Estimating the Number of Boxes For Moving

Estimating number of boxes for movingOur moving consultants 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 a professional moving consultant 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.

However, sometimes you just need a rule of thumb to purchase boxes and start packing. Here are some averages and generalizations we use for estimating the number of boxes needed for a move:

Before you get started, click here to learn more about the types of boxes sold for packing for a move.

 

Average number of boxes needed to pack an apartment or condo:

ROOM 1.5 cu. ft. small box 3.1 cu. ft. medium box 4.5 cu. ft. large box 5.1 cu. ft. dishpack box Wardrobe Boxes
Kitchen 2 5 4 4 0
Living Room 2 3 2 1 0
Dining Room 0 1 0 2 0
Master Bedroom 1 5 5 0 4
Bedroom #2 1 3 3 0 2
Bathroom 2 0 2 0 0
TOTAL 8 17 16 7 6

Average number of boxes needed for a single family home move:

ROOM 1.5 cu. ft. small box 3.1 cu. ft. medium box 4.5 cu. ft. large box 5.1 cu. ft. dishpack box Wardrobe Boxes
Kitchen 4 6 4 6 0
Living Room 4 4 4 2 0
Dining Room 0 2 0 4 0
Master Bedroom 3 6 8 0 6
Bedroom #2 2 5 5 0 2
Bedroom #3 2 5 5 0 2
Bathroom #1 2 0 2 0 0
Bathroom #2 2 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 19 28
28 12 10

These estimates only take into account an average home set-up.  Think about which things you tend to have more of than the average household, then add boxes based on that.

  • Don’t forget about adding boxes to pack hall closets, basements, attics, garages, and sheds.
  • If you have many books, papers, or records, add more 1.5 boxes.
  • For more knick-knacks, small appliances, and miscellaneous, add more 3.1 boxes.
  • For more clothes, blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals, add 4.5 boxes.
  • For additional kitchenware, add 5.1 boxes.

Paper and Tape

  • Tape: purchase 1 roll of tapes for every 10 boxes
  • Packing Paper: purchase 25 lbs of packing paper for every 2 dishpack boxes, this is enough to cover those dishpacks and additional fragiles in the other boxes

Other tips and rules of thumb for estimating boxes:

  • Don’t forget your mirrors and artwork!  Add 1 mirror carton for every 2 large frames in your home.
  • Do you have bookcases?  Add 6 additional 1.5 boxes for every bookcase in your home.
  • For closets with hanging clothes, a wardrobe box will hold 2 feet worth of hanging items, so just measure the width of your closet to determine how many wardrobe boxes you need.
  • Moving.com has a handy packing materials calculator that is also a good guideline for estimating boxes.

Ready to purchase boxes? If you’re packing for a Boston move or Washington D.C. move, you can request a free box delivery by filling out this form.

Need more packing help? Be sure to check out:
Packing Resource Center
Free Printable Moving Box Labels
9 Items You Shouldn’t Bring When Moving

Post-Moving Fun: How to Build a Box Fort

Your move is finally over, and it’s time to enjoy your new home with your kids. What are you going to do with all these boxes and packing materials? Why not let the kids have some fun and help them build a box fort?

This craft is a perfect way to re-use moving supplies and let your kids’ imaginations run wild.

Supplies you’ll need include boxes (the bigger the better!), a box cutter (for adult use only), duct tape, paint or markers, and packing paper.

Start by having your kids put together a plan for the fort. The possibilities are endless!

Following are some options:

  • Stack and tape together some small (1.5 size) boxes “brick-style” to create three walls and use a disassembled box as a roof. This will give your fort a “house” like feel.
  • Flip a large box (such as a refrigerator, wardrobe, or mattress box) upside down and cut off one side for an entrance.
  • Completely disassemble some boxes and tape them together into a wide, standing cylinder, then cut a hole on one side for an entrance. This should give you a silo-style fort with some good height. Use another disassembled box or a blanket as a ceiling.
  • Disassemble only the bottoms of the boxes, then layer the boxes inside each other to create a large tunnel or crawlspace.

Once the body of the fort is assembled, it’s time to let your kids start decorating! Lay some packing paper under the fort so cleanup is easier. Give your kids markers, paints, stickers, sequins, glue, construction paper, and kid-safe scissors to work with.

When the fort is finished, help them make it a fun place to hang out. Furnish the inside with blankets, pillows, beanbag chairs, and Christmas lights.

Be sure to build the fort in a basement, playroom, or bedroom, because once your kids have their fort, they won’t want to take it down!

Here’s some examples for inspiration:

Large, tunneel-style box fortOle! A southwestern style box fort

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more moving tips, tricks, and fun, check out these awesome resources.

Types of Boxes for Moving

Olympia Moving & Storage offers a professional packing and unpacking service. If you choose to pack yourself, you can order custom moving materials from Olympia. These materials can be picked up from our office, or we can arrange a free box delivery.

The following packing tips will help to ensure a smooth transition. This is also available as a packing tips PDF download here:

1. Label boxes carefully. Clearly label the top and two adjacent sides with your last name, the name of the room, and the contents of the container. If you pack a fragile item into a box, please mark the box accordingly. You should pack similar items together.

2. Use sturdy boxes. If you pack items in used boxes, select only boxes that are strong and uniform in size and shape. Cross out any old markings. Do not use any boxes that will not withstand stacking.

3. You should adhere to the following suggestions in preparing for your move:

Book Box (small-1.5 cubic feet) – Pack books, magazines, canned goods, and records in these boxes. Heavy items such as books or canned goods should always be packed in a small box so that the weight does not jeopardize the structural integrity of the container.
Linen Box (medium – 3.1 cubic feet) – Pack small appliances, pots and pans, shoes, lampshades, and linens in these boxes.
Large Box (4.5 cubic feet) – Pack comforters, baskets, large pots and pans, linens, lamps, and lampshades in these boxes.
Dish Pack (5.2 cubic feet) – Pack your china, stemware, small pictures, and any items that require extra protection in these boxes. The dish pack box has an extra layer of cardboard to make this box stronger. Make sure to use plenty of paper to wrap each item.
Lampshade Box (6.1 cubic feet) – Pack lampshades, plastic toys, and large comforters in these boxes.
Mirror/Picture Cartons (various sizes) – Pack all pictures and mirrors into these cartons. Place layers of paper on the bottom and top of the carton and pack paper in between each picture. It is recommended that you use bubble-craft to wrap each picture. Olympia Moving & Storage will not be responsible for unboxed pictures and mirrors.

4. Use packing paper (25 lb. bundle) to wrap dishes, cups, glasses, and misc. fragile items. Be generous in your use of paper. Paper is much less expensive than the items it is protecting. Do not use newspaper. The ink from the newsprint will rub off on your belongings.

5. Always use plastic packing tape. Tape both the top and bottom of each box with at least two strips across the seam.

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www.olympiamoving.com Agent for Wheaton Interstate Moving