Moving Boxes – Size and Strength Can Make a Difference!

Corrugated moving boxes come in a variety of sizes and can vary greatly in degree of strength, and, as a consequence, in their costs to consumers, as well. Most movers offer boxes and other accessories, within their product lines. BPM, for example, sells cost-effective “single-walled” boxes that employ a higher edge crush test (ECT) value than those sold by discount retailers, like Home Depot. Make no mistake, the better built your boxes are the better your chances of experiencing a successful move, without suffering unnecessary breakage or other unforeseen calamities.

A common mistake people make is getting the largest available boxes and, immediately, cramming them full, without considering that the box may be too heavy to lift or that it could create a major headache, for the crew to efficiently manage. In some instances, the moving company you hire will ask that you re-pack your goods, into less weighty or smaller-sized boxes. There are standard moving box sizes designed to fit certain types of items. Below is a list of these boxes and the items they are best suited for (Box dimensions reflected in inches):

Book Box or Small Box, 16 3/8 x 12 5/8 x 12 5/8, 32ECT

Use this box specifically for books and heavier small-sized items. For example, if you have lots of books, this is the only size box that you want to use. The size is large enough to hold a decent amount, but not so heavy, that it presents a problem to lift. Always make sure to properly seal your boxes once you’ve completed the packing process.

​Medium Box, 18 1/8 x 18 x 16, 32ECT

This box will be your workhorse and is the one we usually recommend to customers. It is great for most anything other than books. It is also manageable for one person to lift even when full.

Large Box, 24 x 18 x 18, 32ECT

​Use this box for longer items, including, clothing, linens and light-weight toys. As you load the box, check it periodically to make sure it is not getting too heavy to lift.

Extra Large Box, 22 x 22 x 21 1/2, 32ECT

​The extra large box is the one that will often get you in trouble. Only use this box when packing light but bulky items such as lampshades, comforters, pillows and Christmas decorations.

Fixed or Telescopic Mirror / Picture Boxes

These single or double-walled boxes vary in size and are ideal for packing various sized mirrors, including a wide range of paintings, pictures or even 3-D art pieces with narrow or wide frames.

Dish-pack Box, 18 x 18 x 27 Double Walled, 42ECT

The dish-pack box is made of double walled corrugated which gives it extra strength and better protection. This box is perfect for china and glass dishes, including other flat-profiled items. When packing dish-pack boxes, you can often purchase inserts to divide your items. However, even with the inserts employed, you will still need to make sure to individually protect each item. This brings us to the question of what wrapping solutions to use (see Packing Materials below).

Note: A workable alternative to the dish-pack, which can end-up being costly when used to pack multiple sets of dishes/china, is to use a regular small-sized box, instead. Wrap each individual dish using one or two sheets of bubble-wrap together with sheets of unprinted newspaper wrap, which provides added protection. BPM’s professional packers, for example, prefer using this approach, which works like a charm and saves the customer loads of money, too!

24 Inch Wardrobe Box, 24 x 20 x46, 51ECT

If you have a lot of hanging clothes, wardrobe boxes can be a good option. They are useful because you don’t have to remove clothing from hangers to pack. Once you get to your new destination, you can open the boxes and your clothes are ready to hang in your new closet. Each box will hold approximately 30” of compressed clothing, into the available 2-ft. opening.

A reasonable way to determine how many boxes you’ll need is to measure your closet space and then divide the amount by 2.5. If, for example, you have 20 feet of closet space, then you would need 8 wardrobe boxes. One thing to consider is the density of clothes that currently hang in your closet. If you pack your clothing tightly, you may want to purchase a couple of extra WB boxes.

Note: Quality wardrobe boxes, such as those sold by BPM are strong enough to accommodate additional items on the floor of the WB, beneath the hanging garments. Feel free to pack light-weight items like pillows, cushions or blankets, into this readily handy space.

Packing Materials

BPM offers several professional packing options, each one organized to meet a customer’s discriminating needs. When customers opt to pack their own goods, it’s important to use proper packing materials (i.e., quality moving boxes, labels, markers, bubble & unprinted newspaper wrap). When assembling and packing boxes, customers must seal them properly using a quality packing tape and avoid weighing them down, unreasonably. The last thing, any of us want to see are boxes that inadvertently fall apart or breakthrough, as the movers load items, onto the truck.

It’s always a good idea to label easily breakable items with the word, “FRAGILE”, clearly displayed. It’s extremely important to limit such boxes to a weight of no greater than 30 lbs. each. Our movers single-out such boxes for special handling. The objective, as the truck is loaded, is to position all boxes labeled “FRAGILE”, at the “top” of a given stack. Since weight is the primary criteria used to determine how boxes are stacked, the crew will place heavier boxes at the “bottom” of a stack. This could result in a box mistakenly going to the bottom of a stack despite its “FRAGILE” labeling.

Taking these precautions allows the mover to better manage the truck’s available space, relative to efficiently loading/unloading, safely stacking and transporting goods to your new residence.

Here are some items a customer may need in order to properly prepare for the task of packing.

Packing Tape

When you choose packing tape, spend a little extra money and get a good quality acrylic tape (a minimum 2” width). You want to make sure that you get tape that doesn’t split and break. The extra money you spend will be worth not having to deal with the aggravation of using cheap tape that breaks and splits. You might also want to purchase or borrow a tape gun. This makes the process go much quicker (hint: it’s not pretty but in a pinch, you can stab the center portion of the tape, with a ball point pen at the point you want separation and, like magic the tape will be cut).

Wrapping Materials

Through the years, many folks have used old newspapers, as a wrapping material. It provides a reasonable method for wrapping dishes, tableware and many other items. The one drawback is that it can be a bit messy because of the inks that are inherent in newspapers. There’s also the possibility of transference between the newspaper and the wrapped item. A viable alternative is to purchase “unprinted newspaper” (yes, as the name suggests, a paper wrap that has the consistency of a newspaper w/o any hint of ink on it. You can purchase bundles of U.N. in varying weights, including 10, 30 and 50 lbs., from most any moving company.

A wrapping solution that BPM favors is bubble-wrap that incorporates a smaller-sized “footprint” than the type bubble-wrap most folks are familiar with. When it comes to wrapping and protecting your delicate china, crystal and or decorative porcelain/ceramic pieces BPM’s professional packing crew, as noted earlier, prefers using the combination of U.N. together with the smaller-sized bubble-wrap product (available in 300 or 750 ft. rolls). These rolls are 24-inches wide and include a perforation every 12-inches, which allows the packer to easily separate sheets, as needed. This feature is especially handy when packing fragile items, such as those noted above.

Another popular wrapping material is Stretch-film Wrap. SFW is a highly stretchable clear plastic film that many movers utilize, including BPM, in combination with blanket pads. If we were to move a highly-polished table, for example, our crew would, first, bundle the table with a standard moving blanket pad (72 in. x 80 in.) and then secure it in place with SFW. The results in a tightly bound or “mummified” covering that provides an unbeatable shield of protection for the customer’s furnishings (i.e. tables, chairs, sofas, china cabinets, dressers, armoires, etc). BPM uses this process to aid in minimizing the potential for damage, during the loading, transporting and unloading phases, of a given job. It’s worth noting that BPM does not charge our customers extra for use of blanket pads or SFW. Shrink wrap, by contrast, is applied loosely around an item and shrinks tightly when heat is applied (i.e., BPM does not use shrink wrap for its contracted projects).

Labeling Materials

When you are packing your possessions, make sure to label each box with the general items it contains and the room where it should go. Once you arrive at your new destination, there will be items that will need to be unpacked sooner than later. If you label them properly, it will make the task of finding these things much easier. You can use traditional magic markers or you can purchase labels, which note the room where the boxes go, as they are unloaded from the truck.

Where and How Much to Purchase

Now that you know what you’ll need, the next step is determining how much you need and where to get it. Contact your Orange County mover of choice to get an estimate (always ensure the mover has an active license, as issued by the CPUC, and is fully insured). Most full service movers can help you accurately estimate your packing needs. In many cases, you can purchase the boxes and supplies directly from the mover. There are also other ways to purchase boxes. Most truck rental stores sell moving boxes and supplies. Many big box home improvement stores sell them, as well.

One of the best resources to use if you don’t purchase them from your moving company is to search online for companies that sell moving boxes. In many cases, you can find some good deals and they might even offer delivery so you don’t have to transport them home, yourself. If you have any other questions regarding packing supplies or moving in general, contact, BPM, a full-service and licensed Household Goods Carrier by dialing: 949.218.1125 or by visiting us on the web @ www.bestpricedmoving.com