How many boxes do you really need?

By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Moving - preparing to moveThere are people who think it's a good idea to let their fingers do the walking and check "hire mover" off your list in fifteen minutes. This is a fun fact. That is not the best way to hire 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 and timely manner. These are some of the initial 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 huge help if you have taken pictures of your rooms and written down 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 can't be too specific about your rooms, since they're working from a standard template, and every house is different.

If you have a living/dining combination (popular in the sixties and back in the 2000s), don't forget to mention the dining table, china cabinet, and eight armchairs when you list your "living room" furniture. Formal dining rooms are increasingly rare, so some movers don't even have that room on their basic list--and if you don't tell them, imagine the overall damper on the ambience of moving day when everybody realizes the truck isn't big enough for all that furniture.

Knowing the dimensions, and whether things come apart, is also a key component of an accurate estimate. Sofas are usually between 60 and 84 inches long, some have detachable cushions, and some are sleepers. A hardwood queen sleeper weighs significantly more than a rattan loveseat, so be as specific as possible with details. Some furniture comes apart, so let the coordinator know so the crew can bring the right tools to take apart and reassemble.

At this point, you might be wondering why the mover is asking you so many questions. Well, they are trying to calculate not only how many boxes you will need for all of your “stuff”, but also how much space in the truck your items will take up. Movers will have estimates of box counts based on number of bedrooms and house size, but these numbers are really general and assume that you've purged a fair amount of old Christmas decorations and preschool art.

After you've chosen your mover, and had a couple of phone conversations, the mover should schedule an in-home appointment to confirm their calculations are correct. People are frazzled during a move and do tend to forget things like the kid's swing set or the jet skis, because they're not going in boxes, and this is prime 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 key to an uneventful move. They don't judge your housekeeping, so contact your local mover, set your appointment for your estimate and don't worry about the dust bunnies. Click here to get started today!