Advertiser Disclosure

Which Boxes Are Best for Your Move?

Whether you buy your own boxes or have your movers provide them, you’ll have an array of choices. But how do you know whether to go paper or plastic? And are those wardrobe boxes really worth it? Here is a quick guide to different types of moving boxes, and how to estimate the number you’ll need.

Types of Cardboard Boxes

Cardboard boxes have a few different advantages over plastic. They break down easily after your move, so recycling or storing them is a cinch. Cardboard boxes are also lightweight and extremely affordable. When you’re on a budget, cardboard can’t be beat.

You’ll need to consider different types of cardboard boxes, depending on what you’re packing:

  • Corrugated
    Corrugated boxes are specifically designed for breakables. Insulated with double-wall construction, two layers of liner sandwich interior fluting. They’re a bit more expensive than standard cardboard boxes, but are worth investing in if you have kitchen China or a beloved tea set that you want to protect during the move.
  • Wardrobe
    Wardrobe boxes have a hanging bar at the top. Instead of folding every item in your closet, you can simply transfer the clothing as-is on their hangers from your closet to the box. Be sure to inquire with your movers early on, as most will let you use two to three wardrobe boxes as a part of your moving fee.
  • Picture
    These skinny boxes are just the right size for a painting or large picture frame. If you want to protect your art when you’re on the move, these specialty boxes will do the job.

Types of Plastic Containers

Plastic moving containers are also worth considering for a move. They’re extremely durable, meaning you can re-use them for years to come as a part of your garage or attic organization strategy. Here are two common types of plastic moving boxes to think about:

  • Storage Bins
    Plastic storage bins are available in a variety of sizes. Skinny plastic bins are good for shoes, handbags and other items that you want to store in a closet or under your bed at your new home. When you store things in plastic bins, you may not have to unpack them immediately. These bins are also extremely transparent, so sorting your belongings at the new place will go quickly.
  • Crates
    Plastic crates have an open top and a crisscross pattern on the side, so they are more breathable than either a cardboard box or closed plastic bin. Crates are excellent for transporting stuff items such as cleaning supplies and sports equipment.

Estimating the Number of Boxes for a Move

There are a few ways to estimate how many cardboard boxes. You can make a guess using square footage: for every thousand square feet in your home, you’ll need about 40 boxes. Get a variety of sizes, with more small and medium boxes than large sizes, because filling large boxes to the top can make them difficult to carry and slow things down.

Paper or plastic? The answer may be a blend of both. Regular boxes get the job done for clothes and paperwork, and wrapped picture frames are a bit more secure in a plastic bin. Either way, happy packing!


Man on computer

Everything for your move, all in one place

Curate your personalized moving checklist, set up TV & Internet, and more with a free MYMOVE account.

Get Started

Already have an account? Sign In

View our Privacy Policy

Related Articles

Moving Away to College: What You’ll Need

Moving away to college is a huge milestone. The dorm room you’ll be moving into, however – not so huge. Make a packing list beforehand so…

Read More

The Things You’re Forgetting to Pack on Moving Day

During the weeks before (or the night before!) moving day, your brain is working overtime on the myriad of details involved in your move…

Read More

Streamline Your Move with These 5 Moving Logistics Apps

Five Moving Apps to Help with Your MoveMoving is hard. Even with the best-laid plans, sometimes you need backup. Enter technology: it turns…

Read More