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How to Estimate Moving Supplies and Boxes


by: Woodrow Aames
01 Dec 2010

Everyone has their own idea of a budget move. In college days, many people used large trash bags as their principal moving supplies, stuffing bedding, pillows, closets of clothing, toys, and towels into big plastic sacks. You may be older today or more careful of your possessions. You certainly wouldn't put a printer, laptop, and flat-screen monitor into a trash bag. On the other hand, you don't want to buy so many boxes, rolls of tape, cardboard tubes, crates, and Styrofoam peanuts that you have to clear storage space for them in your new residence after the move.

Getting the essentials in order can keep down the cost of moving supplies. But don't be foolish. Using warped or stinky banana crates from the supermarket dumpster can ruin your entire move. One professional moving company recommends that if you value your possessions, and plan on packing yourself, you should use strong, corrugated cartons that have folding tops and bottoms that you can seal with 1-1/2 to 2 inches-wide packing tape. Save the dish-pack boxes and packing paper for essential dishes and glassware. Otherwise, use folded clothes, towels, or peanuts to fill out boxes of clothing or unbreakable items.

Planning Your Moving Supplies Room-by-Room

Examine any free or reusable boxes carefully. Here's a rule of thumb for buying boxes--plan by the total number of rooms. Most moving websites have calculators to help you determine what you need.

  • For two rooms or less, get 4 large boxes, 3 medium boxes, 2 wardrobe boxes, and 1 dish pack box. You can get by with 1 roll of bubble wrap and a roll of packing tape. It should all fit in a 6 to 10-foot van.
  • For four to five rooms, you need 15 large boxes, 6 wardrobe boxes, 12 medium boxes, 10 small boxes, 3 dish pack boxes, a roll of bubble wrap and 4 rolls of packing tape. Plan on using a 16-foot van to handle the move.
  • For six to eight rooms, round up 25 large boxes, 10 wardrobe boxes, 18 medium boxes, 25 small boxes, 4 dish pack boxes, a roll of bubble wrap, and 5 rolls of packing tape. You probably need a 21-foot moving track to carry your belongings to your new residence.

Should you buy more than you think you need? Plan on a few extras, but there's no need to overspend. One way to control the amount you spend for moving supplies is to pack one room at a time and add additional materials as you need them.

Sources:
How To Pack For Your Move • http://www.atlasworldgroup.comhttp://www.atlasworldgroup.com/howto/pack/Moving Box Estimator • http://www.upack.comhttp://www.upack.com/moving-supplies/moving-boxes.asp