How many boxes do you need for a move?

The process of packing for a move is simply unthinkable without cardboard boxes. With the exception of your furniture pieces and your home appliances, the rest of your belongings will have to be packed up safely in moving boxes of various sizes in order to be adequately protected during the actual transportation of your things between the two homes.

Naturally, long before you initiate the labor-intensive and time-consuming task of packing your home for a move, the very first question you’ll ask yourself is “How many moving boxes do I need?”.

In reality, it’s important to understand upright that because each home is different and each home move is unique too, it’s impossible to determine the exact number of boxes required for the successful completion of the packing job.

Nevertheless, although there isn’t a magic formula that can tell you exactly how many moving boxes you will need to pack up your things, here are a few good ways to find out the approximate number of packing boxes for your move.

Factors that determine the number of boxes

Cardboard boxes of various sizes will be your biggest packing expense so it’s very useful to have a rough idea of the number of boxes you’ll need for the packing job.

If you get too many packing boxes, then you’ll have paid more than you need to and then you will be left wondering what to do with your excess containers. On the other hand, you may lose precious time running to Home Depot or Lowe’s if you haven’t purchased enough packing boxes or you haven’t got ones of the right size.

Statistics show that the average number of cardboard boxes needed for a house move is around 60. Yet, how many boxes YOU will need to pack up your stuff will depend on a number of unique factors.

Briefly, here are the major factors that will determine how many moving boxes you should get.

  • Number of rooms. The more rooms there are in a residence, the more items there are likely to be there for packing. Most moving box calculators found online are based on the number of bedrooms inside an apartment or a house.
  • Square footage. The square footage of a home will give a more precise idea of the amount of space that is occupied than the number of rooms. Some online packing calculators are based on a home’s actual square footage.
  • Number of people. Of course, the more people live in a residence, the more personal belongings there will be for packing and moving.
  • Number of years spent in the home. This is another factor that can help you determine the approximate number of boxes you’ll need. More years spent under one roof will mean more accumulated items.
  • Kind of lifestyle. Are you a minimalist when it comes to material possessions? Do you lead a modest lifestyle? Or maybe you’re on the verge of being labeled as a hoarder? Either way, the rough estimate of moving boxes will depend on your kind of lifestyle.
  • Level of pre-move decluttering. Have you decluttered your home prior to packing? Have you got rid of any unwanted items to lower your packing and moving costs? If yes, then you’ll definitely need fewer cardboard boxes as well.

Useful info: Where to get free moving boxes

What types and sizes of boxes should you get for your move?

Before you learn the approximate number of boxes you will need to get the packing job done, you’ll find it useful to know what types and sizes of moving boxes there are available on the market.

Standard moving boxes

Those are the boxes you will need the most to pack up your household items. They come in 4 different sizes:

  • Small moving box. Approximate size: 18’’ x 18’’ x 16’’. Capacity: 1.5 cubic feet. Gross weight limit: 65 lbs. Approximate price: $1 per box.
  • Medium moving box. Approximate size: 16’’ x 12’’ x 12’’. Capacity: 3.0 cubic feet. Gross weight limit: 65 lbs. Approximate price: $1.50 per box.
  • Large moving box. Approximate size: 18’’ x 18’’ x 24’’. Capacity: 4.5 cubic feet. Gross weight limit: 65 lbs. Approximate price: $2 per box.
  • Extra-large moving box. Approximate size: 24’’ x 18’’ x 24’’. Capacity: 6.0 cubic feet. Gross weight limit: 65 lbs. Approximate price: $2.50 per box.

Specialty moving boxes

In addition to the standard cardboard boxes mentioned above, you may need to use a number of specialty boxes to pack books, clothes, kitchen items, pictures, personal documents, and so on.

  • Wardrobe boxes. Perfect for moving hanging clothes with zero chance of damage to your expensive garments. Wardrobe boxes come in 3 sizes: small (24” x 24” x 34”; 11.3 cu/ft.; approx. price: $11), medium (18” x 18” x 46”; 8.6 cu/ft.; approx. price: $12), and large (24” x 24” x 48”; 16 cu/ft.; approx. price: $14);
  • Dish barrel boxes. Great for packing and moving breakable items such as kitchen plates, glasses or delicate antique items. Dish packs are double-walled for maximum protection. The size of a dish barrel box is 18” x 18” x 28”, with capacity of 5.25 cu/ft. Approximate price: $6.
  • Book boxes. Ideal for packing and transporting heavy books. The dimensions of a book box are 12″ x 12″ x 12″, with capacity of 1.0 cu/ft. Approximate price: $1.25.
  • Mirror and picture boxes. Designed to keep framed items protected during a house move – from mirrors to pictures, photos, paintings and other types of framed artwork. Picture boxes come in 3 sizes: standard (37” x 4” x 27”; 2.3 cu/ft.; approx. price: $5), large (48” x 4” x 32”; 3.9 cu/ft.; approx. price: $7), 4-piece box (up to 40″ x 60″ x 3-1/2’’; approx. price: $8).

See also: What specialty boxes do you need when packing for a move?

Number of moving boxes by rooms

According to a rough estimate, you’re going to need approximately 10 small boxes, 8 medium boxes and 5 large boxes to pack up the contents of a single room.

However, as mentioned above, the actual number of moving boxes will be unique to every relocation instance. It’s always a good idea to get more packing boxes than you think you will need.

Here is the approximate number of cardboard boxes you’ll need by the number of bedrooms. These numbers have been estimated for 2 persons living a modest lifestyle.

How many boxes for a studio apartment?

  • 15 medium boxes;
  • 13 large boxes;
  • 7 extra-large boxes;
  • 4 wardrobe boxes;
  • 3 picture boxes

How many moving boxes for a 1-bedroom apartment?

  • 20 medium boxes;
  • 16 large boxes;
  • 8 extra-large boxes;
  • 4 wardrobe boxes;
  • 4 picture boxes

How many moving boxes for a 2-bedroom apartment?

  • 30 medium boxes;
  • 22 large boxes;
  • 10 extra-large boxes;
  • 4 wardrobe boxes;
  • 6 picture boxes

How many moving boxes for a 3-bedroom house?

  • 45 medium boxes;
  • 31 large boxes;
  • 13 extra-large boxes;
  • 4 wardrobe boxes;
  • 9 picture boxes

Read also: How to pack boxes for moving

Number of moving boxes by square feet

Some moving experts claim a much better way to calculate the approximate number of moving boxes you will need to pack up your things is to use the square footage of your home and not the number of rooms.

So, based on your home’s square footage, here’s a rough estimate of the number of cardboard boxes you will need.

Homes with less than 700 SqFt

  • Small boxes: 14
  • Medium boxes: 11
  • Large boxes: 5
  • Extra-large boxes: 3

Homes from 700 SqFt to 900 SqFt

  • Small boxes: 17
  • Medium boxes: 15
  • Large boxes: 7
  • Extra-large boxes: 4

Homes from 900 SqFt to 1200 SqFt

  • Small boxes: 23
  • Medium boxes: 22
  • Large boxes: 11
  • Extra-large boxes: 6

Homes from 1200 SqFt to 1600 SqFt

  • Small boxes: 32
  • Medium boxes: 31
  • Large boxes: 16
  • Extra-large boxes: 10

Homes from 1600 SqFt to 1800 SqFt

  • Small boxes: 37
  • Medium boxes: 35
  • Large boxes: 20
  • Extra-large boxes: 12

Homes from 1800 SqFt to 2200 SqFt

  • Small boxes: 42
  • Medium boxes: 41
  • Large boxes: 26
  • Extra-large boxes: 15

To know how many boxes you will need when moving with any decent degree of accuracy, request an in-home survey from reputable movers near you.

Call now for a cost estimate:

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