A Commonly Overlooked Item: Boxes and How to Use Them Properly
Boxes---the single most essential item for any move. Whether you are moving old sports trophies to the basement or relocating your entire household across the country, you unquestionably can’t do to without a box, or even a hundred. There are lots of differing sizes, and specific-use boxes, it can be very overwhelming when you are standing there looking at mountains of cardboard that are somehow going to mutate themselves into functional packing devices.
The first thing to recognize is that while boxes are not created precisely equal, they are very common in that you can use just about any box for just about any item. The catch is in being intelligent about what to pack in which box--and forget what the box is titled, go ahead and put your golf clubs in the wardrobe box, if it feels right. The other thing smart folks (that means you) do is not to put too much in the boxes so they are too heavy. You are going to be moving a lot of them, and seven pounds seems like fifty after a while.
Sizes and Weight
Boxes are measured in cubic feet. The smallest moving box is normally 1.5 CF, and is what you will use for heavy things like books or small appliances. Knickknacks are best in these small boxes as you can put an entire collection in one box. You may see heavy-duty boxes, but just because you can pack more stuff into a box doesn't mean you should, unless you have a heavy-duty back to lift the weightier boxes. These boxes often have grips for easier moving and an normal height person can easily move a couple of these in unison.
The next size larger is 3.1 cubic feet. This is where you will stow shoes, toys, pots and pans--things that aren't that heavy. Some of these boxes also have the built-in grips and are a bit more unwieldy than the smaller box, so don't overload this one or it's going to be difficult to pick-up and move.
Linens, sweaters, towels, and clothes go in the 4.5 CF boxes. They're large and deep, and again, do not overload them because the bulk makes even the lightly packed ones a challenge to move unless you are vertically gifted.
The largest standard boxes are 6.1 cubic feet. This is where you pack pillows, lampshades, blankets, and anything that's sizeable but lightweight.
These are designed for moving a particular sort of item, but are beneficial for lots of other stuff, as well. While they are a little more expensive, are well worth the cost in convenience of packing options and security.
A dish pack is a box with a second layer of corrugated cardboard. Don't think you can solely place dishes in these, they are meant to protect all things fragile. A dish pack is anywhere between the 1.5 and 3.1 CF size, and you can either wrap items individually in paper or use the newer foam sleeves--slide the plate or glass into the sleeve and place it in the box. Some boxes have inserts for glasses, so they stand up in their spot and do not get bumped by their neighbor. A dish box is perfect for stereo components, lamp bases, or anything delicate that you don't want in the regular boxes.
A wardrobe box is literally what it sounds like. It is taller than the 6.1 CF box, is about 10 CF, and is a heavy-duty cardboard that is built to stand up while in transit. It has a hanger bar that attaches near the top, so you can move your clothes on hangers more swiftly. The normal height for a wardrobe box is about 46 inches, so you can use them to move things like dining room chairs or those golf clubs, too.
A mirror box comes in numerous sizes, but they are all somewhat flat, and large. They are what you use for artwork and mirrors, but also flat screen TVs, computer monitors, large platters, or even tennis rackets.
Don't forget the proper packing supplies--lots of paper, tape and bubble wrap--but knowing your boxes is the opening step towards a smooth move.