Calculating the Number of Boxes You Need – A Step-by-Step Guide

By: Tommy Loutzenheiser Last Updated: May 11, 2024

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Are you planning a move? If the answer is yes, you’ll need to calculate the total number of boxes needed to move all of your belongings from your old house to your new home.

Calculating the Number of Boxes You Need – A Step-by-Step Guide

This may seem like a simple, easy task that should take no longer than five minutes. Just look at your items and make a rough estimate right? Well, there’s a bit more that goes into it.

To calculate the total number of boxes you’ll need, you first need to measure the square footage of your current home, then determine which box size you’re going to use (small, medium, large, or extra-large), then determine the total number of boxes you’ll need.

To determine the total number of boxes needed, we recommend using this simple formula: (Number of items that need to be packed x the size of the box) divided by the volume of the box = the total number of boxes needed.

Measuring Your Home

The first step in this process is to measure the total square footage of the home you’ll be moving out of. To do this properly, you’ll need a tape measure, ruler, or a measuring wheel.

Follow these three simple steps to accurately measure a space in your home:

  1. Measure the length, width, and height of every room in your home.
  2. Ideally, measure a second time with a different tool.
  3. Record each measurement on paper.

What Size of Box Will I Need?

After you’ve gone through the often painstaking, but necessary task of measuring your whole house, the next step is to determine what size of boxes you’ll need.

The most common box sizes are as follows:

  • Small Boxes: (16x12x12 inches)
  • Medium Boxes: (18x18x16 inches)
  • Large Boxes: (18x18x24 inches)
  • Extra-Large Boxes: (24x18x24 inches)

What to Consider

When deciding which box size to go with for your move, there’s a few things to consider. One of the most common mistakes first time movers make is buying all extra-large boxes and trying to stuff as many items in them as possible.

However, it’s important to consider the following factors when deciding which size boxes to order.

  • Weight of your items
  • Size of your items
  • How fragile your items are
  • Volume of items

Many common household items don’t pack well together. Items such as delicate dishes combined with books.

The list could go on forever, which is why it’s so important to consider these factors when ordering boxes for items in your home.

Choosing the Right Box Size

Depending on the various items in your house, you’ll want to order different box sizes. Follow this simple guide to determine which box sizes you’ll need.

  • Heavy Items: The smaller the better for heavy items. You ideally want boxes that can hold the weight of these heavy items and are easy to lift. You won’t want heavy items sliding around in your moving boxes, so that’s why it’s best to go as small as possible.
  • Large Items: You’ll want to find the box that best fits your larger items, without leaving room for them to slide around. Items such as lamps can easily poke a hole in the side of the box if there’s too much empty room.
  • Fragile Items: The key for fragile items is to choose a box that leaves a tiny bit of extra room to pack some bubble wrap or other protective casing around the item.

How Many Boxes Will You Need? Let’s Calculate It!

There’s a simple formula to follow when calculating the total number of boxes for your move.

(Number of items that need to be packed x the size of the box) divided by the volume of the box = the total number of boxes needed.

Bringing it All Together

You’ll need to bring everything into consideration when calculating the total number of boxes you’ll need because you won’t be ordering one type of box, and everyone’s home is different.

We recommend that you go room by room and decide which boxes will be needed for the items relevant to that room.

Extra Space… Is It Bad?

No, having extra space in your boxes is actually great – if used properly. Anytime you have extra space in your boxes, look at it as an opportunity to put padding or bubble wrap around your items to protect them during transport.

Having a bit of extra room will also help protect your boxes from cracking and breaking due to being overpacked.

We Hope This Helped

Since ordering boxes can be a complete and total guessing game without the right guidance, we hope this article provided a helpful guide and left no questions unanswered for your next move.

It’s always best to double-check your measurements, total item weight, and calculations from the formula to get the most accurate result possible.