How many boxes will I need to move house?

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31 May 2024

Relocating to a new home can be an overwhelming task, especially when the question "How many boxes will I need to move house?" comes to mind. You need to juggle cost with efficiency. After all, you can't be making trips back and forth.

This insight provides detailed information to help you figure out the exact number of boxes you'll need, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free transition to your new abode.

Key Takeaways

  • Proper preparation and the right packing materials, like cardboard boxes, are crucial for a successful move. An accurate estimation of the number of required boxes is essential to avoid unnecessary stress. The number of rooms, occupants, duration of stay, lifestyle, and pre-move decluttering affect the number of boxes needed for your move.
  • For a studio apartment, anticipate needing around 10 large boxes. For a one-bedroom home, plan for approximately 20 large boxes. For a two-bedroom home, expect to use about 30 large boxes. For a three-bedroom home, anticipate requiring around 50 large boxes.

How many boxes will I need to move house?

On average, most families require around 60 boxes for an average-sized move. However,the number of boxes needed to move house varies based on factors like the number of rooms, occupants, years spent in the home, square footage, lifestyle, and level of pre-move decluttering.

how many moving boxes to move house?
Depending on how big your house is, you could need 6x of these.

The Importance of Packing Boxes for Moving House

Moving house is all about preparation and the right packing materials, chiefly cardboard boxes, play a pivotal role in this process. Apart from your bulky furniture and appliances, most of your possessions need to be carefully packed into boxes for secure and easy transport. Underestimating the number of boxes required is a common error and can lead to unnecessary stress. Therefore, accurately estimating the quantity of boxes is crucial to a successful move.

Factors Influencing the Number of Boxes Needed

Several factors come into play when determining the number of boxes needed for your move:

Number of Rooms in the Property

Naturally, the more rooms your property has, the more boxes you'll require. Each room will have its own set of belongings that need to be packed and transported.

Number of Occupants

The number of people residing in the property also affects the number of boxes needed. More occupants mean more personal items and thus, more boxes.

Duration of Stay

The length of your stay in your current property matters as well. The longer you've lived there, the more likely it is that you've accumulated a significant number of items.


Your lifestyle plays a substantial role too. If you're a minimalist, you'll need fewer boxes than someone who has a habit of hoarding items.


Prior to your move, if you've managed to declutter your home, donate unwanted items, or sell off unnecessary furniture, you'll require significantly fewer boxes.

Understanding Box Sizes and Types

To answer the question, "How many boxes will I need to move house?" you need to be aware of the various box sizes available:

Small Boxes (1.5 cubic feet)

These compact boxes are ideal for small, heavy items such as books, CDs, DVDs, and small appliances. They can typically hold about 20 magazines or 6 wine bottles.

Medium Boxes (1.5-3 cubic feet)

These are perfect for items that need a bit more space. They're quite versatile and can hold 5-15 cans and boxes of non-perishables, making them great for packing your kitchen pantry.

Large Boxes (2.5-3.5 cubic feet)

Large boxes are best for moving folded clothes and shoes. However, avoid packing too many heavy items in these boxes as they could become too heavy to carry safely.

Extra-Large Boxes (3.6+ cubic feet)

The largest of the lot, these boxes are suitable for light and bulky items, ensuring easy transportation. Try not to overload these boxes as it can make them cumbersome to move.

Specialty Boxes

Apart from the standard boxes, there are special boxes designed for specific items. For example:

  • Book Boxes (1 cubic foot): These are small, robust boxes specifically designed for packing books.
  • Dish Barrel Boxes (5.25 cubic feet): These boxes with extra-thick walls are ideal for packing your precious china.
  • Wardrobe Boxes (11-16 cubic feet): These are perfect for moving your hanging clothes, thanks to their elongated shape and built-in hanging rod.
  • Specialty Packing Boxes

How Many Boxes Do I Need Based on Home Type?

Your home size significantly impacts the number of boxes you'll need. Here's a guideline to give you a rough idea:

Studio Apartment

For a studio apartment, you might need around 13 small boxes, 9-17 medium boxes, 5-6 large boxes, and 2-7 extra-large boxes.

One Bedroom Home

For a one-bedroom home, you might require approximately 15-18 small boxes, 18-29 medium boxes, 10 large boxes, and 4-9 extra-large boxes.

Two Bedroom Home

For a two-bedroom home, you'll likely need about 35 small boxes, 27-38 medium boxes, 15 large boxes, and 6-11 extra-large boxes.

Three Bedroom Home

For a three-bedroom home, you'll probably require around 38 small boxes, 36-47 medium boxes, 20 large boxes, and 8-13 extra-large boxes.

Essential Packing Supplies for Moving House

In addition to boxes, there are a few more packing supplies that you'll need for your move:

Packing Tape

Packing tape is crucial for securely sealing your boxes. Purchase an extra roll for every 30-60 boxes you have.

Paper and Bubble Wrap

These are essential for wrapping fragile items. At a minimum, you should have 3 lbs of packing paper and 20 feet of bubble wrap.


Markers are handy for labelling your boxes. You should have 1-4 markers at your disposal.


Ensure every box has at least one label. Using coloured labels for different rooms can make unpacking much easier.

Tips for a Smooth Move

Downsize Before Moving

Donating unwanted items or selling them off can significantly reduce the number of boxes needed for the move.

Pack Tricky Items Properly

Packing delicate items like jewelry and fragile items correctly can save you time and prevent damage.

Pack a 'First Things First' Box

Pack a box with essentials that you'll need during the first two days in your new home. This will make your first night more comfortable.

Final Thoughts: Better safe than sorry

Understanding "How many boxes will I need to move house?" can save you a lot of time and stress during your move. Remember, it's always better to have more boxes than you need than to run out midway through packing. See our insight: Best Moving Boxes & Best Boxes for moving Vinyls for more information.


Stuart is an expert in Property, Money, Banking & Finance, having worked in retail and investment banking for 10+ years before founding Sunny Avenue. Stuart has spent his career studying finance. He holds qualifications in financial studies, mortgage advice & practice, banking operations, dealing & financial markets, derivatives, securities & investments.

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