Relocation packages in an empty room in front of a yellow wall overlay
Posted in How-to, Moving Preparation on November 22, 2022
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

How to Find Best Size Boxes for Moving?

Whether you’re relocating to the next town or cross-country, preparing your belongings properly is crucial to a successful move. One of the most important steps in packing is choosing the right cardboard containers – but how do you choose the best size boxes for moving? We have some excellent tips to help you choose the right dimensions – so read on.

First of all, think about what kind of items you’ll be relocating. Knowing what kind of items you’ll bring is crucial in determining the right dimensions. At the same time, note that heavier items need to go in smaller containers, while larger ones should be reserved for lightweight objects. In addition, keep in mind that you’ll need most of the medium and small storage materials, but their amount will depend on the number of belongings you have and their type.

What Kind of Sizes Are There?

If you don’t plan to get long-distance moving services and hire white glove movers to help you pack efficiently and promptly, you’ll be responsible for the packing. It will be the most demanding task on your to-do list, but the one that must start with gathering necessary packaging materials. One of the first things you need to do is figure out what kind of containers you’ll need, which size, and how many of them. After all, you can’t just pack up all your stuff willy-nilly and hope for the best. So, what size of boxes for moving are there?

There are four main types of box dimensions that you’ll typically find when organizing a move:

  • Small (16″ x 12″ x 12″),
  • Medium (18″ x 16″ x 18″)
  • Large (18″ x 18″ x 24″),
  • Extra-large cardboard (24″ x 20″ x 24″).

What Would Be the Best Box Dimensions for Your Move?

Given the variety of dimensions available, there are a number of things to take into account when deciding which ones you require. First of all, you should think about the dimension of the items you plan to pack and move.

Attempting to fit a bulky object within a medium-sized box is pointless because it won’t fit and can only end up damaging your things. Similarly, it serves no purpose to purchase extra-large crates and leave too much room inside of them for your belongings to shift and break. At the same time, keep in mind that the weight of the packed containers must also be taken into account. If a box weighs too much, it can be tough to carry and move, and if you load a box too much, it will be too big for you to lift.

Therefore, note that it is essential to do a home inventory and estimate the stuff you wish to pack – this can take some time but will help you determine the required dimensions, as well as the number of containers.

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Which Items to Pack In Different-Sized Boxes?

One of the most frustrating things about the whole packing process is trying to figure out what goes into which box. If you’re looking for some packing tips on the best-sized boxes for moving certain types of items, check the following relocation hacks.

Small boxes

These storage spaces are perfect for items that are a bit heavier and need protection from being crushed during the move. They are a good choice when you plan on packing dishes, glasses, books, picture frames, vases, and so on. However, you’ll want to avoid packing shoes, clothes, or towels in small boxes because they’ll take up too much space.

Keep in mind that when packing fragile items, it’s best you use bubble wrap or packing paper and cover each of them individually. Be sure to put plenty of padding around these items, so they don’t get damaged during the move.

Medium boxes

These are good for items that are neither too heavy nor too fragile. This includes things like clothes, toys, decorative items, pots and pans, and so on. They provide enough space to keep clothes from wrinkling, and towels and bedding can also be folded and packed neatly for the move. Be sure to put heavier items on the bottom of the box, so they don’t crush lighter items.

However, when packing toys, beware of sharp edges or pointed corners that could damage other items in the box (or injure someone during the move). It might be a good idea to wrap these items individually before putting them into a designated storage space.

Large (and extra large) boxes

While you may be tempted to pack heavier items in large boxes to save on space, that would be a relocation mistake. This is because large containers are likely to spill when overfilled. Not only that but trying to lift them can cause you a severe injury on the relocation day. For these reasons, it’s best to pack heavier items in smaller spaces and use larger ones for lighter items such as bedding, drapes, pillows, or comforters.

How to Figure Out How Many Boxes You Need?

As mentioned above, going through all your belongings is necessary – so the first step is to make a list of everything you plan to bring and keep when relocating. Once you have your list, you can start grouping items together. That way, you’ll get a clearer picture of how many containers of each dimension you’ll need at the end. Take a look at the table below for a usual estimate:

Dimension One to two rooms Two to three rooms Four to five rooms Six to seven rooms Eight to nine rooms
Small 8 10 18 30 40
Medium 6 8 15 25 30
Large 4 6 15 20 30
Extra-large 2 3 4 10 12

Of course, households differ greatly from one another, so you may need to adjust these numbers to your specific situation. Additionally, keep in mind that you’ll need different numbers if you’re relocating to a new city alone or with family. If you have more things to pack than an average home with the same number of rooms, go one column right – and vice versa.

Man holding boxes before cross-country moving
Adjust the numbers of different-sized containers to your needs

What Type of Boxes Are the Best for Relocation?

If you’re in the process of planning a move without the help of cross-country movers and their white glove moving services, you must first find out what kind of boxes you need. After all, not all boxes are created equal, and some are simply more suitable for certain items than others. So, how to choose?

If you’re looking for cardboard boxes that will stand up to the rigors of a move, your best bet is to go with ones that are labeled “heavy duty.” These are made from thicker cardboard than standard ones, which means they shouldn’t collapse under the weight of your belongings. They’re also generally larger, which is helpful if you’ve got larger items to pack (like lamps or small pieces of furniture). Just be aware that heavy-duty cardboard will be more expensive than regular stuff.

White glove movers unloading a truck
Cardboard containers are the most common storage materials during the move

Specialty Boxes Can Help You Protect Your Belongings

Cardboard containers are a standard choice for a reason – they’re cheap, easy to find, and work well for a variety of items. That said, note that there are many different kinds of cardboard you can find, from basic ones that can fit a variety of your belongings to wardrobe boxes for packing clothes or dish barrels for packing glasses and other breakables.

You can also use cardboard specially designed to carry mirrors and artwork or original containers for electronics if you plan to pack a TV, computer, and things alike. Office boxes with handles and detachable tops are also a good substitute for standard cardboard.

Can You Use Plastic Containers for Packing?

If you want something that’s even sturdier than a heavy-duty cardboard box, plastic is your best bet. Plastic containers are made from thick, durable plastic that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. They’re also often equipped with features like locking lids and handles, which can make them easier to transport (not to mention less likely to spill open in the middle of your move).

However, they do come with downsides. For example, they’re generally more expensive than their cardboard counterparts. In addition, they are less-eco friendly than recyclable cardboard. However, many people feel that they’re worth the investment because they can be used over and over again.

Plastic containers prepared for long-distance moving
Tupperware can be a good substitute for classic cardboard

Where to Find Suitable Storage Materials?

Another thing to consider when relocating to a new state is where to find containers. One of the most obvious places to start your search for usable cardboard are basements, garages, and attics – go through your home and see if you have some of them stored. At the same time, if you know somebody who’s just moved – or is in the process of relocating – chances are they have some extra containers lying around that they would be happy to give you. Not only is this a great way to get free supplies, but it’s also an excellent way to reduce waste.

Another option is to scour Craigslist or Freecycle for free supplies and search for those who want to get rid of their leftover materials – this is a great resource if you’re on a tight budget. Just make sure that they are sturdy and in good condition before loading them up with all your belongings! You can also check with local businesses in your area – many of these stores will have plenty of empty cardboard lying around that they would be happy to give away rather than throw out.

On the other hand, if you wish to buy new ones, visit stores that sell cardboard specifically designed for relocations. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, so you can choose the option that best fits your needs. The only downside? They can be a bit pricey. However, if you plan on using the box more than once or donating it after your move, then it may be worth the investment.

Of course, if finding and gathering relocation supplies proves to give you too many headaches, you can always opt for getting packing services and let professional packers deal with all things concerning boxing up.

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Let Long-Distance Movers Determine the Best Size Boxes for Moving and Move With Ease

Trying to determine how many containers you’ll need, as well as their preferable dimension and types, can be quite challenging and stressful. However, a white glove moving company and its team of professional packers can help make your transition seamless by taking this responsibility from you. Getting a reliable white glove moving service is the best way to prevent your belongings from breaking and provide yourself with a hassle-free move – so make sure you book it on time.

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