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Help! How many boxes do I need?

Help! How many boxes do I need?

in Moving Home October 23, 2019

Now I appreciate packing boxes aren’t the sexiest of subjects, or the most interesting purchase you will ever make…but these little cubes of cardboard delight really are the key to a successful move.

But before you go reaching for your wallet…hang fire and take a quick read below to make sure you are purchasing the right kind of packing boxes and more importantly only the amount you really need!

To box or not to box...that is the question?


Now let’s start by saying we are all for saving money but avoiding using packing boxes will be a false economy. While it may be tempting to use the many bags for life you have stuffed in your cupboard, it just isn’t practical for moving home.

That’s because you have to think about the van. If you have uniform, stable packing boxes the van can be loaded and stacked very efficiently with your belongings nice and secure. If you have things in carrier bags and different types of boxes snaffled from your corner shop it’s going to lead to a very unstable load and take more time for your removers to stack and secure. If things can’t be stacked as high you may even need an additional van at extra cost.

With that being said though you can save some pennies when moving home by using any large lidded plastic boxes you already have and of course your suitcases. You would be packing these anyway so utilise them for moving clothes instead of, or in addition to, any wardrobe boxes you buy. These will be loaded last so their irregular sizes/shapes will not be a problem.

Of course, you can also save money by using recycled boxes which is greener too! Make sure they are proper packing boxes though and not just any cardboard box. Packing boxes are more durable to protect your belongings with a double walled option for heavy weight items. Don’t use recycled boxes that have rips or stains which may have weakened the cardboard leading to mishaps and ensure that the lids still close properly.


Bigger is better right?

Wrong. While it may be tempting to go big to save money, large packing boxes are actually the most impractical and should be reserved only very lightweight bulky items such as bedding, cushions and winter coats.

Filling large packing boxes with anything other than these types of items will leave you with an over filled box that is difficult, if not too heavy, to move. If it’s friends and family helping you move, giving someone an injury will not go down well! If you cannot pick up a box safely, then the removal men may struggle too. Taking items of boxes on removal day is a waste of time and will cost you more money.

Large packing boxes can also be very tricky to manoeuvre around narrow stairwells or through small doorways. You don’t want to be scraping walls…or worse…your knuckles trying to navigate these!

Having a larger number of small and medium sized packing boxes, that aren’t overfilled, is the best strategy! Experienced removers can take two or three of these at a time, saving on trips and saving you money.


So, what’s the magic number?

As a general rule most of your packing boxes should be medium sized. Of the remainder, small boxes should outnumber big. Now that’s all well and good but the tricky part is knowing how many packing boxes you will need in the first place!

It takes years of removals experience to judge by eye how many boxes a house will need and guaranteed you will always underestimate the number when guessing yourself.

Fear not though as most packing and storage box suppliers will offer moving kits with a pre-determined number and type of packing boxes based on your property size. This takes the guess work out of it and gives you one less thing to think about! 

However, not everyone lives the same, some people are minimalist, others are hoarders. You may even have a floor to ceiling library that needs to be packed! For this reason, some companies now offer online calculators so you can customise your removal kit based on your lifestyle to give you exactly what you need. Just use the sliders to indicate the types of items you have, and it will recommend a mix of box sizes.


Don’t forget the extras!

Now you have your packing boxes sorted it’s time to think about the extras you may need:

Bubble Wrap – Essential for wrapping very fragile items but not the eco-friendliest so only use it where essential 

Packing Paper – It might not look much but packing paper is mighty. Capable of protecting your dinnerware and a great box stuffer to keep fragile items in place. While newspaper can also be used the ink transfer can be a problem.

Shrink Wrap – not the most obvious one but great for keeping drawers in place when moving furniture – again not the most eco option so only use where necessary 

Furniture covers – Light coloured furniture is particularly susceptible to marking when being moved so it’s a good idea to use furniture covers on your upholstered items. They are also a great option on mattresses which can be awkward to move and difficult not to touch the floor. If it’s raining furniture covers are priceless in protecting your furniture.

Moving blankets – reputable companies will provide these so check first. If they don’t, for your own piece of mind you may wish to purchase your own. These are essential for protecting large furniture from knocks and scrapes during loading and transit.


Armed with this information (I told you it wasn’t sexy!) you can go ahead and purchase packing boxes directly from your chosen removal company or through and online stockist who can deliver direct to your door. Happy Packing and we wish you all the best with your forthcoming move


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