moving and storage

How to Determine How Many Boxes You Need for a Move

If you’re standing in the middle of your house staring down all of the furniture, tools, clothes, appliances and general stuff you’ve accumulated in your current home over the years and wondering how the heck you’re supposed to move it all from point a to point b, one of the biggest questions you might have is how many boxes you need for a move. It can be hard to know just by looking around your house what packing supplies to purchase. While getting an exact estimate will be difficult, there are a few general guidelines that will ensure you purchase enough, but not too many, boxes.

Get a professional estimate.

Because each home and its occupants are different (some save every art project their children brought back from school, others avoid clutter at all costs) so will be the number of boxes required to pack your home. As part of your moving estimate, you can have a professional mover evaluate your home before you even start to pack and advise the number of boxes you should purchase.

Focus on packing individual rooms.

If you decide to forgo a professional estimate and do-it-yourself, instead of trying to guess how many boxes you’ll need to pack your entire house, break it up into individual rooms. Kitchens typically require the most boxes, and the most varied sizes, since items range from fragile china to larger appliances, pots, and pans. And single family homes usually require more boxes than apartments or condos. In general: A kitchen will require about 15 boxes: 2-3 small boxes for things like utensils and mugs, 3-4 medium boxes for frying pans, dishes, and wine glasses, 4-5 large boxes for sauce pans, and pots, and 2-3 extra large boxes for appliances. Bathrooms will take roughly 3-4 small or medium sized boxes. Bedrooms need about 7-10 boxes, plus wardrobe boxes or bags for clothing. Living rooms and family rooms will require 10-12 boxes in a range of sizes to pack things like throw pillows, candles, books, art and mirrors. If you have built-in bookcases or lots of shelving, add more.

Remember small spaces.

Areas that aren’t technically “rooms” like closets, garages, crawl spaces, and attics are often the most packed spaces in a home. Make sure to purchase 2-3 medium sized boxes per closet, and 10-12 per larger area like a garage or attic.

Consider your personality.

Are you the type to carefully wrap each item in bubble wrap before placing it into a box? Or do you prefer efficiency, trying to pack everything as quickly and in as few boxes as possible? If it’s the former, give yourself padding for a few extra boxes. The same goes for your decorating mentality. More is more types should err on the high side for each room.
Overall, a three bedroom home will require roughly 20-30 small boxes, 30-35 medium boxes, 20-25 large boxes, and 10-15 extra large boxes for a successful move.