How to Choose the Best-Sized Boxes for Moving

November 25, 2019 / Posted in How-to
Eva Johnson

Digital nomad born in New York but currently living online, Eva knows everything there is to know about packing and moving.

Relocation can be quite complicated, and the packing process itself can be very difficult and take a lot of time. If you know how to choose the best-sized boxes to keep your belongings safe, you will save a lot of time and resources. There are so many different kinds that you may find choosing the right box size rather confusing. Are you packing a fragile piece of glassware or are you moving furniture that you just disassembled? Will your expensive electronics be safe in a box you got for free, or will you need to spend a little extra on a sturdier container?

A person lying on the floor surrounded by boxes before cross-country moving
Keep in mind different sizes fit different objects

How to Choose the Best-Sized Boxes for Moving – Check Out All the Different Sizes

Containers come in various sizes and many of them have different purposes. Your choice will depend on what kind of items you want to pack. Maybe you’re preparing glassware that needs extra protection, or perhaps you’re packing books and are worried about the weight of your package as you’re moving on a budget.


Small Size of Boxes for Moving Are for Heavier Items

These ones are usually 16x10x10 inches in measure and are commonly used for small but heavy belongings. Stacks of books, small kitchen appliances, lamps, and dishes should all be packed into small moving boxes. It may seem to you that the most cost-efficient and easiest way to pack them would be to put them in a larger box. However, remember one of the most important tips: you shouldn’t ever overpack. Not only because of the weight which can add up in the blink of an eye, but for safety reasons as well. Remember that they may be stacked on top of each other when you pack a moving truck or when you place them in a storage unit.


A happy girl standing next to a pile of boxes before long-distance moving company comes
Some have specific uses, such as a wardrobe box

Medium-Sized Containers

A medium-sized box can vary from 18x14x12 inches to 18x18x16 inches and can carry up to 65 to 70 pounds. They can be used for packing kitchen appliances, electronics, larger lamps, as well as stacks of clothing and linens. They are the usual go-to box when it comes to relocating to a new home.

Medium Cartons Are for All Purposes

They can be used as a one-size-fits-all solution, but do remember that small and large container also have their purposes and advantages. One of the biggest mistakes is overpacking, which is why small cartons are used for heavier but smaller items, and large cartons are great for lighter belongings which are big and take up a lot of space.

Boxes neatly packed and labeled for long-distance moving
Store smaller but heavier stuff in medium containers

Use Large Containers For Some Lighter and Bulkier Stuff

The largest-sized containers can seem like a good solution if you are relocating on a budget and want to stuff everything in one place. But this is a very bad idea as the package can get very heavy, and the items inside won’t be as protected as they would be in a smaller box. They are commonly 20x20x15 inches in size, and should ideally be used for large belongings which are light as well. Couch cushions, pillows, large comforters, and blankets should all be packed in large cartons.

Check Out Some Specific Box Categories Professional Cross-Country Movers Recommend

Besides being separated based on their size, there are also categories of containers based on their specific purpose. They can be very useful as they are often custom-made to suit the specific needs you may have when handling certain items. Kitchen crates come with separate compartments and inserts of various sizes. This makes these containers the best ones when packing the kitchen and want to make sure your dishes, china, and your glasses are protected for the move. You’ll get the same advice from our Flat Price Auto Transport and Moving Company since they have many years of experience in transporting all sorts of belongings. Picture boxes come in medium and large sizes and are used for storing standard-sized artwork and mirrors. There are also TV boxes that are large and sturdy and come in multiple pieces so that you can adjust them to fit your needs.

You Can Use a Mattress Box for Extra Protection

If you have hired professional long-distance movers for their long-distance moving services and want their help with the packing process, they will probably wrap your mattress before the relocation of your home. But in case you’re using storage services as well, it would be among the best tips to get a mattress container. Whether it’s long-term or short-term storage, you don’t want your mattress to get punctured, damaged, or exposed for a long time after packing a storage unit.


Soft folded blanket and pillows on bed indoors, closeup
Keep your mattress protected when cross-country moving

Use Wardrobe Boxes to Pack Clothes

These are some of the most popular supplies as they are designed specifically for all types of clothing items. You can choose a hanging wardrobe box, which is shaped like a wardrobe and comes in various sizes. You will be able to hang your clothes inside and keep them from wrinkling, but remember that they can be very heavy. The other type is the laydown wardrobe box – it’s somewhat lighter and shouldn’t be overpacked. You can use it for any clothing you want to fold and pack.

A person packing clothes in a box before long-distance moving company comes
Get the right boxes for your clothes

Where to Find Different Sizes of Boxes for Moving – Search Online or Visit Your Local Store for More Options

There are many ways to find cartons, either for free or for an affordable price, which is good news if you’re adamant about saving money when moving. You can search online and find out where to get free boxes. For example, Craigslist is a good place to check out.

You can also check at your local grocery stores, as they get their goods in bulk and probably have some lying around. One of the most common tips is to also check a bookstore if there are any around you. Books are usually transported in sturdy containers, sometimes in bulk, and many bookstores give those containers away if they don’t need them.

A person researching a long-distance moving company on a laptop
Turn to the internet if you need help with your search

Contact a Professional Long-Distance Moving Company to Help You With the Wrapping Process

If you are planning a long-distance move, it is important to consider the packing and wrapping process to ensure that your belongings arrive safely at your new home. One option is to have a professional cross-country moving and auto transport company help you with the wrapping and transporting process.

Contact our Flat Price Auto Transport and Moving Company to get the best quote for your relocation process and don’t worry about storing your belonging. We’ll carefully take care of this and other services since we’re a professional car shipping company as well.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Choose the Best-Sized Boxes

What are the different sizes of moving boxes available?

The most common sizes are small, medium, and large. Small boxes are typically used for heavier items like books or dishes, while medium boxes are great for clothing, linens, and smaller appliances. Large boxes are ideal for lightweight, bulky items like pillows, blankets, or lamps.

What factors should I consider when choosing the size of moving boxes?

You should think about the weight and size of the items you are packing, as this will determine the appropriate box size. It’s important to avoid overpacking boxes, which can lead to damage or injury during the move. Additionally, consider the shape of the items.

How can I determine how many boxes I will need for my move?

Use an online packing calculator, which can help you determine the number and sizes of boxes you’ll need based on the number of rooms in your home, the number of people moving, and the types of items you’ll be packing. Another option is to walk through your home and make an inventory of your belongings, including the number and types of items in each room.

Can I use different sizes of boxes for different items?

Yes, it is perfectly fine to use different sizes of boxes for different items when packing for a move. In fact, it is often recommended to use a variety of box sizes to accommodate different types of items and ensure that they are packed securely.

How can I choose the right size of box for packing heavy items?

It’s best to choose smaller boxes for heavy items, as larger boxes can become too heavy and difficult to lift or move. For example, small boxes are best for packing items such as books, tools, or dishes.

What is the best size of box for packing clothes?

For lightweight and bulky items such as sweaters, blankets, or pillows, larger boxes are typically more appropriate. On the other hand, for heavier clothing items such as jeans or jackets, smaller boxes are better suited, as they are easier to lift and carry.

Is it better to use smaller or larger boxes for fragile items?

When it comes to packing fragile items, it is generally better to use smaller boxes. This is because smaller boxes are easier to handle and less likely to be overloaded or stacked under heavier boxes, which can increase the risk of damage.

How can I choose the right size of box for packing electronics?

Choosing the right size of box for packing electronics is crucial for ensuring that they are properly protected during the move. Start by measuring the dimensions of the electronic item, including its length, width, and height. Then, choose a box that is slightly larger than the item to allow space for padding and packing materials.

Can I use boxes from the grocery store or other retailers for moving?

Using boxes from grocery stores or other retailers for relocating is possible, but it’s important to be aware of their limitations. These boxes are not specifically designed for moving and may not be as sturdy as those made for relocating.

How can I ensure that my boxes are strong enough to hold my belongings?

When selecting boxes, look for options that are specifically designed for cross-country moving, as these are typically made from durable materials and can better withstand the stress of transportation. Additionally, inspect each box carefully for any signs of wear or damage, such as tears, holes, or weakened corners.

Is it better to have a few large boxes or several smaller boxes for a move?

Using larger boxes can be helpful for lightweight, bulky items such as pillows, bedding, or lampshades, as they allow you to pack more items in a single box, saving you time and space. However, keep in mind that larger boxes can be heavy and difficult to lift or move, so be sure to avoid overpacking them.

How can I save space in the moving truck by choosing the right size of boxes?

Choosing the right size of boxes can help you save space in the moving truck, which can be particularly important if you’re working with a limited amount of space. One way to save space is to choose boxes that are as close in size to your items as possible.

Can I reuse boxes from a previous move?

If the boxes are still in good condition, without any tears or damage, and can support the weight of the items you’re packing, then you can certainly reuse them. However, it’s important to avoid using boxes that are weak or worn, as they may not provide adequate protection for your items during the move.

How can I label my boxes to ensure that I can easily find items during the move?

Labeling your boxes is a crucial step in ensuring that you can easily find items during the move. To label your boxes effectively, start by using a permanent marker to write the contents of each box on the side and top. Be specific and include details such as room name, item type, and quantity.

Is it better to buy boxes or rent them from a moving company?

Renting boxes from a long-distance moving company can be a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective option, as you won’t have to purchase boxes that you may not use again. Additionally, rental boxes are typically sturdier and designed specifically for moving, which can provide better protection for your belongings.

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