breakables or a big kitchen— packages designed to hold plates will save you time on careful wrapping.

Find Quality Supplies

You’ll only be slowing down the process if you use cheap supplies that break.

Ensure you have good boxes, preferably not what you would pick up at a supermarket, and reinforce them with tape, so the bottoms don’t collapse.

You can buy these from your local moving company or home improvement/hardware store.

These are also places that are likely to have good help on hand if you have additional questions. 

Know What Not to Pack

Put things aside that you know you need to have on you throughout the process so that they aren’t accidentally packed.

You don’t want to waste time looking for your phone charger or keys, for example, in a sea of boxes, so make sure you have a designated area for them. 

Your “pack last” items should be the same as your “unpack first” items. If you’re planning to space out your packing to avoid rushing, be sure to separate anything you may need overnight or in the morning.

As an example, you could leave aside clothes, toiletries, and some food. 

Mentally Prepare 

It’s rare to look at everything single thing that you own, but you will when you’re packing up your entire home.

During the packing process, you will inevitably come across items that you no longer need or want.

It’s a sentimental time but be prepared to let things go- especially if some things are taking up valuable space in your moving van or new home. 

The right supplies aren’t only needed for what you’re packing but also for what you aren’t.

Make sure to have trash bags ready for the things you no longer need, as well as boxes or bags that are specifically for items to be donated or sold. 

Don’t Sweat the Details

If you find this part of the process is slowing you down, then don’t think; just pack.

Getting rid of old things may make your unpacking easier but if you find yourself struggling to make choices, then keep getting things into boxes.

If you’re packing a home, it’s more important to have everything ready by moving day than to clean your house. 

Pack Up Room by Room

This may seem weirdly specific but is a huge time saver.

Packing up your whole life can seem like an impossible task. Checking off a fully emptied-and-boxed room before moving on to the next one is a great motivator. 

Bouncing from section to section may seem like covering more ground but only keeps you from finishing off an area.

Even if you’re packing a one-bedroom that’s little more than a studio, going through each area completely before moving on will help you stay on task and focused. 

It can also help with time management. If room one took longer than expected, you know you have to make quicker decisions in the next one to be out of your apartment on time.

Manage Weight

Managing weight is a straightforward thing that most people forget.

You’ll lose time if you can’t physically move a box. To avoid making boxes that are too heavy to even lift, try using smaller containers for heavier items.

You won’t try to stuff as much in them; they’ll be easier to lift and less likely to break.

Recognize When You Need Help

Depending on your situation, there may be some things you can’t do yourself.

Hire a professional for specialty items like a piano, oversized furniture, or art.

And of course, the more hands you have, the faster packing will go, so don’t hesitate to ask friends or family for help.

Make a Loading Plan

If you want to have an empty apartment after following this guide, then you should also have a loading plan in place. If you’ve rented a vehicle, make sure you know how to pack it.  

Save space in your moving vehicle by packing (non-fragile) items in empty drawers of furniture. There shouldn’t be wasted space.

If you’re struggling to fit things, you’re only going to have to repack and waste valuable time.

Some things are obvious, like making sure your fragile items are secured in the car and aren’t rattling around in their boxes or near anything that can crush them.

Other things may take some research. For some items, like mattresses, you may want to check with the manufacturer on the best way to transport them.

Not all brands can have heavy things placed on top of them without damage. 

Update Your Address

Though this isn’t part of the physical packing process, you’ll want to forward any necessary billing or services information to your new address to ensure you are truly finished with your old apartment at the end of the moving process. 

If you have to go back for important mail, you can’t quite check off “packed up the entire apartment” from your to-do list.

Most virtual subscriptions also require a physical billing address, so don’t forget those. 

Moving On

Moving doesn’t need to be overwhelming, and packing up a one-bedroom apartment shouldn’t mean losing your whole weekend or even, necessarily, more than one day.

If you follow these guidelines and go in prepared, you’ll be packed up, organized, and ready to head over to your new place. 

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