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 good idea to let their fingers do the walking and check "hire mover" off your 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 folks you are trusting to move all your things in a safe and proper way. Here are several of the initial questions a professional mover will ask on the introductory 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 take pictures of your rooms and have recorded furniture dimensions when you talk with a mover. They will want to know how many bedrooms and living spaces are in your home, and how many levels your home is on. You really can't be too specific about your rooms, since they are working off of a standard template, and every home is unique.

If you have a living/dining combination (popular in the sixties and again in the 2000s), don't forget to mention the dining room table, china buffet, and a bunch of armchairs when you list your "living room" contents. Formal dining rooms are more rare nowadays, so some movers do not even have that room on their normal list--and if you don't tell them, think about the overall damper on the ambience of moving day when you realizes the moving truck is not big enough for all those chairs and a table.

Having the dimensions, and if things can be taken apart, is also an important part of a precise estimate. Couches are normally between 60 and 84 inches long, some have detachable cushions, and some are sleepers. A hardwood full sleeper weighs much more than a rattan couch, so be as exact as you can be with details. Some furniture comes apart, so be sure to tell the coordinator so the crew can bring the correct tools to take apart and put back together.

At this point, you may be wondering why the moving company is asking you so many questions. Well, they are attempting to calculate not only how many boxes you will need for all of your belongings, but also how much room in the moving truck your belongings will consume. Movers will have approximates for box counts based on number of bedrooms and home size, but that is very basic, and it assumes that you've purged a fair amount of old clothes and preschool art.

After you have chosen your professional mover, and had a few phone conversations, the mover should schedule an in-home appointment to verify their estimates are correct. People are frazzled in the middle of a move and do have a tendency to forget things 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. But, these items will be included during the in-home estimate.

Developing a working relationship with your mover is important for an uneventful 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!