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Types of Moving Boxes and What to Pack in Them

You are here because you decided to pack yourself. Great decision – packing yourself is a relatively easy way to ease the expense of your total moving bill. While anyone can pack, it is important to know the main types of moving boxes and what to pack in them. If not, you can end up with overloaded boxes and damaged items.

5 Most Common Moving Boxes

While there are dozens of types of moving boxes, the 5 that you will need for sure are small, medium, large, wardrobe, and dish.

infographic of the 5 main types of moving boxes and what to pack in them
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In general, you want to pack heavy, dense items in small boxes, and bulky items in larger boxes. This will ensure you don’t end up with a box too heavy to lift or for the box to support.

1. Small Boxes

Small boxes are typically around 16″x10″x10″ and are for dense items such as books, papers, CD’s/DVD’s, and liquids.

2. Medium Boxes

The average size of a medium moving box is 18″x14″x12″ and they are for medium density items. They can be used for packing a wide variety of items, including shoes, electronics, non perishable food, towels, decorations, and other miscellaneous belongings.

3. Large Boxes

Large boxes are for bulky items including coats, bed sheets, comforters, pillows, bulky toys, sporting equipment, and appliances such as a toaster. A typical large moving box is around 20″x20″x15″ in size.

4. Wardrobe Boxes

Wardrobe boxes are large in size and especially tall – around 20″x20″x45″. They include a bar in the center to hang clothing from. While not necessary for all clothing or even at all, they are recommended for nice clothing that you do not want to fold up and stuff into a regular box. Be sure to pack a thin layer on the bottom of the wardrobe box with shoes for maximum space efficiency.

5. Dish Boxes

Dish boxes (also referred to as dish packs) are large, tall boxes around 18″x18″x24″ that are thicker to provide an extra layer of protection. As the name suggests, they are for packing dishes. You can pack additional fragile items in them including vases and china.

Specialized Moving Boxes

While we’ve covered the essential types of boxes, there are some additional specialized boxes. While you don’t necessarily need them for your move, they can help simplify your packing job and assist in organization. Some specialized moving boxes include picture/mirror boxes, lamp boxes, extra large boxes, TV crates, and mattress boxes.

The Bottom Line

As long as you get enough boxes and are mindful of the proper items to pack in the respective box, packing for your next move will be a breeze. Remember the main rule – dense items in small boxes and bulky items in large boxes.  Now that you are a pro on the types of boxes, check our article: How to Pack Boxes for Moving.