How Many Moving Boxes Do I Need?

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How many moving boxes do I need for my home?

Is it time to move your house or apartment? Congratulations! Whether you’re moving for the first time or you’re a pro at this, one of the first things you’ll be doing is going on a box hunt. We’ve talked about where to find good, affordable boxes in the past, but now it’s time to check out the next question. How many moving boxes do I need to move my home or apartment? Unfortunately, there’s no easy calculator that you can use, since every single home is different. On average, you’ll need 45 to 50 boxes for an apartment and 60 to 80 boxes for a family house.  You’ll also need to consider the factors that affect your box count, the size of moving boxes, and the types of specialty boxes that you’ll need. Each of these things will give you a great idea of what kind of boxes you need and how many your lifestyle will probably require.

1. Factors that Affect the Count

couple eating in kitchenEvery home is different, and that means that the moving needs are going to change from family to family. But, there is good news. Whether you live in a 5-bedroom house or a studio apartment, a few common factors will be able to tell you a lot about what you’ll need for your move. Purchasing too few boxes will leave you overpacking or buying expensive boxes last minute. With too many boxes, you’ll feel obligated to store a pile of folded up, unused boxes at your new place for years. No fun! So, let’s take a look at a few of the things that raise or lower your total box count.

  • Number of People: The number of people living in your apartment or house will greatly impact the number of boxes you’ll need. More individuals in a house means more personal items and individualized packing! Talk to your roommates or family to determine if you’ll want to pack items per room or per person.
  • Type of Lifestyle: Are you living the KonMari lifestyle or are you a packrat? More knickknacks and collected treasures will require careful packing and many more containers. Consider doing a deep purge of your home if you’ve been living there a long time. You might find plenty to donate instead of pack!
  • Number/Type of Rooms: Most moving companies and online calculators will make a rough estimate of your home’s packing needs based on square footage and the number of bedrooms. Break down your box needs into rooms – will you need more boxes for lots of clothing and shoes? How big is your kitchen? Does your office have wall-to-wall bookshelves?

2. The Right Sizes for Every Room

person putting books in moving boxBox sizes vary quite a bit. While it may seem like a good idea only to buy big boxes, this will actually set you back when packing. A wide variety of boxes is needed for different kinds of items, and you’ll need a different number of each depending on which room you’re packing. Let’s look at the boxes to see how they break down.

  1. Small: These boxes hold up to about 1.5 cubic feet of items. Small boxes are perfect for heavy items, since you don’t want to stress the box. For homes with many books, magazines, small appliances, or other small and heavy items, you’ll need more of these boxes. They can also be good for organizing miscellaneous items in drawers. Knickknacks, office supplies, and bathroom items make these essential.
  2. Medium: These boxes hold up to about 3-3.5 cubic feet of items. These are good for pretty much anything that can fit in them without being too heavy. Medium appliances, toys, utensils, dishes, lamps, pans, and other medium-sized items go perfectly in these. You’ll probably need more of these for the kitchen and bedroom.
  3. Large: These boxes hold up to about 4-4.5 cubic feet of items. Boxes that are this size or any bigger are perfect for your lightest items: shoes, clothing, blankets, pillows, and other lightweight items won’t get damaged in these kinds of boxes, and the boxes will still be light enough to safely pick up on moving day.

3. Packing Specialty Items

girl looking into mirror in homeCustom, unusual, and fragile items can get their own specialty boxes when packing. Making a list of items that qualify can help you purchase the right number of specialty moving boxes for your home. Mirrors, glass tabletops, mattresses, paintings, and dishes are notoriously dangerous or difficult to move. Luckily, there are boxes with special padding, extra cutouts, or unique shapes to help avoid disaster on moving day. Purchase these from a moving company like Tropic Moving to avoid cracks, breaks, and other damage during the transition from one home to another!

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