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.

## Estimate The Number of Boxes Needed to Move

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.

### The Most Common Boxes

If 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.**

The typical dimensions for standard box sizes are:

**Small (1.5 cubic feet)**: 16" x 12" x 12"**Medium (3.0 cubic feet)**: 18" x 16" x 18"**Large (4.5 cubic feet)**: 18" x 18" x 24"**X-Large (6.0 cubic feet)**: 24" x 20" x 24"

### 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.

## Moving Boxes Needed by Home Size

The table below will give you an understanding of how many moving boxes will be needed based on the square feet of the home. Of course, our chart should be used as a general guideline- a starting point.

Home Size/SqFt | Small | Medium | Large | X-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 |

## 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. Unfortunately, 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.

That being said, if you really want to use a packing calculator, the Home Depot moving calculator is actually a great resource. Unlike the other box calculators, Home Depot’s version is far more dynamic, which means it is more likely to give an accurate estimate of how many boxes you really need. It’s clear that they put a lot of effort into creating this calculator.

## Where to Get Moving Boxes

Purchasing brand new moving boxes isn't always necessary. You can save money, and the environment, by sourcing free boxes from stores and office buildings in your local area. Better yet, you can most likely find people giving away used moving boxes.

If you decide that you want to buy your packing materials, check out our guide to finding affordable moving boxes.