A Commonly Neglected Item: Boxes and How to Make Them Work for You

packing - moving - boxesBoxes---the single most necessary item for any relocation. Whether you are moving old tennis trophies to the garage or relocating your entire house across the country, you definitely cannot do to without a box, or even several. There are lots of varying sizes, and specific-use boxes, it can be super mind-boggling when you are standing there looking at piles of cardboard that are somehow going to completely change themselves into functional packing containers.

The first thing to know is that while boxes are not created precisely the same, they are very autonomous in that you can utilize just about any box for just about any item. The catch is in being smart about what to pack in which box--and forget what the box is named, go ahead and put your golf clubs in the wardrobe box, if it feels right. The other thing witty folks (that includes you) do is not to put too much in the boxes so they weigh too much. You are going to be moving a lot of them, and seven pounds seems like fifty after a while.

Sizes and Weight

Boxes are classified in cubic feet. The smallest moving box is normally 1.5 CF, and is what you'll use for heavy stuff like books or small appliances. Knickknacks are best in these small boxes as you can put a complete collection in one box. You may see heavy-duty boxes, but just because you can pack more stuff into a box doesn't mean you should, unless you have a heavy-duty back to lift the weightier boxes. These boxes often have grips for easier moving and an normal height person can easily move two of these in unison.

The next size larger is 3.1 cubic feet. This is where you can stow shoes, toys, pots and pans--things that aren't very heavy. Some of these boxes also have the built-in grips and are a bit more unwieldy than the smaller box, so do not overload this one or it's going to be difficult to pick-up and move.

Linens, jackets, towels, and clothes go in the 4.5 CF boxes. They are big and deep, and again, don't overload them because the bulk makes even the lightly packed ones a challenge to move unless you are tall.

The biggest standard boxes are 6.1 cubic feet. This is where you pack pillows, lampshades, blankets, and anything that's large but lightweight.

Specialty Boxes

These are designed for moving one certain sort of thing, but are convenient for lots of other stuff, as well. While they are a little more expensive, are well worth the cost in ease of packing options and protection.

Dish pack

A dish pack is a box with a double layer of corrugated cardboard. Do not think you can solely put dishes in these, they are meant to protect anything fragile. A dish pack is anywhere between the 1.5 and 3.1 CF size, and you can either wrap items individually in packing paper or use the newer foam sleeves--slide the plate or glass into the sleeve and put it in the box. Some boxes have inserts for glasses, so they stand up in their spot and don't get bumped by another glass. A dish box is perfect for stereo components, lamp bases, or anything delicate that you do not want in the regular boxes.

Wardrobe Box

A wardrobe box is exactly what it seems like. It is taller than the 6.1 CF box, is about 10 CF, and is a heavy-duty cardboard that's constructed to stand up while in transit. It has a hanger bar that attaches near the top, so you can move your hanging clothes with ease. The standard height for a wardrobe box is about 46 inches, so you can use them to move things like dining room chairs or those golf clubs, as well.

Mirror Box

A mirror box comes in a variety of sizes, but they are all usually flat, and large. They're what you use for artwork and mirrors, but also flat screen TVs, computer monitors, large platters, or even tennis rackets.

Don't neglect the proper packing supplies--lots of paper, tape and bubble wrap--but knowing your boxes is the first step of a successful move.