Moving Boxes

Though there may be small differences of an inch or two, packing boxes generally come in four primary sizes. If you want to know how many boxes you need to move, you should be aware of the boxes available.

Small packing boxes: 1.5 cubic feet
These little boxes can generally hold about 20 magazines or 6 wine bottles. They’re great for small heavy items like books or all those cleaning supplies.

Medium packing boxes: 1.5-3 cubic feet
For items that require a little more space, medium boxes are the way to go. You’ll likely have the most of these, so prepare to stock up. In general, they can hold 5-15 cans and boxes of non-perishables, making them ideal for packing up your pantry.

Large packing boxes: 2.5-3.5 cubic feet
Large boxes are the perfect sized packing box for moving your shoes and folded clothes. They can typically hold up to 12 pairs of shoes, so if walk-in closets are the pearl of your home, large packing boxes will come in handy.

Extra-large packing boxes: 3.6+ cubic feet
Since they’re the biggest, it’s a good idea to use extra-large packing boxes for your lightest belongings. Awkwardly shaped items such as toys can be sandwiched between a couple of blankets, protecting them on the move. It’s easy to get carried away though, so try your best not to make these boxes too heavy.

Now that you know the general sizes of different packing boxes, let’s get into the nitty gritty. To start, let’s look at the square footage of your home.

400-700 square feet

7-15 small boxes
9-15 medium boxes
6 large boxes
3 extra-large boxes

700-1250 square feet

17-23 small boxes
15-22 medium boxes
7-11 large boxes
4-6 extra-large boxes

1200-1700 square feet

32-37 small boxes
25-35 medium boxes
16-20 large boxes
10-12 extra-large boxes

1700-2200 square feet

38-42 small boxes
36-47 medium boxes
21-26 large boxes
13-15 extra-large boxes

As a general rule of thumb, you’re going to want about 10 small, 8 medium, and 5 large packing boxes per room. This is just an estimate, however, since rooms can drastically vary in size and contents.

Kitchen: The average American kitchen is 160 square feet. To pack up a kitchen of this size you’ll need 2-4 small boxes, 5-6 medium boxes, 4 large boxes, 2 extra-large boxes, and 4-6 dish barrel boxes.

Living room: Unless your living room doubles as a library or museum, it should be fairly easy to pack up. You’ll want 2-4 small boxes, 3-4 medium boxes, 2-4 large boxes, and 1-2 extra-large boxes.

Dining room: Do you store your fine dishes in the dining room? Make sure they’re protected in dish barrel boxes. For the whole room, you should have 1-2 small packing boxes, 1-2 medium boxes, and 2-4 dish barrel boxes.

Master bedroom: Of all the bedrooms, your master will likely require the most boxes. Be prepared with 1-3 small boxes, 5-6 medium boxes, 5-8 large boxes, and 4-6 wardrobe boxes. The size of your closet also affects how many boxes you need to move your bedroom, so adjust the number of boxes to fit your clothes.

All other bedrooms: These numbers fluctuate depending on whose room it is. Your teenage daughter, for instance, will likely have more hanging clothes than your three-year-old. In general, you should have 1-2 small boxes, 3-5 medium boxes, 3-5 extra-large boxes, and 2-4 wardrobe boxes.

Bathroom: Depending on your bathroom, you may only need 2-3 small boxes and one medium packing box.

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