Intro to Packing II: A box is a box is a box………..Not exactly.

Intro to Packing II: A box is a box is a box………..Not exactly.


“Moving boxes are Important”


When packing for a move, whether it’s across town or across the country, the moving box is an integral part of the moving process. There are a wide variety of boxes you can use when moving. Many people will get used apple boxes from grocery stores or miscellaneous boxes from family & friends. Do-it-yourself stores as well as home improvement stores have boxes available too. All of these boxes can work. However, your best bet when packing yourself is to use moving cartons. They are produced with moving in mind. Their sizes are uniform and their durability is tried and true. It may sound silly as many may think, “A box is a box is a box.” Unfortunately this is not always the case. When it comes to all of your earthly possessions, the box you use will be the main barrier to breakage.

Here is a list of common moving boxes and their intended use.

  • Small box or 1.5 cubic foot- (1.5 CTN)/(AKA “The Book Box”) Use this box to pack dense items or items that are smaller and have some weight. Some examples are books, paperwork, magazines, office & desk items, kitchen utensils, small kid’s toys, etc. On average a small box or “book box” should weigh 30 to 35 pounds.
  • Medium box or 3.0 cubic foot- (3.0 CTN) This box is more universal in nature. It can handle anything from clothes, towels, bedding, & toys all the way to small or medium electronics. The 3.0 carton (ctn) is the Swiss Army Knife of moving boxes. On average a medium box should weigh about 30 pounds.
  • Large box or 4.5 cubic foot- (4.5 CTN) This box is for larger items. It’s best not to over fill this box or pack it with anything too heavy. (i.e. books, DVD’s, paperwork, etc.) If you fill it with books, not only will the box most likely break under the strain when you least expect it, but you won’t enjoy moving it around the house and your friendly neighborhood movers may have a difficult time moving it as well. Large (4.5 CTN) cartons are mainly used for kitchen appliances like toasters and mixers, pots and pans, cutting boards and cooking sheets, large pillows, big stuffed animals, large toys, waste paper baskets and large electronics. On average this box should weigh 30 pounds. Never exceed 50 pounds on this box.
  • Dish Pack or Dish Barrel- (5.0 CTN) There are some variations of this box. You can get them with dividing cells or without. The main thing you want to look for when purchasing or using a dish pack is that it has double wall construction. It needs to be thick cardboard, twice as thick as the other boxes. This box is for anything fragile or breakable, not just your dishes and glasses. The dish pack is typically a little bigger than a 4.5 ctn and can weigh upwards of 100lbs.
  • Universal Mirror pack- (Picture box)This box has one singular purpose, things that are flat and fragile. For example, mirrors, artwork, or glass. It can be a single box, two boxes or four boxes. It is designed to adjust in size to fit the picture you are packing. Use this for all pictures, mirrors and glass tops on furniture.

These are the common boxes for packing. There are several other types of boxes with very specific uses. (e.g. lamp boxes, flat screen t.v. boxes, even grandfather clock boxes) If you have a unique item you need to pack or are not sure how to pack something in particular, contact your local moving company and ask them how to pack the item. Chances are they’ll be more than happy to help. They may even have the specialty box you need in stock.

More to come on packing…….Hard to believe I know, but it’ll be worth the read.

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