What Types of Boxes Do You Need for Your Move?

By VanLines.com Staff

Boxes are the most important yet unassuming component of a move. Not all boxes are made to the same standards or for the same purpose. Moving boxes are not the ordinary shipping boxes used by grocery stores or retailers. Although it is quite tempting to use the cheapest boxes available that look sturdy enough, the quality and type of box you use has a huge role in whether or not your belongings arrive safely at your destination.

Moving boxes are specially manufactured to endure loading and unloading while carrying heavy household items. The system used to rate boxes is known the ECT rating or Edge Crash Test rating.  Most moving companies use boxes of a 32 ECT rating or higher. This ensures that the boxes will not distort under load or tear and spill their contents.

Moving boxes are also more resistant to moisture than common retail boxes. This keeps your belongings safe during transit and storage period before you finally unpack them.

Planning on which boxes you need will help you pack and move more efficiently. In many cases the moving company takes care of choosing boxes for the move. Their choice is usually a standard size that will help them load the truck more efficiently and reduce any dead weight. However, this might mean that some of your belongings that should have been packed in smaller boxes are not properly packed and end up damaged.

The main types of boxes and their sizes are as below:

Medium Moving Boxes (18x14x12): This is a moving industry standard box that can be used to pack most of the common items around your house. The boxes are durable and can be used for heavy items like books, kitchen utensils and clothes.

Large Moving Boxes (20x20x15): These boxes are larger but can be carried very easily even when heavy. These boxes can carry heavy items and large items that need added protection while traveling.

Extra Large Moving Boxes (23x23x16): These boxes are primarily used for clothing and other fabric based materials like bedcovers, curtains, drapes and towels. The large size helps pack and move a large number of items in one go.

Sliding Boxes:
These boxes are specially designed for carrying mirrors, frames and paintings when moving. The boxes have an inner layer with a sliding outer layer. The item is placed in the inner box and the outer layer is slid shut and sealed. These boxes come in a number of sizes to help pack small and large items safely.

Using a proper box is not enough. Within each box, your items need to be packed and secured properly. Packing materials like bubble wrap, foam peanuts and styrofoam are used to provide cushioning to brittle items during transport. Waterproof plastic sheeting is also used to line boxes that contain textiles and electronic items. Such proper packing is important so that your belongings arrive in good shape at your destination. If you have any special items that need special packing, your movers can help you choose secure boxes and materials.