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Moving Boxes: All You'd Ever Want to Know (Really)


They might be the bane of your move: the boxes. You have to figure out how many you need, pay big bucks to buy them, put them together, and then figure out how to dispose of them when you're done.

Never fear. This guide will help you with all things moving boxes to make your brush with moving boxes easy and stress-free.

Moving Boxes:
The corrugated boxes that are used for moving are not all made with the same quality and same materials, and they are not just the common standard boxes that you see in many retail stores.

While it can be tempting to use the cheapest boxes and packing supplies available, the quality of boxes and supplies that you use will likely have a big impact on keeping your items safe and secure during the move or in a storage facility. If possible, try to choose only boxes that are specially designed to be used for moving.

What makes moving boxes different from other boxes is that they are designed specifically for loading and transporting items onto a truck. Professional moving companies use standard sizes boxes to help them plan effective use of their truck space.

Their experience helps them determine how many boxes and the type of boxes that will be needed to complete your move and then from this data they can determine how best to pack these boxes horizontally and vertically onto their trucks. If you use non-standard box sizes, the moving company will have to do their best to try to make things fit properly, but these non-standard sizes create a much greater risk that there is dead weight on the truck and that the boxes shift during the trip. (Moving yourself? Learn how to load a rental truck.)

How to Shop for Moving Boxes?
Planning is the most important first step. Complete an inventory of what you have to pack so you can get an idea of the type and quantity of items that you need to move. You can purchase ready-made moving kits that provide the right quantity of boxes and moving supplies for your move.

When you are shopping for moving boxes, you will see them presented with their three inside dimensions in the following order: length, width and then height or depth. For example, a standard medium moving box will be shown with the dimensions of 18 x 14 x 12, which indicates the boxes' length, width and height if you are looking from the top down into the box.

Moving box manufacturers have created several types of boxes, specially designed for moving household items. Normal moving box types and sizes include:
Medium Moving Boxes (18x14x12) – These are industry standard boxes that are versatile and can be used for a number of common household items. You can use these boxes to store books, collectibles,  kitchenware and most of your other household items.

Large Moving Boxes (20x20x15) - Large sized moving boxes are all-purpose moving boxes that can be packed with heavy items, but can still be carried easily. Medium sized moving boxes are best suited for a mix of some heavy household goods combined with some light items.

Extra Large Moving Boxes (23x23x16) – Extra large moving boxes are best suited for light goods such as bedding, drapes, towels and clothing that you do not place in a separate wardrobe box. Do not place too many items in a large moving box as it can become unwieldy to lift and carry.

Keeping Items Safe In Your Moving Boxes:
The most common cause of damage during a move comes from the vibration of items inside your box during transport.

If you leave space within the box or you have not properly wrapped the items in padding and bubble wrap, you will leave open space that create movement of your items inside the box. If there is too much space, a sudden jolt could cause your items to penetrate the box and be left open or exposed in the truck for the remainder of the trip.

Insist that your movers use quality packing tape, packing paper and bubble wrap. Even if you fill up boxes with clothes, blankets or pillows, you are providing more protection against shifting of items inside the boxes.

This small extra investment upfront can pay big dividends. Just a few damaged dishes or other expensive items can create an expense far exceeding the cost of the extra packing materials.

Other Important Moving and Packing Accessories:
Other items that are important to have on hand, along with your quality moving boxes, include:

  • Labels
  • Box Markers
  • Packing paper
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Furniture Pads
  • Packing Tape

Your Next Move:

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In the Press

A Moving Company's Moving Story
June, 2012

Relocation.com's survey was recently featured on the front page of USA Today. The headline entitled "Moving in Hard Times" highlighted our results that moving and relocating behaviors were only moderately influenced by the economy.


Our lifestyle survey found that Americans are seeking smaller homes and a suburban lifestyle. These riveting results were recently featured on USAToday.com in an article entitled "American dream shrinks as smaller homes gain favor."

"This user-friendly site includes a blog and a subscription-only newsletter, too"

The Washington Post

"Relocation.com provides you with all the tools you need to get quotes quickly from movers in your area."


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