Packing is easily the most exhausting part of a move by far. Getting packing supplies and boxes, deciding what you’re taking on the move, and physically packing is time-consuming. Professional moving companies know how to best use different types of boxes. We wrote this guide to picking the right moving box and packing supplies for the job at hand. Review these different moving boxes, their measurements, and how best to use them in your move:

Not all boxes are the same

  • Medium Linen Box (18”x18”x16”) – The medium linen box is versatile. This box size will most likely comprise most of your boxes. Anything from folded clothes, shoes, small kitchen appliances, and sheets are perfect for this sized box. We recommend using bubble wrap to cushion and take up space within the box when packing small kitchen appliances.
  • Large Linen Box (24”x18”x18”) – The large linen box is just as sturdy as the medium linen box but allows more room for bedding, especially comforters and blankets. It’s a great box to pack pillows and towels as well. Slightly larger kitchen appliances are perfect for this sized box as well, such as smaller toaster ovens. Again, bubble wrap is key here to avoid damage during the move.
  • Dish/China Box (18”x18”x27”) – Padded and built to house and protect fragile items like plates, glasses, and vases these boxes are sturdy. When packing up your kitchen, we recommend that you individually wrap items in bubble wrap, using packing paper to fill any extra spaces. The less movement within the box means less chance of broken glassware when you arrive at your destination.
  • Book Boxes (12”x12.5”x17”) – These smaller boxes are suited for heavier items. Cutlery sets, books (hence the name), photo albums, and other items of density are perfect for book boxes.
  • Wardrobe Boxes (24”x21”x36.5”) – Each wardrobe box holds about 2 feet of closet space (equivalent to about 40-50 hangers per box depending on the items). The box is fitted with a hanging metal bar to hang clothing items from your closets.
  • Picture Boxes – These are specialty boxes that vary in size meant for anything from picture frames to pieces of artwork that aren’t valuable enough to require custom crating (more on this next).
    Custom Crates – This is a service that reputable moving companies should offer. For particularly valuable items, whether this is artwork, pianos, or family heirlooms, a moving company can build custom wooden crates to fit your items snug and perfectly. This is the best way to keep valuable items protected though it will most likely cost an extra fee.
  • Plasma Box – Specifically pack flat-screen TVs, this type of box is usually adjustable in size and includes padding as well as corner protection. These features ensure your TV fits snugly inside avoiding any damage.

Packing Materials

Just as important as picking the right boxes, packing materials (when packing items yourself) are essential to avoid damage during transit. Below are the most common packing materials. These items are what most professional moving companies will supply. If you need extras, you can also purchase them at most home goods retailers.

  • Packing Tape with Dispenser – Great tool to seal up boxes quickly and efficiently. For a 1 bedroom move, we recommend buying 5-6 rolls of packing tape. Though it may seem to be more than necessary, it never hurts to have extra packing tape on hand.
  • Packing Paper – We recommend 15-20 lbs of packing paper for a standard 1 bedroom apartment. Think about how you will pack the kitchen. Wrap dishes and glasses while filling in any extra spaces within the boxes. This practice will go a long way to keep your more fragile items safe.
  • Moving Blankets – While FlatRate Moving makes sure to use clean, new moving blankets for our moves, the same can’t be said for everyone. If you’d rather purchase your moving blankets, that’s an option as well.
  • Markers and Labels – There’s nothing worse than moving to your new home and not knowing the contents of a box. When packing, label your boxes by room and contents. For anything fragile make sure to write “FRAGILE” on at least 2 sides of the box.

Can a moving company pack for me?

This is a common question we get here at FlatRate Moving and we offer full or partial packing services. Ask the moving companies you are vetting, which items are standard to pack and which will incur additional fees. Good moving companies generally pack large furniture items, electronics, lamps, and other fragile items like picture frames. Packing clothing and kitchenware usually bring an additional cost.

While you can try to find free boxes from local stores and businesses around your neighborhood, generally using boxes provided by a moving company will be much more specialized and better built. Reducing the risk of damage to your items is one way to ensure a stress-free moving experience.

Ready to pack?

Feel free to visit the FlatRate Moving Box Store as well as our box delivery service if you want your boxes delivered before the move but want to pack yourself.

If you’re ready to receive a quote, fill out the form on this page or give us a call. Feel free to inquire about box delivery or buying boxes (we also offer plastic bins) for your upcoming move. FlatRate Moving ensures you are 100% prepared on move day!