How to Calculate the Number of Reusable Moving Boxes You’ll Need for Your Move

How to Calculate the Number of Reusable Moving Boxes You'll Need for Your Move

Moving can be a complex task, but one of the key elements to a successful move is proper packing. Using reusable plastic moving boxes is an environmentally friendly and efficient choice. Here’s how you can calculate the number of reusable moving boxes you’ll need for your move.

Assess Your Inventory

Start by taking an inventory of all your belongings. Go through each room and make a list of items you plan to move. This includes furniture, clothes, kitchenware, books, and miscellaneous items. Having a clear inventory helps in understanding the volume of items that need to be packed, which is crucial for estimating the number of boxes.

Categorize Your Belongings

Divide your belongings into categories based on their size and fragility. Typical categories include:

  • Small items: Books, toiletries, kitchen utensils.
  • Medium items: Shoes, small appliances, electronics.
  • Large items: Bedding, coats, large kitchen appliances.
  • Fragile items: Glassware, artwork, electronics.

Categorizing helps in determining the type and size of boxes required for different items.

Estimate Box Sizes and Quantities

Using your inventory and categories, estimate the number of boxes needed for each category:

  • Small boxes (1.5 cubic feet): Ideal for heavy items like books and small appliances. Estimate about 10-12 small boxes for a one-bedroom apartment.
  • Medium boxes (3 cubic feet): Perfect for shoes, larger kitchen appliances, and clothes. Typically, you might need around 8-10 medium boxes.
  • Large boxes (4.5 cubic feet): Used for bedding, coats, and bulky items. Estimate around 5-7 large boxes.
  • Specialty boxes: For items like glassware and artwork, use boxes designed for fragile items. You may need 2-3 specialty boxes depending on your inventory.

Use an Online Calculator

Several online tools and calculators can help estimate the number of boxes needed based on the size of your home and the number of rooms. These tools typically ask for details such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces to provide a more accurate estimate.

Consider Reusability and Durability

When opting for reusable moving boxes, ensure they are durable and in good condition. Reusable plastic bins come in various sizes and are made from sturdy materials that can be used multiple times. Investing in high-quality reusable boxes ensures they withstand the move and can be used for future relocations or storage.

Factor in Extra Boxes

Always account for a few extra boxes beyond your initial estimate. Unexpected items may arise during packing, and having a few spare boxes ensures you don’t run out at the last minute. Typically, adding an extra 10-15% to your estimated number of boxes is a safe margin.



Calculating the number of reusable moving boxes for your move involves careful planning and assessment of your belongings. By taking an inventory, categorizing items, and using online tools, you can estimate your needs accurately. Considering reusability and hiring professional movers further streamlines the process. With the right number of boxes, your move can be more organized, eco-friendly, and efficient.