How Many Boxes Do You Really Need?

By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Moving - Planning a MoveSome folks believe that it's a grand idea to let their fingers do the walking and check "hire mover" off their to-do list in ten minutes. This is a fun fact. That is not the ideal way to hire movers. You need to have a real human interaction with your potential mover, since these are the folks you trust to move all your possessions in a safe, secure and timely manner. These are a few of the fundamental questions a professional mover will ask on the first phone call.
  • How many bedrooms?
  • Do you have attic storage?
  • Garage?
  • Basement?
  • Do you have lawn equipment?
  • Vehicles (for long distance moves)?

It is a huge help if you snap pictures of your rooms and have recorded furniture dimensions when you have a conversation with a mover. They will need to know how many bedrooms and living spaces you have, and how many levels your residence is on. You really can't be too detailed about your rooms, since they are working off of a standard template, and every house is unique.

If your residence contains a living/dining combination (popular in the sixties and back in the 2000s), do not neglect to list the dining room table, china hutch, and eight armchairs when you list your "living room" contents. Formal dining rooms are getting rare these days, so some movers don't even mention that room on their basic list--and if you do not remember to tell them, imagine the overall wet blanket on the mood of moving day when everybody recognizes the moving van is not sizable enough for all that furniture.

Measuring the dimensions, and if things can be disassembled, is also a key component of a precise estimate. Couches are usually between 5 and 7 feet long, some have detachable cushions, and others are sleepers. A hardwood queen sleeper weighs much more than a rattan couch, so be as explicit as you can be with details. Some furniture comes apart, so let the coordinator know so the moving team can bring the right tools to disassemble and reassemble.

By this time, you may be pondering why the moving company is asking you all of these questions. Well, they are trying to calculate not only how many boxes you will need for all of your “stuff”, but also how many linear feet in the moving truck your belongings will consume. Movers will have estimated guesses for box counts based on number of bedrooms and the square footage of the residence, but that's really general, and it assumes that you have thrown out a fair amount of old clothes and preschool art.

After you have chosen your mover, and had one or two phone conversations, the mover will schedule an in-home estimate to verify their calculations are accurate. People are frazzled admist a move and do tend to forget items like the kid's swing set or the jet skis, because they are not being put in boxes, and this is great example of out of sight, out of mind. However, these items will be accounted for during the in-home estimate.

Developing a working relationship with your mover is vital for a trouble-free move. They don't judge your housekeeping, so contact your local mover, set your appointment date for your estimate and do not be anxious about the dust bunnies. Click here to get started today!