Packing Guide: Types of Boxes Used For Packing

Moving Boxes and Packing Materials

It is essential to use the right type of packing materials when packing up your household goods to help prevent damage. This guide is designed to help you to choose the right material by showing you what is available. There are many different size boxes suitable for different items and there are a variety of other packing materials you will need which are detailed below.

The following moving boxes and packing materials are used specifically for household moving. These boxes and packing materials are manufactured especially to the moving industry specification. You can obtain all these items from your moving company or a moving supply company for a reasonable fee.

You can also begin to collect cartons from your local grocery store and be sure to ask them for the covers also. Boxes used to carry glassware are very useful to the mover as they are usually very sturdy and often contain dividers to separate the glass containers. These can be very useful for packing glasses, bowls, vases and assortment of glass and delicate items.


  • Book (1.5 cubic feet), size 17 x 123/8 x 123/8: These small cartons are designed for heavy items, such as books, records, CD's, and canned goods.

  • Legal Tote (2.3 cubic feet), size 24 x 16 x 13: This box is specially designed for your files and folders.

  • Medium (3.0 cubic feet), size 101/8 x 18 x 16: This box is designed for non-fragile and moderately heavy items, such as pots, pans, linen, folded clothes, toys, games, etc.

  • Large (4.5 cubic feet), size 18 x 18 x 24 or (6.0 cubic feet), size 23 x 23 x 20: All large bulky articles, very light, such as pillows, comforters, lamp shades.

  • Dish pack (5.2 cubic feet), size 18 x 18 x 28: This box has double extra thick walls specifically designed for dishes, vases, glasses and other fragile items. You can also use cell packs separator for china or glassware with individual compartments for the items being packed.

  • Mirror, picture box: These narrow boxes accommodate different sized mirrors, paintings, other fragile items and flat items.

  • Wardrobe box with metal bar: This box is equipped with a metal bar so clothes can hang.

  • Mattress Box: Available in different sizes.

Miscellaneous Packing Materials:

  • Tape: The most common tape used for carton sealing is a plastic tape called "PVC".

  • "Newsprint" paper: NEVER USE NEWSPAPERS as wrapping material. Newspaper ink has a tendency to rub off on items it touches and it very difficult to remove it from items such as fine china. Use "newsprint" paper as cushioning material only -- ie, only when it rub against your items.

  • Tissue paper: This can be used to pack up delicate or easily broken items by layering over an over again

  • Bubble wrap: This is another material used as cushioning material.

  • Styrofoam peanuts: Packing material used to protect fragile items. This material is lightweight, clean, lint-free and dustless and safe.

  • Ziploc bags: These can be used for an assortment of things including small bits and pieces you may have lying about in containers and drawers.

  • Magic Markers: You will need markers to label the boxes with the contents.