If your moving date is quickly approaching, make sure you have the right supplies! Moving boxes are undoubtedly one of the most important parts of a successful move. If you’ve started looking for packing and moving supplies, you’ll quickly realize just how many options you have at your fingertips. 

But how many boxes will you need and what sizes will be the most beneficial? There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to the number or size of moving boxes that you’ll need, it’s easy to estimate the volume of boxes by evaluating your home and its contents. Here’s what our professional movers want you to know. 

Standard Packing Box Sizes

Moving boxes come in sizes ranging from small to extra-large. Here’s more information on each box size:

  • Small: Small moving boxes measure around 16” x 12” x 12” and they are ideal for packing smaller, compact items. Consider using small boxes for kitchen gadgets, books, DVDs, or knick-knacks. 
  • Medium: Medium moving boxes measure around 18” x 16” x 18” and are often used for towels, decorative items, or other small/medium items. 
  • Large: Large moving boxes measure around 18” x 18” x 24” and are ideal for holding items such as bedding, drapes, smaller pillows, etc. Some people also use large boxes for small appliances. 
  • Extra-large: Extra-large moving boxes measure around 24” x 20” x 24” and are ideal for holding large, lightweight items such as pillows, comforters, blankets, sports equipment, etc. 

If you need help with packing, know that packing services are available!

Specialty Packing Boxes

In addition to standard packing box sizes, you can also opt for specialty box sizes. These boxes are ideal for items that aren’t traditional in shape or for items that need extra protection. 

  • Wardrobe boxes: These are big boxes that contain a rod across the top for hanging clothes. Many people place purses, shoes, or belts at the bottom of wardrobe boxes. 
  • Dish pack boxes: These are medium-sized boxes that contain partitions to hold fragile items. Consider a dish pack box for items like mugs and cups. 
  • Mirror and picture boxes: Thin, flat boxes that are designed to hold mirrors and artwork. These boxes are adjustable to fit a variety of sizes. 
  • TV: As the name suggests, TV boxes are large enough to protect flat-screen TVs. Most tv boxes extend to fit TVs anywhere from 32” to 70”. 
  • Lamp: Lamp boxes are designed to keep your lamps and other tall items safe. 
  • Office/file: These are small or medium boxes that have handles and removable tops for storing paperwork and other office items. 

Figuring Out How Many Boxes You Need Basing on Square Footage

The best way to determine how many packing boxes you’ll need depends on the square footage of your apartment or home. The larger your space, the more items you’ll have, meaning you’ll need to stock up on boxes beforehand. Here is a general guide that you can follow. 

400-700 Square Feet

If you live in 400-700 square feet, consider purchasing the following boxes:

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

700-1250 Square Feet

For spaces 700-1250 square feet, here are the box recommendations:

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

1200-1700 Square Feet

For spaces that are 1200-1700 square feet, we recommend the following:

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

1700-2200 Square Feet

For spaces 1700-2200 square feet, here is what we recommend:

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

How Many Boxes Are Needed for Each Room?

moving boxes sizes

Did you know that the average move requires 60 boxes for a two-bedroom home? Four-bedroom homes typically require 120 boxes total. The number changes based on your lifestyle and your belongings. 

Make sure to factor in whether you’re a minimalist or a packrat, how many people live in your space, how many rooms you have, and the amount of time you’ve lived at your current residence. 


Some people are minimalists and only have the basics in their kitchen. Most people, however, compile a solid collection of dishes, mugs, pots, pans, appliances, and gadgets that allow for the cooking of all meals. If you are packing a medium or large kitchen, here are our recommendations:

  • 2 dish packing boxes
  • 2 glass cell pack boxes
  • 2 small boxes
  • 2 medium boxes
  • 2 large boxes

Feel free to make adjustments depending on the number of large appliances that you have. Remember that you’ll want to use plenty of bubble wrap and packing paper to keep these fragile items safe from damage. 

Dining Rooms

If your home has a dining room, you may need extra boxes for items such as a set of china, a set of wine glasses, table linens, and more. Many people also store candle holders, vases, and candles stored in their dining room as well. Here are our box recommendations if you have buffets and sideboards packed with dishes and glasses:

  • 1 dish packing box
  • 1 glass cell packing box
  • 2 small boxes
  • 1 medium box
  • 1 large box

If you pick up a dining room box and it feels too heavy, make sure to opt for another box. You won’t want one box to be too heavy as it could fall apart and damage your items. 

Living Rooms

Your living room could be packed full of items or it could be minimal and bare. Some people like simple, clean, contemporary spaces that have thoughtfully curated artwork and accessories. Others prefer a warm, cozy space filled with houseplants, books, pillows, artwork, and more. Make sure to adjust the number of boxes based on what’s in your living room:

  • 2 small boxes
  • 2 small boxes that are heavy-duty
  • 3 medium boxes
  • 1 medium box that is heavy duty
  • 2 large boxes
  • 1 extra-large box


Bathrooms often become repositories for a range of products such as gels, creams, shampoos, powders, makeup products, and small electronics. The size of bathrooms ranges drastically with some being small powder rooms and others being large and spacious. 

Consider purging the items that you no longer use to free up some space and reduce the number of boxes that you have. Make sure to compile the right number of boxes depending on what’s inside your bathroom. Here are our general recommendations:

  • 2 small boxes
  • 2 medium boxes
  • 1 medium heavy-duty box
  • 1 extra-large box

Master Bedrooms

Similar to living rooms, the items in a master bedroom can range significantly from household to household. Some people prefer clean, contemporary spaces that are minimally decorated. Others may have books, magazines, artwork, duvets, mirrors, decorative pillows, and other items that will quickly take up box space. Don’t forget to factor in how many boxes you’ll need for both folded and hanging clothes. 

Here are our box recommendations for the average master bedroom:

  • 2 small boxes
  • 3 medium boxes
  • 1 medium box that is heavy duty
  • 3 large boxes
  • 2 extra-large boxes
  • 4 wardrobe boxes

Children’s Bedrooms

packing box sizes

Many children love compiling their unique collection of items. From clothes to books to electronics to toys, the volume of items in a child’s room can quickly add up. Don’t forget to factor in items such as bedding, pillows, rugs, etc. Even if your child isn’t over the age of 5, it’s easy for them to compile a large list of items that need to be packed when moving time approaches. Depending on the child, here is what we recommend in terms of packing box sizes. 

  • 2 small boxes
  • 2 medium boxes
  • 3 large boxes
  • 2 extra-large boxes

Home Offices

As more and more people embrace a hybrid work model, home offices increase in popularity. Some home offices are filled with office supplies, files, electronics, books, accessories, and more. If this sounds like the case for you, make sure that you are careful with your electronics and how you pack them. 

You’ll want to use heavy-duty boxes to transport items such as your computer, printer, and other fragile electronics. Here is what we recommend in terms of boxes:

  • 4 file boxes
  • 5 small boxes
  • 3 medium heavy-duty boxes
  • 4 large boxes


The number of items in any given garage depends on the household. Some people dedicate their garage to housing cars exclusively while others use a garage to house sports equipment, seasonal items, decorations, paint cans, tools, garden equipment, and more. In the case that your garage holds a large volume of items, make sure you purchase a variety of boxes to safely transport everything. 

  • 2 small boxes
  • 2 small boxes that are heavy-duty
  • 3 medium boxes
  • 2 medium boxes that are heavy-duty
  • 3 large boxes
  • 3 extra-large boxes

How Much Do Moving Boxes Cost?

As you can tell, the best size boxes for moving depends on the size of your space and how many items you have. Moving boxes range in price based on size, quantity (bundle), material, and where you buy them. In general, the classic square, cardboard boxes are great for packing and moving home items and belongings. Here are the standard packing box sizes and approximate prices* (*as of 8/2020).

  • Small moving boxes (16” x 10” x 10”) range in price from $.98 to $2.00 per box.
  • Medium boxes (18” x 14” x 12”) cost around $1.50 to $2.50 per box.
  • Large moving boxes (20” x 20” x 15”) go from $1.80 to $3.00 per box.
  • Extra Large cardboard boxes (23” x 23” x 16”) range in price from $2.50 to $5.00 per box.

In addition to standard size moving boxes, you can also purchase specialty moving boxes to pack and move items such as frames, mirrors, clothes, electronics, and so on. These prices vary depending on the size and type of specialty box. Although it may seem silly to spend so much money on cardboard boxes, purchasing the right boxes for each room can ensure that your items stay safe during the move. 

Moving Box Kits and Bundles

Boxes are part of your must-have moving supplies. As you shop for moving boxes, keep in mind that you can save money by purchasing moving kits or buying boxes in bundles (more than one). We love moving box kits because you can purchase kits based on the size of your move. Oftentimes, these kits come with the right number of boxes in each size, taking the guesswork out of how many boxes you’ll need for the move.

For example, an apartment kit comes with enough boxes and moving supplies to move a studio apartment, including small and medium moving boxes, cushion foam, packaging paper tape, packing paper, and specialty items such as flat-screen TV covers and a sealable mattress bag. Shop around for different kits and bundles that fit the needs of your current living situation. If you need a specific number of packing box sizes for one-off instances, you can always add individual boxes to your purchase.

Where to Buy Packing Boxes

You can find moving boxes at a variety of stores, including hardware stores, office supply stores, truck rental companies, and discount department stores. It should be easy to find the right moving boxes for your move!

Here’s a list of our favorite places to buy moving boxes:

  • Alliance Moving & Storage – just ask about our moving boxes and packing supplies
  • Lowe’s
  • The Home Depot
  • U Haul
  • Staples
  • Walmart
  • Costco

You can also look online in local Facebook groups or on sites such as Craigslist to find people who have recently moved into your area and have boxes they need to get rid of. This will help you save money on packing boxes to move and many of the boxes are still in excellent condition. In your new location, you can pay it forward by offering your boxes to another individual or family.

Contact Alliance Movers & Storage Today!

We hope that our moving box size guide helped prepare you for your upcoming move! As a general rule of thumb, we always recommend purchasing more moving boxes than you think you’ll need. You may be surprised to see how quickly your items can fill up all of your boxes! It’s easier to buy more boxes upfront and have extras on hand than worrying about going to the store time and time again. 

Whether you need help with packing boxes, loading your truck, or any other aspect of your move, trust that our team at Alliance Moving & Storage is here to help! We’re happy to offer you a free quote on any of our services! We look forward to hearing from you soon.