If you’re researching this question, then most likely you’ve already started planning for your move. Whether it’s a local or a long distance move, a residential or a military move, the task of packing is going to be an integral aspect of your moving checklist. Naturally, moving boxes are going to be the primary supplies you would want to make arrangements for. But how many boxes do you need to move?

If you too are breaking your head around this question, know that you aren’t alone. Estimating the number of boxes you would need for your move can be a tricky process, which could add to your moving stress as well. But you need not worry about that any further. From giving you a quick understanding of the different types of boxes available to helping you get an estimate of the number of boxes you’d need, we’ve got it all covered for you. Just read along to get all the information you need about these moving boxes.

Types Of Boxes

To estimate the number of boxes you would need for your move, it is important that you know the different varieties of boxes available and what they could be used for.

For a general understanding, we’ll divide the different types of boxes into two main categories – standard boxes and specialty boxes.

All the common types of boxes that you generally use for putting small and large items will fall under the standard category. And specialty boxes, as the name suggests, are used for special purposes like packing fragile items and wardrobe essentials. Let us look into the details of each of these categories so you get an idea of the type of boxes that you would need for your move.

Standard Boxes

Box TypeSizeUsage
Small Box16” x 12” x 12”             (1.5 cubic feet)Books, CDs, Small Appliances, Kitchen Gadgets
Medium Box18” x 16” x 18”   (3 cubic feet)Pots, Vases, Picture Frames, Towels, Decorative items
Large Box18” x 18” x 24”   (4.5 cubic feet)Bedding, Towels, Pillows, Blankets
Extra-Large Box24” x 20” x 24”   (6 cubic feet)Comforters, Sports Equipment, Large Paintings

Specialty Box

Box TypeSizeUsage
Wardrobe Box20” x 24” x 54” (approx.)Use the rod at the top to hang your clothes. Keep your purses and belts at the bottom.
Dish Pack Box18” x 18” x 28”   (5.2 cubic feet)Kitchen fragile items like cups, mugs, plates, etc. can be easily packed.
Mirror Box30” x 36”    Adjustable and designed to hold mirrors and even picture frames in place.
TV BoxDifferent sizes available.Most boxes will fit your 32” to 70” TV.
Lamp Box12” x 12” x 40” (approx.)Specifically designed to keep your floor lamp bases intact during the move.
Mattress BoxDifferent sizes available.Covers and protects your mattress while in transit.

How Many Boxes Do You Need For Your Move

What’s the size of your home? How many people are living in your home? How much stuff is there to pack? These are the primary questions you would need to answer to correctly estimate the number of boxes you would need for your move. To help you understand better, we’ll give you a rough estimate of the number of standard boxes you would need based on the average square foot of your house. The number of specialty boxes you need would vary depending on the individual items in your house.

Less Than 700 Square Foot

  • 6 to 14 Small Boxes (Average Cost – $6 to $14)
  • 8 to 12 Medium Boxes (Average Cost – $12 to $18)
  • 4 to 6 Large Boxes (Average Cost – $8 to $12)
  • 2 to 5 Extra Large Boxes (Average Cost – $5 to $13)
  • Average Total Cost – $30 to $70

700 to 900 Square Foot

  • 12 to 18 Small Boxes (Average Cost – $12 to $18)
  • 10 to 15 Medium Boxes (Average Cost – $15 to $25)
  • 4 to 8 Large Boxes (Average Cost – $8 to $16)
  • 2 to 5 Extra Large Boxes (Average Cost – $5 to $13)
  • Average Total Cost – $40 to $85

900 to 1,200 Square Foot

  • 18 to 24 Small Boxes (Average Cost – $18 to $24)
  • 16 to 22 Medium Boxes (Average Cost – $24 to $35)
  • 8 to 12 Large Boxes (Average Cost – $16 to $24)
  • 4 to 8 Extra Large Boxes (Average Cost – $10 to $25)
  • Average Total Cost – $65 to $120

1,200 to 1,600 Square Foot

  • 28 to 32 Small Boxes (Average Cost – $28 to $32)
  • 25 to 30 Medium Boxes (Average Cost – $37 to $55)
  • 12 to 16 Large Boxes (Average Cost – $24 to $32)
  • 7 to 12 Extra Large Boxes (Average Cost – $13 to $20)
  • Average Total Cost – $100 to $150

1,600 to 1,800 Square Foot

  • 30 to 35 Small Boxes (Average Cost – $30 to $35)
  • 25 to 35 Medium Boxes (Average Cost – $37 to $55)
  • 15 to 20 Large Boxes (Average Cost – $30 to $40)
  • 10 to 15 Extra Large Boxes (Average Cost – $15 to $25)
  • Average Total Cost – $110 to $170

1,800 to 2,200 Square Foot

  • 35 to 40 Small Boxes (Average Cost – $35 to $40)
  • 30 to 38 Medium Boxes (Average Cost – $45 to $60)
  • 20 to 25 Large Boxes (Average Cost – $40 to $55)
  • 12 to 15 Extra Large Boxes (Average Cost – $18 to $25)
  • Average Total Cost – $140 to $200

Where To Buy Moving Boxes?

After you’ve estimated the type and quantity of boxes you would need, the next step would be to start shopping around for them. While a number of moving companies do offer packing supplies as well, here’s a list of a few places that offer cheap moving boxes, saving you a few bucks.

Home Depot

The Home Depot logo

This is one of the best places to not only get the boxes for your move but also all the other packing supplies that you would need. Home Depot is like a one stop shop for your moving supplies. All you need to do is just visit their official website at HomeDepot.com and start filling your cart. Browse through the different boxes available and choose the ones that you would need, and add the quantity as per your needs.

You can either select individual boxes and moving supplies to make your cart or opt for their moving kits. These kits contain a combination of different moving boxes as well as the other required packing supplies. Once you’re ready with your cart, you can choose to get it shipped directly to your house or you can get it shipped to your local Home Depot store, delivery charges for which would be waived off.


U-Box logo

Similar to Home Depot, Uboxes also offers a wide variety of boxes and moving kits to suit all your needs. What makes Uboxes stand out is that it offers moving boxes that have been pulled out straight from the factory and supplies them directly to the consumers and businesses. If you’re looking for other packing supplies as well, you can check out any of their pre-made moving kits or custom create one as per your needs.

Also See: U-Haul’s U-Box Review


Amazon.com logo

Irrespective of what it is that you’re looking for, Amazon will probably be one of the most popular places to shop at. When it comes to getting boxes and other moving supplies as well, Amazon surely doesn’t disappoint. The online platform brings a variety of boxes offered by different brands, and you can choose all you need as per your convenience. You might also find some great deals and discounts and can get everything delivered right at your doorstep. Just make sure to carefully read the item description and customer reviews before purchasing any item so you know what to expect when it gets delivered.


When talking about getting supplies, how can Walmart just be left behind? For a lot of people across the country, Walmart is like a go-to store for anything and everything that you need, and that can very well be the case when you’re looking for boxes and other moving supplies as well. With branches available in many parts of the United States and some of them being accessible for even 24 hours a day, you can easily shop for all the boxes you need for your move at Walmart.

Apart from all these big shots, here are a few other places you can check for moving boxes available at cheap rates and sometimes also for free.

For a more detailed guide on moving boxes, do check out our article on Guide To Best Cheap Moving Boxes.

Things To Keep In Mind

  • Packing can be a tedious process and more often than not you will discover things that you had not estimated or taken note of in your inventory. This is the main reason why you should always buy more boxes than you think you would need. As a general rule of thumb, you should be purchasing at least 10-20% more boxes than you have estimated. After you’ve thoroughly looked at each room and drafted a mental inventory, make sure to keep some room for extra boxes in your budget.
  • Whenever you’re picking up second-hand boxes or are collecting them from grocery stores or otherwise, make sure to properly check and clean them before using. In addition to that, properly tape and seal all the ends of your moving boxes so as to not face any unwanted issues on the day of your move.
  • When buying boxes for your move, do take into consideration the weight that a particular box can carry and check for their ECT rating. The higher the rating, the sturdier your boxes will be. This helps you understand exactly how much weight a particular box carries and then you should be packing it accordingly. Be careful to not overload the boxes as it may get difficult for you to handle them during the loading and unloading process.
  • You can also check out moving container bins as an alternative to cardboard boxes. Most of these bins are recyclable and are provided by a number of local moving companies on a rental basis. If you choose to use these bins instead of the boxes, you will not only be saving yourself from the trouble of taping the boxes but also opt for a more environment-friendly option. They are usually large in size and can carry quite a few items together, which means you could make do with only a few of them as well.
  • While collecting your moving boxes, don’t forget about the other packing supplies as well. Bubble wrap, packing tape, packing paper, packing peanuts, and sharpies are some of the other materials you would need for the packing process of your move.

Also Read: How to Find Free Moving Boxes?


Especially when you’re doing a complete DIY move or have decided to take charge of the packing process, it is important that you start planning and preparing well in advance. Since moving boxes are going to be your primary packing materials, make sure to grab all the supplies you need ahead of time, so this does not add to any of your last-minute stress. Now that you have an idea of how many boxes you need to move, you can start preparing right away!

See Also: List of Top-Rated Residential Movers | Same Day Movers for Last Minute Moving