Moving? Dumpster Sizes, Costs, and Rental Tips

Moving dumpster rental

Garages, sheds, basements, even entire homes seem to accumulate trash and junk under the nose of the homeowner, only to be discovered as moving day rolls around. It’s amazing how much stuff is uncovered during a move—stuff that’s largely unwanted or unneeded. Renting a dumpster is a convenient way to lighten the load when moving.

There are some important things to consider when whittling down the amount of “stuff” that will be accompanying you on the move.

Planning ahead

“Winging it” just doesn’t fly when leading up to a move. It can lead to additional stress in an already stressful situation. This applies to all aspects of the move, including disposal and decluttering.

Plan ahead by scheduling your dumpster rental at least a month in advance of your move-out date.

RELATED: Moving is less painful with a dumpster and a planRent a dumpster 30 days in advance

By booking a dumpster about a month in advance, lack of container availability shouldn’t be an issue. Most moves occur in the spring, summer, and fall, which are also the busiest times of year for dumpster rental companies. So book your dumpster early to ensure a container is available for your project within the timeframe you need it.

How long you keep the dumpster on-site can vary based on your needs. Dumpster rental companies typically offer a standard 7-day rental period, although most are flexible with this timeframe if necessary (additional fees may apply).

Proper planning ensures you have plenty of time to load up the dumpster. If the job can be completed in a day, you may be able to get a better rate on a single-day dumpster rental. Be sure to ask your dumpster rental provider if discounts are available.

Moving dumpster rental costs

The cost of renting a dumpster is largely influenced by these factors:

  • Your location
  • Size of the dumpster
  • How long you keep the dumpster on-site
  • Type of waste, junk, or debris

Average Cost of Renting a Dumpster Nationwide

Dumpster Size

Average Cost for a 7-day Rental

10 yard


20 yard


30 yard


40 yard


*Costs based on data collected by

For most residential moves, a 10 or 20 yard dumpster will more than accommodate the decluttering of an average home.

RELATED: Complete guide to dumpster rental prices

Trash dumpster sizes

Big cleanouts

Large houses, or highly cluttered homes, may require a 20+ yard dumpster to complete the job. Bulky items, such as furniture, consume quite a bit of space inside a dumpster. For example, a large sectional couch can take up six or more cubic yards by itself. So consider this when choosing a dumpster size.

20 yard dumpster size

Average size cleanouts

For small-to-medium size projects, a 10 yard dumpster or smaller may be suitable. Some dumpster rental companies offer 5 - 8 cubic yard bins, although 10 yard dumpsters are pretty much the smallest size available from most. Call several local dumpster rental companies to find the dumpster size that best suits your project.

10 yard dumpster size

Small cleanouts

A 3 cubic yard bag-style dumpster (e.g., Bagster) may also be a good option for very small disposal projects. A dumpster this size can handle:

  • General household junk
  • Trash
  • Small amounts of construction debris
  • Clothing

Bag style dumpsters

RELATED: Roll-Off dumpster size guide

Avoid the potential for extra fees

Dumpster rental companies can tack on additional fees for any of the following:

  • Keeping the dumpster longer than originally agreed upon time
  • Overage fees – A fee for going over the container’s weight limit
  • Dumping hazardous materials in the dumpster
    • Paint
    • Automotive fluids
    • Flammable liquids
    • Car or truck tires
    • Lead-acid batteries (automobile batteries)
    • Fertilizers or insecticides

RELATED: What’s included in the cost of a dumpster?

The pick-up date

Dumpster pick up

Knowing the dumpster pick-up date is important for several reasons, but the most important is to ensure the container is gone before the new buyer moves in. Schedule pick-up at least a week in advance of your move-out date.

Dumpster rental companies are occasionally delayed in picking up dumpsters, so be sure to have a buffer of at least a week between the scheduled pick-up date and your move-out date.

Minimize the stress of moving by avoiding a mad scramble as the deadline approaches. Plan ahead and leave plenty of time to declutter and have the dumpster picked up. You’ll be glad to have a lighter load as you complete the move.

Get a free dumpster quote from a local dumpster rental company