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A moving box is not just another box

Find out what makes a moving box special and why you need these types of boxes for your move.

Moving Boxes

The lowly moving box -- so crucial to your move, yet so humble and unassuming. Indeed, those plain old moving boxes that are used for moving are not all made with the same quality and materials, and they are not just the common standard boxes you see moved by retailers the world over. In fact, even if it's tempting to just use the cheapest boxes and packing supplies you can get your hands on, the quality of your moving boxes and supplies has a huge effect on whether your items arrive safely and securely at your new home. If possible, use only boxes specially designed for moving when you're packing your goods.

Boxes that you use for moving are different from other boxes because they are designed specifically for loading and transporting items onto a moving van. Quality, professional moving companies use standard sizes boxes to help them effectively fill up the truck space. Their experience helps them determine how many boxes and the type of boxes that will be needed to complete your move and then from this data they can determine how best to pack these boxes horizontally and vertically onto their trucks. (Here's a quick guide on how to plan and organize your packing.) Non-standard sizes create a much greater risk of 'dead weight' on the truck and that the boxes will shift during the move.

Moving boxes are made out of single or double wall corrugated cardboard; the thicker the wall of the box the higher ECT (or Edge Crush Test) rating the box will have. The higher the ECT rating shown on the flap of the box, the stronger the box is and the more stuff it can hold. As you would expect, the higher the ECT rating, the more expensive the box will be as the production of the box involved a greater density of materials. Professional moving companies generally use moving boxes with at least a 32 ECT rating (or 200 lb test). There ratings are standard across the box industry and provide you with comfort that the box with your household belongings is strong enough to survive the move. Boxes that have an ECT of less than 32 are not designed to be used for moving and should be avoided, if possible.

What Goes Into a Moving Box?

When packing a box you want to avoid putting too many items into a single moving box or using too big of a box. It is very easy for a moving box to become too heavy to carry or to risk damaging your belongings with things knocking together inside the box or breaking the box because the items are too heavy. Even though your movers will most likely be able to lift a heavier box than you can, you want to be able to pack your boxes no heavier than you can safely carry. You may need to move those boxes around in your new home.

Moving box manufacturers have created several types of boxes, specially designed for moving household items. Normal moving box types and sizes include:

Small Moving Boxes 1.5 cuft  (16x12x12) - These smaller moving boxes are perfect for books, toys, DVDs and heavier items.
Medium Moving Boxes 3.0 cuft (18x14x12) – These are industry standard boxes that are versatile and can be used for a number of common household items. You can use these boxes to pack clothes, linens, collectibles, kitchenware and most of your other household items.
Large Moving Boxes 4.5 cuft (20x20x15) - Large sized moving boxes are all-purpose moving boxes that can be packed with bulky items, but can still be carried easily. Medium sized moving boxes are best suited for a mix of some heavy household goods combined with some light items.
Extra Large Moving Boxes 6.0 cuft (24x18x24) – Extra large moving boxes are best suited for light goods such as bedding, drapes, towels and clothing that you do not place in a separate wardrobe box.
Dish Barrel Packs  (18x18x28) - Specifically designed with double-walled extra protection for china, antiques or fragile items