Moving boxes are at the heart of every move. When drawing up your moving budget, therefore, you should plan for moving boxes as you’ll likely need them in multiples depending on the size of your move.
Moving boxes come in different types both in terms of size and actual type of box. Typically, though, the actual material used for their construction is cardboard.
Knowing which ones to use for which items is good information to have in your back pocket when moving as this can be the difference between your items arriving in one piece or in pieces. This can also help prevent moving-related injuries.
Plus, if you’re going to use the services of a storage company to temporarily hold your belongings, you need the right boxes that will uphold the condition of the contents, whether that be books, artwork, clothing or whatever else you want to tuck away in a self-storage unit
Types of Moving Boxes
Here are the type of moving boxes you can expect to find on the market:
- Corrugated cartons (For kitchenware)
Featuring a double-wall construction, corrugated cartons are sturdy boxes ideal for packing breakables, particularly kitchenware.
From glassware to china, dishes to crystal, use corrugated cartons to pack your crockery. Varying in size and shape, you can add an extra measure of protection by using cellular dividers inside.
- Medium boxes (For heavy items)
With a capacity of 1.75 cubic feet, medium boxes are easy to handle and are intended for holding heavy items such as books and other media.
- Large boxes (For a range of items)
Larger boxes are multi-utility in nature and can be used to hold anything from pots and pans, to small appliances, to cans and jars, and even toys.
They can accommodate 3.5 cubic feet of household items.
- Extra Large boxes (For bulky items)
These are super large boxes designed for holding bulky (not to be misinterpreted for heavy) items such as towels, linens, or lampshades. Basically those cumbersome or awkward items.
They can hold up to 4.9 cubic feet.
- Wardrobe box (For hanging clothes)
As the name suggests, a wardrobe box is not your regular box. It assumes the design of an actual wardrobe – that is, it can comfortably accommodate hanging clothing, thanks to the large vertical size and hanger bar.
You can carry your closet items in this type of box and have them arrive without as much as a crease.
- Picture boxes
A type of telescoping box used to ship items with an irregular shape as well as mirrors and framed pictures.
These are the type of boxes you want if you need to transport framed family photos, artwork, or posters.
- Cost of Moving Boxes
Regarding the cost of cardboard moving boxes, here are the prices you can expect to shell out per piece, going by data from cost information resource CostHelper:
Small boxes: anywhere between USD1-1.70
Medium boxes: anywhere between USD2.35-2.79
Large boxes: USD3 per piece
XL boxes: USD3.75 per piece
Wardrobe boxes: between USD8-12 per piece
Picture boxes: USD10 apiece
Important Things to Remember
- The cost of moving boxes is not standard. This will vary from one supplier to the next, so the amount you end up spending will depend largely on where you source them from, the size notwithstanding.
- Common suppliers include moving/self-storage/truck rental companies, local home improvement stores, shipping stores, and the post office.
- Don’t get overly thrifty by getting fewer boxes than you would ideally need in the hope that you’ll fill them up as much as possible. Moving boxes have an ideal capacity, and if they’re not going to come apart, you risk damaging sensitive items as well as injury on the lifters.
- Don’t worry, there are ways you can save on the cost of moving boxes. For instance, if you don’t have boxes from the likes of Amazon that you could put to use, you can always source free or discounted boxes from liquor stores, bookstores, and grocery stores. Craigslist is another option to find them, as is Freecycle and Facebook Marketplace.