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The JK Moving Blog

How many moving boxes will you need?

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As you prepare for your move, one of the most important things you’ll want to know is how many boxes you’ll need for your belongings. A successful move is pretty much impossible without cardboard boxes. These boxes are where all your belongings will be as you travel from point A to point B, and they are a necessity.

Determining the number of boxes you’ll need isn’t an exact science, and we have a few tips on how to estimate the number. Ideally, you won’t have too many boxes left over – or worse, not enough.

Every home is different

The average number of cardboard boxes required for a move is about 60. Here are a few factors that play into the number you’ll want for your specific move:

  • Square footage
    • The size, or square footage, of your home is a big indicator of how much stuff you have. If you have a bigger home, it’s likely you’ll need more boxes.
  • Rooms
    • The more rooms in your home, the more items you probably own, and the more boxes that will be required.
  • Inhabitants
    • If there’s only one person living in a home, they’re going to have significantly less stuff to move than a house full of six people.
  • Lifestyle
    • Are you minimalist, or maximalist? This will play into how many boxes you need.
  • Time spent in home
    • As time goes by, it’s natural to accrue more items. If you haven’t spent much time in the home you’re moving out of, you’re likely to have less stuff than if you’ve lived there for decades.

Condition of boxes

packing moving boxesA second important consideration is that the boxes are in good condition. Inspect second-hand boxes before you decide to use them, because they could end up being more trouble than they’re worth.

Before you start packing, make sure that the boxes you have are:

  • Strong
    • The boxes should feel sturdy and capable, and must be without rips, holes, or wet spots.
  • Clean
    • When accepting second-hand boxes, keep cleanliness in mind. If you suspect boxes are not clean, you should pass.
  • Dry
    • If there are signs of mold growth or water damage, do not use the boxes.

How to ballpark the number of boxes needed

Here’s a brief outline on how many medium, large, extra-large, and wardrobe-sized boxes you’ll need for a variety of differently sized homes.

  • Studio apartment:
    • 16 medium, 14 large, 8 extra-large, 4 wardrobe
  • 1-Bedroom apartment
    • 21 medium, 17 large, 9 extra-large, 4 wardrobe
  • 2-Bedroom apartment
    • 31 medium, 23 large, 11 extra-large, 5 wardrobe
  • 3-Bedroom house
    • 46 medium, 32 large, 14 extra-large, 5 wardrobe

Packing up

The next step is packing, which can be an intimidating endeavor – however if you have the right supplies and a good idea of how many boxes you’ll need, you’ll be able to get the job done. Always keep in mind that it’s a better idea to have too many boxes than not enough!