Moving out of a home can be very stressful. Finding a new home, dealing with the reason for moving, and tracking the hidden costs can be tough. Then add the stress from what needs to be done before you move, like canceling services, renting a moving truck, and packing up your belongings. However, with the appropriate moving boxes, there will be one less thing to worry about.
Choosing moving boxes depends on the contents that will be packed, the box sizes, and the sturdiness of each box. These factors will help determine how a box should be used during a move to make it a little easier for everyone. Take a look below at some of the top products available, and continue reading to find out what you should know before deciding on the best moving boxes to pack up and transport all you own.
- BEST OVERALL: StarBoxes uBoxes 12 Large Moving Boxes 20x20x15
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: CHEAP! CHEAP! Moving Boxes with Handles Pack of 10
- BEST FOR KITCHENS: U-Haul Kitchen Moving Kit
- MOST STURDY: Bankers Box SmoothMove Classic Moving Boxes
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Moving Boxes
While choosing the best moving boxes to load up books, electronics, and cookware, it’s important to think about the characteristics of the boxes. Some of these features are size, handles, labeling, and stackability.
Having moving boxes of various sizes can help make a move easier. A choice of sizes helps ensure that types of belongings are carefully packed into an appropriate-size box. Without the right size, something may be jammed into a box that’s too small or thrown into a larger box where the items can rattle around and break.
- Small moving boxes are ideal for packing up compact, heavy items like a book collection. Dividing up these items into small boxes helps prevent the boxes from breaking or becoming too heavy to comfortably move.
- Medium or standard moving boxes usually make up the majority of the boxes used during a full home move. These boxes are usually about 3 cubic feet and can be used for plates, cookware, athletic equipment, toys, and many other items that are not small and dense, or for items that are large and billowy.
- Large moving boxes and wardrobe moving boxes are made for bigger objects that don’t weigh a lot, like curtains, duvets, clothing, outerwear, and pillows. It’s important that very heavy items, like books, are not simply piled into these boxes because they may either break or become very difficult to move.
Having handles that are attached or built in to the moving boxes can make them much easier to pick up, carry, and load. Moving box handles may be glued or fastened to the box, but the handles are more frequently just simple rounded holes cut into the sides of the box. The simplicity of this design is cost-saving, and it’s also one of the more durable methods of creating handles in a cardboard box.
However, a hole in the box also can cause smaller objects to fall out or expose the contents to water, dirt, dust, bugs, and other pests. So, boxes with these handles may not be the best for packing valuable objects, smaller items, or anything made with delicate fabric. Where box handles do the most good is in carrying heavier belongings, like electronics, fitness equipment, or books.
One of the more important steps when packing up a house is to label the boxes with the contents so they can be retrieved and organized as easily as possible. Moving boxes can be directly written on with a marker, labeled with a stick-on label, or they may already come with a label. The method of labeling used should be the most easy-to-use choice for everyone involved in packing and unpacking.
The boxes also can have a color assigned to them based on a room in the house. Using a marker or a piece of colored tape, you can mark each box so that the boxes can be more easily identified and moved directly to the assigned room.
When deciding on the best moving boxes, stackability is often considered. The boxes need to be sturdy enough to support the weight of their own contents as well as the weight of the boxes stacked on top of them without incurring damage to the lid, sides, bottom, or any other part of the box.
Ideally, all boxes should weigh 50 pounds or less. This makes them relatively easy to carry, load, and unload. Having a maximum weight for the boxes also helps create the plan for how they will be stacked. Heavier boxes, even if they are small, should be placed on the bottom to act as a base, where they won’t damage the lighter items. Moving boxes that are mostly empty, overstuffed, bent, or warped should not be stacked.
While moving boxes are a big part of packing belongings and starting a new adventure in a new home, there are other supplies that help ensure everything is properly and safely packed. These typically include packing tape, bubble wrap, hand-operated moving carts, labels, and markers.
- Packing tape is used to seal each moving box to prevent the contents from spilling out. The adhesive grip along the center seam of the box also helps support the lid or base when the box is being stacked.
- Bubble wrap, newspaper, plastic bags, and other soft, forgiving packing materials are used to keep more sensitive or fragile items safe during the move.
- Hand-operated moving carts speed up the process of moving boxes and larger items out of a home.
- Labels and markers are used regularly while packing the boxes. Labels can make unpacking and reorganizing much easier.
Gathering many of these supplies in an essentials box for move day can help make a move easier. The most important items and essential tools that will help you unpack will be together, like box cutters, paper towels, toilet paper, soap, trash bags, a basic set of cookware, chargers, medications, and kids’ favorite toys.
Our Top Picks
The top products listed below were selected based on the important shopping considerations mentioned above as well as the price and overall quality of the product. Check out some of the best moving boxes to pack up and transport everything.
This 12-box bundle of large moving boxes is suitable for packing pots, pans, shoes, toys, and other household supplies, but they are better for clothes, blankets, and pillows. Any significant voids in the box should be filled with packing material, like cushion foam, packing paper, or bubble wrap to prevent the items in the box from being shaken, jostled, and broken.
Each of the moving boxes is 20 inches by 20 inches by 15 inches, ensuring there is ample space for a variety of belongings to be packed away safely. The boxes are made from professional-grade corrugated cardboard, and they can be written on with a marker. While the boxes don’t have handles, they can be grabbed from the bottom without much problem.
CHEAP! CHEAP! Moving Boxes makes it clear with their name that the main benefit of these moving boxes is the affordable price. The bundle comes with 10 medium-size moving boxes that are each 18 inches by 14 inches by 12 inches, making them a great option for packing up pots, pans, small appliances, toys, and athletic equipment.
The boxes are easy to assemble and can be tightly closed with a strip of packing tape on the bottom and top. With high-quality tape, the boxes are capable of holding a maximum of 65 pounds each, though it’s recommended to keep box weights below 50 pounds. To make moving a little easier, the boxes have wide, punch-out handles that are designed for lifting, carrying, and loading.
The kitchen moving kit from U-Haul includes a Dish Saver Kit that features a 24⅛-inch by 12-inch by 11-inch moving box with cardboard dividers and foam packing pouches to keep plates and bowls safe during the move. The Glass Pack Kit has the same box dimensions, but the cardboard dividers and foam packing pouches for this kit are smaller so that they can better secure cups, mugs, and glasses to prevent damage.
This kitchen moving set also has five medium moving boxes that are each 18 inches by 18⅛ inches by 16 inches and are ideal for packing pots, pans, kitchen appliances, utensils, and pantry goods. It comes with packing paper, tape, two box markers, and a box knife to help make packing and unpacking simple.
The Bankers Box SmoothMove Classic Moving Boxes come in a set of 12. Eight small 15-inch by 12-inch by 10-inch boxes are ideal for compact, dense objects, like books or electronics. Four medium boxes that are each 18 inches by 15 inches by 14 inches are best for larger heavy items like pots, pans, and small appliances.
These moving boxes have a lift-off lid that fits tightly onto the box without the need for packing tape. Without the possibility of adhesive damage, the boxes become significantly more reusable than standard moving boxes. The box has a double layer of corrugated cardboard on the sides and bottom. It also has wide cut-out handles on both sides of the box that make it easier to lift, carry, and load.
FAQs About Moving Boxes
If you haven’t yet decided on which boxes to use and you’d like some additional information about the best moving boxes to pack up your home, then read on. Below are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about moving boxes.
Q. How many times can you use moving boxes?
There isn’t a standard number of times that a box can be used. Instead, the number of times a moving box can be used is dependent on how the box is treated and cared for prior to the move, during the move, after the move, and while in storage. Boxes that are jostled, improperly packed, bent, warped, broken, and stored in moist, high-humidity locations may only last through one move.
However, if you carefully pack your belongings into moving boxes of appropriate size and strength for the contents, then load them properly to avoid movement during the drive and store them safely in a dry location, you may be able to reuse the boxes when you need them again.
Q. Is it OK to store clothes in cardboard boxes?
Clothes can be packed into moving boxes and moved to your new home, but they shouldn’t remain in the cardboard boxes for a long time. Boxes can attract insects, mice, and other pests who eat the cardboard and clothes. The cardboard may also have a higher acidity level that can discolor clothing over time.
Q. Is it safe to keep cardboard boxes in the attic?
It isn’t a good idea to store cardboard boxes in the attic for long periods of time unless the attic has been renovated to create a livable space. Cardboard and the glue used to construct the cardboard can attract insects and mice when the cardboard begins breaking down. A pile of cardboard boxes also poses a significant fire risk.
However, if the attic is a finished, livable space, like an extra bedroom or reading room, then it would be no different than storing the boxes in a bedroom.
Q. Can you store books in cardboard boxes?
Yes; in fact, it is more beneficial to store books in cardboard boxes than in plastic boxes because the cardboard reduces the chance of mold and will allow books to breathe better.