How to Choose the Right Boxes and Packing Materials

17 October 2013 by


Moving boxes 1.jpgUsing the wrong boxes to pack your items is a little like trying to paddle upstream. It will complicate an already challenging process. Choosing the right boxes and packing materials for a move is just as important as picking the right moving company. Your decision will affect how smoothly your packing goes. It is not enough to simply pick a sturdy box (which alone is important); you will also need to pick the right size for your needs. If you’re in the dark as to how to choose the right boxes, the following is a breakdown of what you’ll need for a move.

Small Boxes

Small boxes roughly measure 1.5 cubic feet. They’re a good fit for packing canned goods and work tools. You should also consider packing your books, DVDs, and CD collection in small boxes. Such items tend to get really heavy in larger boxes. Choosing a small carton to pack your books will make them easier to carry and reduce the risk of you accidentally dropping the carton.

Medium Boxes

Arguably, the most common of packing boxes, medium boxes offer many benefits. They are easy to carry, but large enough to hold most household items. If you have any heavy small items, this is the box to use. Medium boxes can be used to pack lamps, kitchen utensils, outdoor tools, and appliances. Medium boxes have a volume of approximately 3.0 cubic foot. However, there is a slightly larger option that measures 4.5 cubic feet. For larger items such as large kitchen pots, large lamp bases, lampshades, kid’s toys, and bedding, the 4.5 box is a better fit.

Large Boxes

Large boxes have a starting volume of 6.0 cubic foot. Despite their size, they are best used for packing lightweight items. Stuffing a large box with heavy items will make it almost difficult to move. It will put a lot of strain on your back, which can lead to injury. Large boxes are good for packing stuffed toys, bedding, coats, and pillows.

Specialty Boxes

Beyond the standard small, medium, and large boxes, you may have special items that need to be moved. For instance, a set of golf clubs cannot fit into a medium carton and would be too heavy for a large carton. For such items, consider getting a made-to-order crate. You can find out how much this will cost by contacting your moving company. Made-to-order crates feature custom-built constructions designed to fit with a particular need. For instance, the moving company can provide you with a specialty box for your china, your TV, or as in the example above, your golf clubs.

Dish Pack

Like the name suggests, a dishpack (also known as a dish barrel) is a special type of moving box that is recommended for packing fragile kitchen items such as crystals and china. They boast multi-layered reinforced builds that shields the content from shock and prevents the boxes from breaking.

Mattress Box

A mattress box gives you the best way of transporting your mattress. Again, your moving company is likely to be able to provide you with one. Mattress boxes come in different sizes, so you will need to determine the right size for your bed. If you are not sure, you can ask the moving company to send a worker to conduct the evaluation.

Wardrobe Boxes

Wardrobe boxes give you an easy way of moving the clothes in your wardrobe. No need to fold your clothes. You can simply transfer them from the hangers in the wardrobe to the box. A wardrobe box reduces the risk of wrinkles. It also allows you to pack in quicker time.

Assembling and Packing Your Boxes

Moving boxes sometimes come unfolded. If that happens, you will need to fold and assemble them. This is not every difficult but it is important that you do it right, otherwise your items could come tumbling out in the middle of loading. A good tip is to run a strip of tape across the seams and bottom. This will strengthen the box and reduce the risk of accident. You may also want to consider taping the covering flaps down. This way, you do not have to worry about them interfering with your packing.

When packing fragile items, use newsprint, tissue, or Styrofoam to fill up any empty space and hold the in place. Doing this prevents the items from slipping around and accidentally breaking. If you do not have Styrofoam or shrink wrap, you can use alternative packing items such as napkins, towels, or your socks. Some people prefer to wrap their china. The only downside to this is that the ink may sometimes rub on your dish, which can leave permanent marks.

Sourcing for Boxes

If you are working on a tight budget, and you are unable to afford buying moving boxes, you could try several other alternatives. One of these is renting the moving box from the moving company. You can also buy moving boxes from people who have recently relocated and are looking to discard their boxes. Other popular ways of sourcing for boxes include checking the local grocery store or the pharmaceutical company. If you opt to use any of these options, be sure to choose a box fits with your packing needs. Avoid boxes made from acidic material as these may affect some of your items (such as books).

The Wrap

Packing takes some skill. In addition to choosing the right boxes, pay attention to the way you pack your items. The boxes should not be too heavy. A heavy box has a higher chance of breaking open or crushing another box. Here’s a final tip. For really heavy items that you won’t be needing soon, consider the option of self-storage. Just be sure to have the items properly packed before you lock them in the storage unit.

SSF Team

SSF Team

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