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How Many Moving Boxes Do I Need?

As your move date approaches you think to yourself, "I’d better start packing!" But as you walk through your home you realize you’ve got a lot of stuff to pack, a lot more than you thought you did. Then you ask yourself a question that thousands of others ask every day, "How many moving boxes do I need?" It’s a question that has been asked as long as people have been moving, and it’s a great question.

How To Estimate Your Needs

Most people assume there is some magic formula that will tell them how many boxes they need. Unfortunately, this is not true. In reality, every home is different and every move is unique, and there isn't a magic formula that will tell you how many boxes you need.

Fear not, there are effective ways to answer this question. Let's begin by understanding the basic rules of moving boxes.

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The Most Common Boxes

Common Moving BoxesIf you’ve ever shopped for moving boxes it probably didn’t take long for you to realize that there are a lot of different types and sizes. But don’t let that overwhelm you. The simple truth is that, for most people, 80% of the boxes needed will be standard sizes: small, medium, large and extra large.

Small and Medium Boxes Are King

You will need more small boxes than any other, and more medium boxes than large boxes. You may not know the exact number of boxes you will need, but it’s a safe bet to purchase greater quantities of small and medium boxes than any other size.

Square Footage Is The Key

Unlike the broken logic associated with the number of rooms methodology, the square footage of your home is an accurate depiction of the amount of space you occupy.

But What About Packing Calculators?

Packing calculators would be amazing tools if they were even remotely accurate. The problem with packing calculators is that they make their box estimate on the number of rooms you have. But, as we’ve discussed before, how big is a room? A “room” is not a unit of measure, and there isn’t a standard size that can be applied to a room. This is why (most) packing calculators are useless.

It’s true that the majority of packing calculators are a waste of time. However, the Home Depot moving calculator is actually a great resource. Unlike the other box calculators, Home Depot’s version is far more dynamic. It’s clear that they put a lot of effort into creating this calculator.

Moving Boxes Needed by Home SqFt

The table below will give you an understanding of how many moving boxes will be needed based on the SqFt of the home.

Home Size/SqFtSmallMediumLargeX-Large
700 SqFt 12 9 4 2
700-900 SqFt 15 13 6 3
900-1200 SqFt 21 19 10 6
1200-1600 SqFt 30 29 15 9
1600-1800 SqFt 35 33 19 11
1800-2200 SqFt 40 39 25 14
Still Need Answers? Find related moving guides about packing and packing materials in our blog!
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