The majority of individuals misjudge the number of boxes they will need for their move. On average, a 1,500 sq. ft. Home will take between forty to sixty boxes. If you never throw anything out, add an additional 25%.

Free boxes are hard to find, so the majority of individuals buy packing supplies from their moving company, a moving supplies depot, or a big box store. Pack heavy stuff in smaller boxes and lighter stuff in bigger boxes. Why? A box should not weigh more than 25 – 27 kilos (50 – 60 lbs) to lift safely without injury.

As a general rule of thumb, you are going to want about ten small, eight medium, and five large packing boxes per room. This is just an estimate, however, since rooms can significantly differ in size and contents.

The following are a few general move planning guidelines for packing up your home:

Area Rugs

Vacuum, roll the rug up, wrap the tape around the middle section, and at each end


  • Clothing – plastic totes, four or five cubic foot cartons, or buy wardrobe containers so you can hang the clothes directly from the wardrobe container to the closet
  • Linens or bed pillows – four, five or six cubic foot cartons


  • Shower curtain, towels, and bathmats – four or five cubic foot cartons
  • Toiletries – two cubic foot carton

Living Room & Office

  • Televisions – pack in the original purchase carton if possible. If not, buy a TV carton from the mover, which is size adjustable
  • Lampshades, throw pillows, and throws – four cubic foot cartons
  • Mirrors, prints, and pictures – initially wrap in paper, then bubble wrap. Buy mirror cartons from the mover, which are available in small and large sizes
  • Printers, laptops, and computers – two and four cubic foot cartons or the original purchase cartons
  • Magazines or files – two cubic foot cartons
  • Albums, DVDs, CDs, books, and knick-knacks – two cubic foot cartons

Kitchen & Dining Room

  • Stemware, glassware, and dishes – make use of strong, reinforced cardboard cartons to deal with the weight or purchase china cartons from the mover, which is tri-walled for additional strength
  • Larger appliances like a toaster oven, food processor, and pots n pans – four cubic foot box
  • Canned and boxed food, and small appliances – two cubic foot box

Plastic Totes

Totes are wonderful for the things that you will need right away, such as out-of-season footwear, clothing, or seasonal decorations. Pack heavier stuff in solid and sturdy totes and always tape the lids closed.

In the end, we always recommend buying good packing tape and Kraft packing paper. This thicker newsprint material has no black ink, so you will not need to wash the dishes after the move.

How many packing boxes do I need for my lifestyle?

To clarify, we are not talking mattress-on-the-floor minimalism or pizza boxes-stacked-to-the-ceiling hoarding. However, every person has a threshold for how much stuff they can deal with in their home. You might live in a single bedroom apartment but have a baby and plenty to pack. On the other hand, a couple could live in a 2,000 sq. ft. House and just have minimal belongings.

  • If you are a minimalist

You are a deliberate decorator who simply shows off the stuff you really care about. Your wish to keep things simple and your appliances multifunctional will come in handy as you pack. You are most likely going to need the fewest number of boxes in each category with more medium boxes and fewer wardrobe boxes.

  • If you are a packrat

You might be more inclined than others to keep sentimental stuff such as notebooks and birthday cards. Your walls are lined with photos and every surface is dancing with knick knacks. You are going to have more belongings than somebody less attached to such stuff, so prepare to be on the higher end of your box estimates, particularly with small and wardrobe boxes.

  • If you are somewhere in between

If neither one of these sounds like you, do not worry. There is a whole sliding scale between the two. Wherever you lie, from hoarder to minimalist, take stock of your stuff and you will get a good idea of the number of packing boxes you need to move. Do not have any fine china but have fifty pairs of shoes? Simply lower the number of dish barrel boxes and increase the number of large packing boxes on your shopping list.

Packing boxes are a vital part of moving. With this guide and a little additional organization, you can answer the question, “how many packing boxes do I need to move?” in no time. Here’s to having all the boxes you need for a successful move!

For more details, you can always count on approaching a specialized mover – Tippet Richardson. Since 1927, we have been helping people to relocate effortlessly. Contact us today at 1(800) 718-7664!