How Much Packing Tape Do I Need For A Move?

So you want to know how much packing tape you need for your move? It would be really inconvenient if you run out of tape in the midst of packing, right? We asked the experts and here’s what they say.

You have to figure out how many boxes you are going to use to determine the amount of packing tape you need. As a rule of thumb, you would need one (1) 300 x 2.81 roll of packing tape per 30 boxes. 

The next thing you would want to know is what’s the best packing tape and how to tape moving boxes properly. You will learn all these including the other packing essentials and tips below!

Cardboard for packaging, adhesive tape and nylon on white background - How Much Packing Tape Do I Need For A Move

How To Figure Out How Much Packing Tape You Need?

Close up of a guy's hands holding packing machine and sealing cardboard boxes with duct tape

First, calculate the number of boxes you are going to use -this can be based on different factors:

  • House square footage: a 400-700 square feet house would require a total of 25 boxes of different sizes.  
  • Number of rooms in the house: a one-bedroom house would consume at least 47 boxes.
  • Lifestyle: Are you a packrat or a minimalist? Keep a few extra boxes on standby if you are the former.

Assuming you are going to use a total of 50 boxes, prepare two (2) 300 x 2.81 rolls of packing tape.

What Are The Best Packing Tapes For Moving Boxes?

Cardboard for packaging, adhesive tape and nylon on white background

Before we jump to the types of packing tapes, check out these three important factors to look for in a packing tape:

  • The adhesion is how well the tape sticks to the box; the stickier the tape the better.
  • Tensile strength determines how much pressure and force a packing tape can withstand. Tapes with a 20-pound tensile strength are preferable.
  • Thickness: The thicker the tape, the stronger it is. Thicker tapes measure around 3.1 mm.

So what are some of the best packing tapes?

Shipping Tape

This thin, clear tape uses a hot melt adhesive to hold the box’s flaps together. It comes in 2-3"- the ideal width for packing tape.

Check out this product on Amazon.

Storage Tape

Made with acrylic adhesive, a storage tape has a longer-lasting adhesion. It sticks despite the high humidity, making it ideal for corrugated boxes. This lasts for up to 10 years.

Check out this product on Amazon.

Filament Tape

Filament packing tape is composed of fiberglass, allowing it to hold heavy-duty boxes for an extended period of time. Go for it if you have heavy boxes to pack. Generally, it weighs 100 to 400 pounds, depending on the category. 

Check out this product on Amazon.

Gummed Tape

Gummed paper tape comes with an adhesion that gets activated by water and reinforced lines that are a hassle to remove. Unless you’re traveling far or packing fragile heavy duty pieces, it’s not advisable.

Check out this product on Amazon.

Brown Paper Tape

Brown paper packing tape can secure boxes well, but it’s not waterproof. To say the least, it’s good for lightweight items only because it’s susceptible to moisture and tear during transit.

Check out this product on Amazon.

What Are The Worst Tapes To Use For Packing?

Close-up photo of multiple colored industrial tapes

Never use the following tapes if you want to keep your boxes safe: 

  • Masking tape: Aside from being thin, a masking tape lacks strong adhesion, thus, it’s only recommended for bubble wraps.
  • Duct tape: It uses a rubber adhesive that sticks not to cardboard boxes. Also, it leaves a residue and is relatively expensive.
  • Washi tape: This is a type of craft tape; it has no reliable adhesion and the width to secure a moving box.
  • Electrical tape: It is only applicable for tying wires and cords or grouping similar items only.
  • Scotch tape: Due to its weak adhesive, a scotch can only hold labels and paper wraps.

How To Tape Moving Boxes

Man using a tape gun to pack a cardboard box in a factory - the mans hands and tape gun are visible

Follow these simple steps to tape your boxes:

1. Tape the Bottom of the Box 

Secure the base first so the box won’t burst open when lifted. Fold the box into a cube and flip it over. Fold the flaps then tape down the connecting line at the center. Cover both sides and allow the tape to extend a little over the sides. Run the tape on both sides of the box too and press the tape down firmly.

Add extra strips on each side of the middle tapes to reinforce your boxes. Check out the different methods to do it:

Snowflake Method

Are you going to pack large, heavy items that need additional support? Opt for the snowflake method. All you need to do is make an X shape with the tape down the center, then two parallel lines near the end of the box on top of the other strips- opposite the direction of the middle seam. That’s it!


To secure fragile items such as ceramics, glassware, etc., try the H-method. This distributes the weight of the items and ensures that no debris gets inside the box.

Tape one side of the seam with half the width of the packing tape. Leave a 2” overhang on both sides. Compress the tape at one corner until it forms a triangle, then fold the overhang. Repeat the process on the other side. Fold the tape flaps and press down.

Diagonal Strip Method

The diagonal strip method is applicable for lightweight, non-fragile goods. Just run the tape diagonally across the bottom of the box (from end to end). That’s enough to keep your items sound during transit.

2. Seal the Top

Pack your things inside the box first, fold the flaps, then flatten the center. Run the tape on

The horizontal line where the flaps meet. Allow the tape to extend to the sides of the box. Add two parallel lines on the middle seam. You may also reinforce the top of the box too using the methods above (it’s optional). 

How To Find The End Of The Roll Of The Tape Easily?

Hand holding brown packaging tape roll on white background

To save yourself time and frustration from locating the end of the roll of the tape, use a dispenser. You will be able to dispense and cut tape easily. If it’s unavailable, place a paper clip right where you are going to make a cut, so you can see it fast.

Packing Tape Not Sticking To Boxes: What To Do?

This happens if the boxes have a high recycled property or a thin film of grease. A quick and easy fix is to wipe off the surface of the box and use a little extra tape. It’s worth dispensing more tape than replacing boxes.

Other Packing Essentials You Need For a Move

Bubble And Paper Wraps

Man holding a roll of plastic bubble wrap.

These are to protect fragile items (glassware, dishes, vases, etc.) Prepare a minimum of three lbs paper wrap and 20 ft bubble wrap.


Pens/markers are for labeling each box so you know which box belongs to which room upon unloading. Choose the ones that are easy to read and waterproof. Prepare at least four to five different colors.

Trash Bags

You are going to need trash bags to house a variety of waste. But it can also be more than a trash bag- you can use it to pack linens, towels, and curtains in case you run out of boxes.

Additional Packing Tips


Got pieces you’ve never used for years? Why not donate them to friends who might need them? It’s easier to pack if you have fewer things to organize.

Prepare to Pack Odd-Shaped Items

Everyone’s got that awkward furniture that’s hard to pack. Disassemble large items (if possible) so they can fit in the box or cover the protruding parts with a paper or bubble wrap to avoid damage.

Consider Packing an “Open First” Box

This contains the essential supplies that can get you through the next 24 hours in your new house. It might include tables, dishes, pillow, towels, flashlight, etc.


The amount of packing tape needed for a move depends on the number of boxes you are going to use. But as a general rule, prepare one (1) 300 x 2.81 roll of packing tape per 30 boxes.  Use a tape designed for moving boxes; otherwise, it would tear, spilling your belongings.   

If you liked this post, we have other posts for related topics:

How Strong Is Packing Tape?

5 Types Of Packing Tape