Apartment Living BlogApartment Living › How Much Do Moving Boxes Cost?

If you’re about to move to a new apartment, it’s important to have enough moving boxes on hand to make sure you are packing efficiently and that your move goes smoothly. Here are our recommendations for how many boxes you’ll need, how much you’ll spend and where you should shop.

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How Many Moving Boxes Will I Need?

In addition to your apartment size, there are many variables in determining how many moving boxes you’ll need. For example, if you’re a minimalist or have pared down your belongings, you will need fewer boxes than if you’re a pack rat or have lots of objects. Additionally, the longer you have lived in your apartment, the more stuff you will likely have accumulated and the more boxes you’ll need. Here are some base estimates to start your personal calculations.


Small Medium Large Extra Large TOTAL
Studio 6 8 8 5 27
1-Bedroom 7 14 13 11 45
2-Bedroom 8 17 16 13 54


Consider these additional estimates for modifying your box counts:

  • If you have lots of knickknacks and miscellaneous objects, add three more boxes to your personal estimates.
  • If you’re a fashion diva with lots of clothes and shoes, add four to five more boxes.
  • If your cupboards are a kitchen appliance bonanza, add five more boxes.
  • And for every large bookcase filled with books, papers or vinyl records, add six small heavyweight boxes.


How Much Will Moving Boxes Cost?

Whether you’re moving to a luxury apartment or a more affordable place, moving can be expensive. On average, if you live in a studio apartment, expect to spend between $35 and $50 on moving boxes. For 1-bedroom apartment renters, buying moving boxes will cost about $61 to $85. And if you have a 2-bedroom apartment, expect to spend about $73 to $100.

Surprisingly, there is a big difference in cost based on where you shop. According to the current prices and available products, we have calculated the cost of buying moving boxes at some of the most popular  retailers.


Studio 1-Bedroom 2-Bedroom
Lowe’s $       35.60 $       61.38 $       73.90
U-Haul $       38.84 $       66.63 $       80.17
Home Depot $       39.88 $       69.06 $       83.24
Staples $       41.47 $       72.04 $       86.79
Uline $       49.97 $       85.81 $     103.26
Costco $       51.86 $       88.15 $     106.00
Walmart $       61.15 $     107.49 $     129.58


Can I Get Boxes for Free?

There are plenty of ways to get free boxes. A great solution is to find someone who has recently moved and reuse their set of cardboard boxes. Another option is to collect packaging boxes from a local retailer. Bear in mind that with free boxes, you’re just getting what’s available, and these box types may or may not be what you’re looking for or what you need.

Here are some recommended places to source free cardboard boxes:

  • Craigslist
  • Freecycle
  • Liquor stores
  • Bookstores
  • Grocery stores
  • Starbucks
  • U-Haul Box Exchange
  • Facebook Community Groups


Considering Reusable Bins?

If you’re eco-minded and want to reduce the waste of buying cardboard boxes, consider upgrading your moving containers to reusable bins. Whether you opt for fabric crates or large plastic tubs, these reusable bins will have a longer lifespan and can be used for storage after you’ve moved to your new apartment.

Reusable containers are an investment that carries higher costs than cardboard boxes. For a studio apartment, plan to spend about $407 to use plastic bins for your move. The estimated cost for a 1-bedroom is $692, and packing a 2-bedroom apartment will cost about $832 if you go the reusable route.

Also, if you plan to move again in the near future, reusable bins can be a forward-thinking approach that can help you with multiple moves.



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About :

Amber is the Social Media & Content Manager for For Rent Media Solutions™ and has been with the company since April 2007. In her role, Amber helps execute and optimize a social media strategic plan across multiple channels, as well as manages the company's social media product. This includes blogs, social networks, video sharing sites, and other conversational media. She spends a great deal of time building relationships with consumers, social media influencers, and bloggers to generate awareness of For Rent Media Solutions brand. In her free time, Amber loves running, #hashtags, and DIY projects.


  1. Brabara Wood says:
    Wouldnt be better just to go to your local DIY store and ask for boxes that there going to throw out anyway?

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