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How Many Boxes Do I Need to Pack Up My Stuff?

Planning for Your Summer Move

If you’re planning a summer move, then you know that all of the details involved can be stressful. From making home repairs and hiring movers to booking child care and forwarding your bills and mail, it can often feel like the to-do list never ends! But nothing really compares to packing up your possessions.

While it may seem like a simple task, correctly estimating the number of boxes you’ll need for your move can be tricky – and be your downfall. On one hand, you don’t want to waste money buying too many boxes, but on the other hand, you don’t want to spend precious time running back and forth to the store for more boxes.

By accurately planning for your box and packing supply needs, you can make your packing process, and in turn, your entire move, go much smoother.

Estimating Your Move

The number and size of boxes and packing supplies needed for any given move is not one-size fits all. It’s unique to every relocation situation, but there are a few ways you can estimate your box needs.

Moving Consultant

To get a read on how many boxes you’ll need, you can have the professional movers you’ve hired visit your home to provide an estimate. When it comes to packing, your movers are experts - use them as a resource!

Online Calculators

Many moving companies offer online calculators that will provide you with a general estimate on the amount of packing material recommended for your move. They consider things such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in your house, the number of people in your household, and more. Please note: when using these calculators, many of them don’t take square footage into account.

DIY Estimate

Ultimately, the real key to making an accurate estimate of the number of boxes you need is to calculate your home’s square footage. This will give you the best idea of how much space you’re currently occupying. From here, consider how much stuff you have. Are you a minimalist, a pack-rat, or somewhere in-between?

Box Breakdown

When it comes to shopping for boxes, the sheer variety of sizes and types of boxes can quickly become overwhelming. We suggest bypassing that by focusing on the basics: ° C small, medium, large, and extra-large boxes.

You’ll need small and medium sized boxes the most – and more than you think. A good rule-of-thumb is to purchase more small boxes than medium, and more medium boxes than large or extra-large.

Again, since each scenario is unique, please use this general guide to determine how many boxes you’ll need for the square footage of your home:

Size of Home in Sq/Ft

Small Boxes

Medium Boxes

Large Boxes

Extra-Large Boxes































Additional Supplies Tape & Padding

While moving boxes are the star of the show, you can’t forget packing tape and padding! We recommend purchasing one roll of tape for every ten boxes.

You’ll also need packing paper for your fragile items as well. We suggest buying 25 pounds of packing paper for every two dishpack boxes you have. This may seem like a lot for just your stemware and delicate china, but this will cover your dishpack boxes, as well as any other breakable items you may need to wrap up.

Packing Tips & Reminders

  • It can be very tempting to cram as much as possible into every box, but we can’t advise against this enough. When you cram your boxes too full, not only are the items inside more susceptible to damage, but your boxes become too heavy to lift safely. You’re much better off moving more boxes that are 2/3 to 3/4 full.
  • It seems like a no-brainer, but please label each and every box with their contents and their intended room. During the scurry of a move, it can be easy to forget to do so, but once you begin to unpack at your new home, you’ll wish you had taken this extra step. Your future self will thank you!
  • Don’t forget to pack an overnight bag with your essentials for the first night in your new home. You likely won’t be able to unpack everything right away, so save yourself the trouble of having to dig through boxes for your phone charger, toothbrush, and change of clothes for the next day!
When moving homes, you’re not just packing your "stuff." Your packing up your life! By taking the time to thoroughly plan your packing, you can ensure your possessions make it to your new home safely and securely. We hope you find this guide helpful for your summer move.

Happy packing!

Also Read:

What Size Moving Truck Do I Need?
How Do I Avoid Moving Scams?
How Do I Hire a Reputable Moving Company?
When Should I Start Preparing to Move?
6/19/2018 8:22:56 AM
Tags: Box Breakdown, estimating the number of moving boxes, Moving Consultant, Planning for Your Summer Move