How to Choose the Right Boxes for Your Move - The Ultimate Guide

Last Updated:

December 5, 2023

Although packing is an essential part of the moving process, people rarely take enough time to choose their moving box sizes. Choosing your packing box sizes is important, especially if you are moving on a tight budget. Moving boxes help cut costs since you can re-use or re-purpose them during another move.

Moving boxes also help with uniformity, identification, and prevent damage. After taking your time to plan the perfect move, moving boxes make it easy to organize your items. The boxes also keep your items free from damage.

How to Choose the Right Size and Style of Moving Boxes?

There are different moving box sizes which you can choose depending on your needs. The right size and style of the box should make packing and unpacking easy. The main factors to consider are your items - what are you moving, how many things, how heavy are they, and what is their shape?

While most people are accustomed to the standard box sizes, which are medium moving boxes, you can get small and big boxes. Therefore, you might need different moving box sizes depending on your items' weight, size, and shape.

Different Types of Moving Boxes

When preparing to move, you must ensure you have all the necessary moving supplies, including mobbing boxes. However, with so many packing box sizes, knowing which one you need can be difficult. So, how do you know if you need standard box sizes or medium moving boxes?

Start by taking an inventory of the items you will be moving with. Then, depending on the checklist, you will determine the best moving box type. You can also determine how many boxes you need and estimate the moving boxes cost. Here are some different types of boxes.

1. Wardrobe Boxes 

Do you have a wardrobe in your current home? You might need wardrobe boxes to carry your hanging clothes if you do. These boxes are exceptional because:

  • They carry your clothes without wrinkling
  • You don't need to get the clothes off the hangers since they have metal hanging bars, making it easy to sort clothes from the wardrobe.
  • They make it easy to unpack the clothes and hang them in the new wardrobe following the move.
  • You can add small light items to the floor of the carton
  • They are also ideal for unusually shaped items like rakes, paper rolls, garage tools, etc.

2. Dish Packs

These are moving boxes for fragile items, commonly referred to as dish boxes. While other standard boxes have a single layer of cardboard, dish packs have double layers. Therefore, they stand out because:

  • They contain a double layer of cardboard, making them extra thick and ideal for breakable items.
  • Among other moving boxes cost, dish packs are expensive because of the additional layer of protection
  • Some come with cell dividers, making it easy to transport your kitchenware safely
  • You can pack your glasses, cups, vases, plates, lamp bases, and electronics.

3. Small Moving Boxes

There are standard box sizes, and there are small moving boxes. Depending on the items you are moving, you might need small moving boxes. They are the most needed and preferred.

  • Ideal for the majority of items around the house
  • Approximately 1.5 cubic feet
  • Ideal for small heavy items like books, pantry items, and appliances
  • Easy to load, carry and unpack

4. Medium Moving Boxes

These are the standard moving boxes size and the most popular. Medium moving boxes are the right size for numerous items.

  • Suitable for packing medium-sized items like picture frames, clothing, stuffed animals, etc.
  • They are the perfect size as they can handle a lot of items and are easy to move to the truck
  • Approximately 14-18 inches long
  • They are mostly all-purpose, and anything can fit there—clothing, utensils, etc.

5. Larger Moving Boxes

Are you moving from a large to a small apartment? It is cost-effective to move with a handful of large moving boxes.

  • Approximately 4.5 cubic feet and measuring 18-24 inches.
  • Suitable for lightweight materials
  • Due to their large size, avoid over-packing them as they might become difficult to carry during the move.
  • When packing large moving boxes, ensure that as the items increase, the weight of the box decreases.

Where to Buy Moving Boxes?

From the tips above, you know how to choose the right packing box sizes. You also have an idea of the different moving box sizes you might need. But where do you buy the moving boxes?

There are numerous places you can get moving boxes, each site with different moving boxes costs. You can find them by contacting Sunshine Movers of Sarasota. 

Final Thoughts on Buying the Right Boxes

Moving can be stressful. However, planning and packing make it easy for short and long-distance moves. As you pack, consider the items you need to move and the ideal packing box sizes for these items.

Remember to consider the number of items you intend to move and their weight and shape. Choosing the right moving box sizes will ensure everything arrives safely and is easily offloaded. After unpacking, remember to keep your boxes for your next move or re-use them.


1. How to Properly Pack Your Moving Boxes?

Now that you know how to choose the right packing box sizes, how do you pack the box? While packing may seem easy and self-explanatory, you need to have a plan to avoid over-packing and breaking items.

When packing, avoid overloading boxes. While moving boxes cost you money and want value for every penny, don't overload them. Overloading can make the boxes too heavy, making them hard to move.

Overloading could also cause the box to tear as you carry it, leading to the breakage of fragile items and inconveniences. Each packing box size has the maximum weight that it can hold. You can check the bottom of the box for the weight limit.

Also, if you can, use small boxes. While it may seem easier to buy medium moving or large boxes than to pack many small ones, small boxes offer numerous advantages. They make it easy to move the items after packing. They are also easier to pack and unpack.

While we have discouraged overloading your boxes, that doesn't mean you shouldn't fill them up. Fill up your boxes and pack items until the box is full without overloading it. Mostly, the moving company will stack the boxes during the move, so boxes that aren't full are likely to collapse.

Here is a step-by-step packing guide:

  • Before packing any item, line the bottom of the box with a cushion
  • Have the heavy things go first into the box
  • Wrap items individually, especially fragile items like glass and dishware
  • Tape the box using packing tape as other types of tapes may pop off
  • Label the box after taping

2. What Are the Best Packing Tips for Your Moving Day?

Relocating is unavoidable sometimes, and the hassle of packing can make the excitement of moving quickly dissipate. However, your move will be a breeze with the right packing tips. Here are the four best packing tips.

First, overestimate the packing materials you need. Most people underestimate the items in their homes, which leads to a last-minute rush to buy moving supplies. Since packing is an essential part of moving, do it the right way.

Second, it can be a nightmare packing the winter gear since they are bulky and take up much space. A useful tip is to shrink the sweaters and winter clothes using vacuum-sealed bags. Vacuum-sealed bags have a vacuum nozzle port.

Fill the bag, and use the nozzle to suck out the air. The vacuum will make your clothes flat, making them take less space in moving boxes without damaging them. You can fill them with air after arriving at your intended destination.

Third, have a separate suitcase for your valuable belongings. You might need to separate your valuables from the rest of the items, especially if you are moving long-distance. Sensitive items can be jewelry, documents like passports, and social security cards.

Ensure the suitcase with your valuables is in an easy-to-access area. Then, you can move with it instead of adding it to the rest of the boxes. If you are flying separately to your destination as you await the items, you can travel with your suitcase.

Lastly, begin packing things you least use, and finish with those you use frequently. Always start by packing non-essentials like the bedding in guest rooms, first-aid and emergency kits, and toys your children don't like.

3. How Do You Prioritize Packing for a Move?

With so much to do, determining what you need to do could be hard. So what do you pack first? Once you get your packing supplies, begin by packing your stored items. You have items in a storage cabinet, garage, or closet. Start by packing these.

Next, pack seasonal items that you are not currently using, for example, winter clothing during the summer. Or, you can start with the lawn equipment if you are moving during winter.

Then, focus on packing hard-to-pack items. Items like pianos and artwork need special planning in advance. Here is a guide on moving your piano. You can call a moving company to inquire about specialty items you intend to move in. Inquire if they can help with packing and how much they charge.

It is then time to pack items you don't use in everyday life about a week before the moving day. For example, if your home has two bathrooms, you can pack all the items from one bathroom and leave those in the bathroom you are currently using.

Lastly, before moving, clean out the kitchen and closets. Only leave the items you occasionally use until the last day before moving. Then, pack them separately to make them accessible after the move.


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