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Moving Boxes Sizes

Moving boxes: size is everything

If you’re moving house, one of those annoying little details – on top of everything else you have to organize – is the question of the boxes you use to pack everything in.

Like many “small” issues, however, it can pay to get things right. You might have the whole contents of a four-bedroom house to move across state lines, for instance, so you can comfortably leave the question of the boxes used for packing to the removal company, right?

Like many of those everyday questions, of course, the answer is both yes and no. Of course, any reputable moving company is going to be able to supply you with the boxes needed for your move. It’s convenient and it meets your immediate needs, but is the company you’re paying to transport all your household effects really the best source for those supplies?

It’s hardly the moving company’s fault that you might end up paying anything between $2 and $20 more than you could find the same products online. After all, that company’s in the business of moving your goods from A to B and not necessarily in the business of supplying your packing needs.

So if you decide to take matters into your own hands and order your own moving boxes, how is it so easy always to under-estimate just how many you’ll need and end up being short of the boxes you actually need?

Let’s discount one of the most obvious reasons – that you’ve “forgotten” all those items stored under the stairs or in some basement hideaway – and consider for a moment the critical question of box sizes.

What one supplier labels a “small” box, another might call “medium”, and vice versa. So, when you are ordering boxes, beware that their dimensions can vary quite widely and if you want a specific size you’ll need to spell that out. The same goes for the specially-designed “wardrobe” boxes, of course.

In an ideal world, that adhered to industry standards, none of this confusion would arise, because moving boxes are not just ordinary boxes – they’re specifically designed for loading onto the truck that will be transporting them to your new home. The standard sizes currently specified by the industry, for example, do not include anything labelled “small”, but just the following three sizes and a standard-issue “wardrobe” box:

  • medium moving boxes (18x14x12) – for items such as books, kitchenware, collectibles and many other household goods;
  • large moving boxes (20x20x15) – heavy to medium-weight household items, packed in a box that can still be carried more or less easily. A general-purpose moving box; and
  • extra large moving boxes (23x23x16) – bulky, but light, items such as drapes, bedding, towels and clothing that is not otherwise in a special wardrobe box.

If you discover that you’ve ordered too much in the way of moving supplies (which also include such items as labels, box markers, packing tape, bubble wrap, packing paper and furniture pads), please post a note to that effect on our website – it’s not only free and easy to do, but helps you do your bit for the environment, too!