How many boxes do you need for a local move?

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So you’re moving house. Amid the long list of things to do before you move, packing your boxes is of course an item high on the moving agenda. If you are thinking about doing the packing without the help of professional movers, remember that you can always opt to engage the services of local packers and movers from a reputable moving company to pack only your fragile items such as glassware, crockery, electrical items, mirrors, ornaments, etc. and you may be surprised at how cost-effective this is. You are then free to pack the non-breakable items such as clothes, toys, books, etc., keeping your costs down, and protection high.

But who knew that the scintillating world of moving boxes might have escaped your attention all these years?! Now that you’re moving, your curiosity is piqued, and you have questions, lots of questions. Do you wonder – How many boxes will I need? What sizes and types are necessary to protect my treasured belongings? Will packing go smoother if I have the right boxes? Can I rent boxes, so I don’t have to use cardboard? Where can I get free boxes?

Of course, it depends on several factors: the size of your home, how long you’ve been there, and what you plan to keep. This number also ensures you select the correct storage unit size when you utilize offsite storage space for your boxed items. Professional packers and movers can help give you a better idea of just how many cardboard boxes you will need for your next move. Our professional movers provide the answers to those pressing questions, plus offer even more dazzling details to help you become a moving box expert. 

Whether you buy heavy-duty or recycled boxes, rent boxes, or go on a trek to find used ones, this guide eliminates all the mysteries surrounding the world of packing boxes. Once you learn everything there is to know about moving boxes, you will be inspired to start packing!

Movers carrying furniture and appliences by local movers

According to our professional movers, both your lifestyle and how you manage your home can determine the number of boxes you will need to fully pack your things. Here are three major lifestyles that can influence the amount of stuff you have and thus the number of moving boxes you will need.

Pile of moving boxes and household stuff in living room

Minimalist – We are not referring to dumpsters, recycling bins are much cleaner and they are bound to contain boxes of various sizes. People order a staggering number of things online that get delivered to their homes so you will probably be able to find plenty of empty boxes in the recycling bins of the building you live in.

Somewhere in the middle – So you hold on to what you buy and to what’s given to you, but you also get rid of what you don’t need in your home anymore every once in a while to give it to charity. Wherever you lie between both lifestyles, if you analyze your personal belongings, you’ll get a better idea of how many boxes you’ll need for packing.

Also, before purchasing your moving boxes from local movers, consider the following questions:

How many rooms do you have? You will likely have less packing up to do in a one-bedroom apartment than a three-bedroom house. Less to pack of course means fewer moving boxes and paying your packers and movers less!

How long have you lived in your current home? The longer you’ve resided in the same residence, the more moving boxes you will tend to need, as you will have more stuff of course.

How many people are in your family? A family of five will have quite a bit more packing to do compared to a young couple or two roommates. Imagine how many more packing boxes are needed to move a house full of kids’ toys, storybooks, and stuffed animals!

Carton boxes and interior items prepared for moving into new house near color wall - local movers

After answering the questions above, you can estimate the number of moving boxes needed for your move based on the number of rooms in your current house. Unless you plan to stuff everything you own into trash bags when you move, you’re going to need a variety of moving boxes to protect your belongings. Packing boxes are designed in all sizes and gauges specifically to ensure your things make the move safely.

Getting your hands on a good selection of moving boxes is one of the best ways to reduce packing stress. The number one packing mistake most people make is to put heavy items in big boxes that become way too heavy and dangerous to carry. Rule of thumb from budget movers: heavy items go in small boxes. There are two types of moving boxes; the standard ones and the specialty ones. Understanding the role of each one will help you use them efficiently.

Standard moving boxes – Standard moving boxes are the kind of boxes you’ll need the most to pack up your different home items. They come in four different sizes :

Specialty moving boxes

Specialty boxes are custom boxes designed for specific loads. As our local movers say, they can be really functional when standard-sized moving boxes aren’t suited for some of your belongings. Here are four different types of specialty boxes that according to our local movers, you may need to use when packing up your home:

Wardrobe boxes on white background

Wardrobe boxes: Local movers will always recommend you to hug your hanging clothes to determine how many wardrobe boxes you’ll need. An armful of clothes roughly equals one wardrobe box. They are great to move hanging clothes and make sure your clothes are not damaged during the move. They come in three different sizes: small, medium, and large.

packing dishes in a box

Dish pack boxes: One dish pack box can typically hold eight to 10 place settings, along with the goblets or glasses. This varies slightly depending on the type of dishes, say china versus stoneware. They are used for packing breakable items such as glasses, plates, or fragile antique items. They are usually double-walled to guarantee maximum protection. Getting your dishes packed by professional packers and movers would be the best option. The size of a dish barrel box is around 18” x 18 x 28” with a capacity of 5.25 cubic feet.

Book boxes: They are great for packing and moving heavy books. The size of a book box is 12” x 12” x 12”, with a capacity of 1.0 cubic feet.

Mirror cartons: These specialty moving boxes typically come in sections. Small wall hangings will need two sections and larger paintings or mirrors will need four. These are custom-designed boxes that are used to safely transport framed items like pictures, mirrors, paintings, and any other types of framed artwork. These boxes come in 3 sizes: standard, large, and 4-piece box.

Tv Cardboard Box

TV boxes for moving- Flat-panel TVs can be shipped safely in specially designed heavy-duty TV boxes. These boxes are designed to pack TVs without attached stands or mounts. Typically you can find 8 sizes that range from 22 x 2 x 16”  up to 82 x 8 x 50”.

China and dish pack boxes- Double-walled to keep dishes safe, the 24 x 12 x 11” dish pack box holds a place setting for 8. The kit usually comes with dividers, 8-  7 x 7” foam pouches, 8- 12.5 x 12.5” foam pouches, and 16- 9.25 x 9.25” foam pouches.

Mattress boxes: Count the number of mattresses you have and make note of their size. Don’t forget about the box springs! Each box spring will need its own mattress box or bag as well.

Purchasing other packing supplies – When you’re estimating the number of boxes to move all of your belongings, it’s also good to consider the other packing supplies you’ll need to buy as well. According to our professional movers, you will need to buy:

Worker hands holding packing machine and sealing cardboard or paper boxes

Packing tape: One roll of tape will get you through approximately 10 moving boxes. You will need to tape the tops and bottoms of every box to make sure everything stays in. There are different types of packing tapes, which differ in strength, material, thickness, width, and so on. So make sure you choose the kind that will ensure the safety of your items. Professional movers recommend that you avoid buying duct tape, masking tape, or cellophane tape because they won’t provide a strong enough seal.

Packing paper: Estimate about 25 pounds of packing paper for every two dish pack boxes.

Furniture sliders - local movers

Moving pads: They are also known as furniture moving blankets or moving blankets. They are thick coverings used to safely move large items like furniture. They are typically used by local movers to wrap and protect fragile pieces of furniture to prevent any damage from happening to them in the process of moving, especially inside the moving trucks. You’ll need the moving pads for your dining table, chairs, sofas, and more.

Markers and labels: Buy a pack of sharpies or other permanent markers to label your moving boxes to identify both box contents and the room it will go in at your new home. It’s helpful to have 3 to 4 different colors of markers. Make sure you have at least one label for each box and a different color for each room, it will be easier for budget movers to know where to put each box when unloading your belongings. This will make it easier for you to find the box you’re looking for when the time comes to unload. 

This is a common dilemma! You have a big move to plan but you’re still unsure of how many packing boxes you need to buy. While there’s no exact rule, you can estimate how many boxes you need for moving by examining your home and its contents, same as your lifestyle. You want to avoid purchasing more boxes than necessary or have to make extra runs to the store because you didn’t purchase enough. This guide from our local movers will help you get an accurate estimation of how many boxes you’ll need for packing based on different factors.

 Our packers and movers are all experts in estimating the weight, volume, and costs for a move, but even they will agree that estimating the number of boxes for moving can be tricky. Truthfully, the number of boxes you need to purchase to start packing is completely variable and unique to every relocation. Some homes are sparse, some families are pack rats, and even the types of boxes needed are unique to what you own.

Therefore, the most accurate way to determine how many boxes you need will always be to have professional local movers do an in-home survey and produce a cube sheet. The cube sheet will include the number and types of boxes you will need to start packing, and that list will be completely customized to your items. If you opt for professional movers, you will get a careful, detailed, and temperature-controlled experience. Your items will be carefully pad wrapped and remain intact until they are delivered. With the full-service local movers, you pay for peace of mind. Call Milly Valley Movers and get your free moving quote today!