How Many Boxes Do You Really Need?

By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Moving - Planning a MoveSome folks believe that it is a grand idea to do a quick internet search and check "hire mover" off their to-do list in five minutes. This is a fun fact. That is not the ideal way to choose movers. You need to get up close and personal and have a real human interaction, since these are the people you trust to move all your possessions in a safe, secure and proper way. Here are some 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's a big help if you take pictures of your rooms and have recorded furniture dimensions when you talk with a mover. They'll want to know how many bedrooms and living spaces you have, and how many levels your house is on. You really cannot be too detailed about your rooms, since they're working off of a standard template, and every home is unique.

If you have a living/dining combination (popular in the sixties and back in the 2000s), don't forget to list the dining room table, china cabinet, and eight armchairs when you describe your "living room" items. Formal dining rooms are increasingly rare these days, so many movers do not even include that room on their normal list--and if you don't think about it to tell them, contemplate the overall wet blanket on the temperament of moving day when everybody realizes the moving van isn't big enough for all those chairs and a table.

Measuring the dimensions, and whether things can be taken apart, is also a vital factor of a correct estimate. Sofas are commonly between 5 and 7 feet long, some have detachable cushions, and others are sleepers. A hardwood double sleeper weighs much more than a rattan sofa, so be as exact as possible with details. Some furniture comes apart, so let the coordinator know so the moving crew can bring the specific tools to take apart and reassemble.

By now, you might be pondering why the moving company is asking you a ton of questions. Well, they are trying to calculate not only the number of boxes you will need for all of your things, but also how much room in the moving van your belongings will consume. Movers will have estimated guesses for boxes based on number of bedrooms and the square footage of the residence, but that's really rudimentary, and it assumes that you have thrown out a fair amount of old Christmas decorations and preschool art.

After you've chosen your moving company, and had a couple of phone conversations, the mover should schedule an in-home estimate to confirm their calculations are accurate. People are stressed during a move and do sometimes forget stuff like the kid's swing set or the lawn mower, because they are not being put in boxes, and this is classic example of out of sight, out of mind. However, these items will be caught during the in-home estimate.

Developing a working relationship with your mover is important for a smooth move. They do not judge your housekeeping, so contact your local mover, pick your appointment date for your estimate and do not worry about the dust bunnies. Click here to get started today!