How Long Does It Take To Pack a Moving Truck?

How Long Does It Take To Pack a Moving Truck

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to pack moving trucks? I mean, these fellas are enormous; it probably takes days to load one of them, right?

Well, not exactly. If that were true, moving would take a lot more time than it usually takes.

It’ll take an average of 2–5 hours to pack a moving truck, depending on its size, the house’s size, and how many people are doing the packing.

Here’s everything you need to know about the matter.

Table of Contents

How Long Does It Take to Pack a Moving Truck?

Moving Truck Sitting in the Driveway

The time it takes to pack a moving truck depends on three main factors: how many movers you have, the truck’s size, and the number of items you’re loading. It also depends on the truck’s location with regards to the house’s place.

If you’re in a house, then the back of the truck should be as close to your garage (or front door if no garage) as possible.

If you’re moving out of an apartment, it may not be so simple.

If you’re living on a low floor without stairs, you can load a 10-foot truck in 60 minutes. A 20-foot vehicle will take nearly thrice the duration, and a 24-foot truck may take four hours or so. These numbers are assuming you have two movers. If you have more or less, the duration will change accordingly.

Of course, the packing will take more if you live on a high floor. For each floor, you’ll increase around 20%–25% to the total time I mentioned. So, for example, if you’re on the third floor, packing a 10-feet truck will take around 100 minutes instead of 60.

How Long Does It Take to Pack a Moving Truck According to Your House’s Size?

Tiny House
Good news! Packing will be fast!

The house size is a significant factor when estimating how long it’ll take to load a truck. Typically, a two-story house will take a longer time than a studio apartment. Here’s an average estimation of the duration your apartment will take, depending on how many bedrooms you have:

  • Studio: 2 hours with two movers
  • One bedroom: 3 hours with two movers
  • Two bedrooms: 4 hours with two movers
  • Three bedrooms: 4 hours with three movers

If you live in a house rather than an apartment, here’s how long will it take to pack a truck:

  • Two bedrooms: 3 hours with three movers
  • Three bedrooms: 4 hours with four movers
  • Four bedrooms: 5 hours with four movers

Of course, all of these estimates are based on the assumption that the truck is close to the house and that you’re hiring professional movers. If you’re packing yourself, it may take you an hour or two more, depending on your organizational skills, speed and how many friend or family you’ve managed to talk into helping.

How Long Does It Take to Unpack a Moving Truck?

Loading the truck up is only half the battle. Once you arrive to your new home, you’ll also spend a good amount of time unpacking the truck as well. In our experience though, unpacking the truck goes much quicker.

If you have two movers, they can unpack a 10-foot truck in two hours maximum, depending on how many items the truck is carrying. A 16-foot truck will take around three hours, while a 26-foot truck may take up to four hours unless it mainly contains furniture and large items, which take a shorter time to unload.

Of course, some factors may affect these estimations, such as the presence of stairs and how far your house is.

Tips for Faster Moving Truck Loading

Tips and Tricks

Do you want to finish loading and go to your new place as fast as possible? Some tips and tricks may help you complete the daunting process more quickly and efficiently.

Prepare EVERYTHING Beforehand

By everything, I don’t just mean the items you’ll load. In addition to those, you should prepare all the supplies you and the movers may need. Those include packing tape, boxes, a lot of plastic wraps, blankets for cushioning the truck, and furniture pads.

You’ll use the blankets and the pads to close the spaces between the boxes in the truck. That way, they don’t keep hitting against each other as the truck moves. This isn’t necessary if the boxes have unbreakable items, such as pillows or books. However, they’re an absolute necessity if the boxes have glasses, bottles, or anything that’s prone to breaking.

Make sure to prepare everything before the movers arrive, so the process ends in a shorter time.

Remove Extra Furniture Parts

Before loading furniture into the moving truck, make sure to remove the parts that may cause a nuisance. For example, if your dining room’s table has removable legs, remove them so that the table is easier to pack. Likewise, if your cabinet has removable legs, remove them.

You may also look for desks that can be disassembled. Leave everything disassembled for easier and faster loading.

Prepare the Heavy Items for Loading First

Whether you’re loading the moving truck yourself or getting professional movers, make sure the heaviest items go first. The movers will probably already know this, but it’s always good to learn and prepare for it.

The items that should go first include fridges, washing machines, dryers, mattresses, sectionals, and bed frames. If you have an oversized couch, that goes first as well.

These items should go first because their weight demands that they stay on the bottom. If you put them on top of any boxes, they’ll crush them.

Make sure to have these items ready for loading whenever the movers arrive, so the process goes smoothly and quickly.

How to Choose the Right Size of a Moving Truck?

Moving Truck Parked in Front of Home

Choosing the wrong size of the moving truck can drastically increase the time it takes to pack it.

If you get a truck that’s a bit tight for your belongings, it’ll take more time to organize it and make sure everything fits. We’ve been there and have even left stuff sitting on the curb because it just didn’t fit in the truck. Not an ideal situation.

However, if you get a larger truck than you need, you’ll be wasting money you can spend on anything else in the moving process.

Here’s how to choose the right size of your moving truck.

Follow the Truck Sizing Guide

Any truck rental service you hire will have a sizing guide for their trucks. There are also some standard rules they’ll tell you. For example, it’s known among movers that each room in the house takes about three cubic feet in the moving truck. That’s a rough estimation, of course, but you can use it to choose the right truck size.

Following this rule, you’ll need a 10-foot truck if you’re moving three rooms.

Aside from following this rule and the trucks’ sizing guide, you can assess the items you’re moving because it depends on the size of your rooms in the end.

Determine How Much Stuff You Have

Some people prefer minimalistic interiors, so their houses will only have the bare basics. Meanwhile, those who prefer boho styles will have a lot of items that’ll prove to be a nuisance to move.

What I’m trying to say is, the number of items you have is a significant factor in determining the size of your truck. Try to determine that by writing down the number of furniture pieces in each room, and do a rough estimate of the other items, including decorations and so.

After you do that, it’ll be easy for you to determine the right truck according to the sizing guidelines.

To Wrap Up

So, how long does it take to pack a moving truck?

It depends on the number of movers you have, the truck’s size, the truck’s distance from the house, and the number of items you’re packing. Generally, it should take an hour or so to load a 10-foot truck and two hours to pack a 16-foot truck.


I've been a college coach for going on 20 years now and that career has led Jen and I on quite the journey. We've lived in 7 different states and have moved a dozen different times. We've learned A LOT over the course of all those moves and we want to pass on our knowledge to help others going through the moving process.

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