Boxing It All Up: How To Get The Most From Your Moving Boxes

People who are planning a move know they'll need a lot of boxes to pack up all their things - even if they'll have the help of a local moving company to get everything from place to place. But not just any box will do when it comes to moving. You'll want to look for certain types of boxes in order to make the most of your packing time.

What Kind of Boxes Are Best?

Don't waste your time on boxes that are too small or too large for efficient moving. The size of box will depend on what you're packing in them.

These box sizes are standard moving sizes:

  • Small (12x12x12 inches). Best for books
  • Medium (18x14x12 inches). These are good for heavier items and things like kitchen appliances, living room décor and other generic household things
  • Large (20x20x15 inches). Don't put too many heavy things in here or your movers may hurt themselves! Put heavier items in the bottom and lighter things on top, such as towels and linens
  • Super (23x23x16 inches). Stick with lighter things like clothing, linens and bedding so that they aren't impossible to pick up

You can also purchase boxes designed specifically to pack and move clothing, picture frames, file folders and kitchen items like glassware.

You'll need boxes that are of high quality. They should all be made of corrugated cardboard. If you purchase them specifically for moving, they should have an Edge Crush Test (ECT) rating that shows how much weight the box can take before it will start to fail. Professional movers recommend boxes of at least 32 ECT, as those can withstand 200 pounds of weight stacked on them.

Where Do You Get Boxes?

You can ask your local grocery store when they are most likely to break down boxes (which means they cut the tape and lie them flat for efficient recycling). If you can arrive before they do this work, you may have a lot of high-quality boxes to choose from, like the ones that hold cans and jugs of juice.

The problem with these boxes is that they don't come in the standard sizes listed above, so moving professionals may find it harder to stack them efficiently. Do your best to get several of the same size box to make this easier, whether you're packing up the moving van or you're having someone else do it.

Often, people can get unused boxes from their moving company or at a packing supplies store. These boxes are flat and you assemble them with heavy-duty packing tape.

The benefit: They are the standard sizes listed above, haven't been used before, and won't have any stains or holes like previously used boxes might. They also will be easier to pack consistently and stack.

If you do buy your boxes, make sure you are getting the sturdiest type available. The good news is that if you buy through your moving supplies company, you may be able to return anything you don't use. Be sure to ask when you go in to price and purchase the supplies you need. To learn more, contact a company like Walsh Moving & Storage with your questions and concerns.