Moving boxes are the classic moving tool thanks to the variety in shape and size. But the same variety that makes them so effective can also make them confusing.

For example, an extra-large moving box is perfect for all your books, right? Not really. Stuffing an extra-large box with books will make the box too heavy to lift and move – even for professional movers.

To create a quick and easy moving experience, we recommend following our expert tips on how to pack boxes the right way.

Here, our professional movers weigh in on how to pack your moving boxes like the pros.

How to Pack Moving Boxes the Most Efficient Way

Using these tips, you’ll learn how to prepare, stuff, and seal your boxes for moving day.

But first, let’s start with the number of boxes you’ll need as well as the right supplies.

Tip #1: Purchase the Right Moving Boxes and Packing Supplies

There are many types of moving boxes. We like the standard cardboard boxes that are available in many sizes. If you’re moving specialty items, you can also look into buying specialty boxes for certain items.

Moving Boxes

First, how many boxes do you need? The answer depends on the size of your move.

It’s very common to run out of moving boxes during a move, so it’s always best to overestimate than underestimate.

Here is what we recommend:

  • Purchase at least 15 standard cardboard moving boxes per room.
  • Purchase a variety of sizes. We recommend a combination of small, medium, and large boxes for each room.
  • Buy specialty boxes for specialty items.
  • Wardrobe boxes are ideal for moving hanging items such as fine clothing and formal wear.
  • Purchase dish-barrel boxes for kitchens
  • Specialty boxes are also available for artwork and mirrors, lamps, TVs, and office supplies.
  • Buy smaller boxes for books
  • Tip: It’s okay to pick-up used boxes, but make sure they’re not too old. Worn out moving boxes can collapse during moves or be contaminated with bacteria.

Packing Supplies Checklist

Along with boxes, you’ll need basic moving supplies to pack your boxes the right way.

We recommend the following packing supplies:

  • Packing tape
  • Scissors
  • Labels
  • Permanent Markers
  • Packing paper
  • Packing peanuts
  • Bubble wrap
  • Small, sealable plastic bags

We provide high-quality moving boxes and packing materials you can purchase from us. In addition, moves that require more than $500 in packing materials can receive these items without a delivery charge.

Tip #2: Prepare Your Boxes for Packing

Now that you have your moving boxes and the right packing materials, you can get your boxes ready for the packing process.

First, if you’ve purchased new boxes, you will need to assemble them. To assemble your boxes, unfold the collapsed box and place it in its cubed shape. On the bottom of the box, fold the small flaps into the center. Then, fold the larger flaps on top of the small flaps. Using your packing tape, apply a few strips of tape to securely close the box. Taking the extra step to make sure your boxes are secure will prevent them from collapsing on you or the mover during the move.

Your boxes are now ready for your belongings. But are your belongings ready to be boxed?

Tip #3: Prepare Your Belongings

This next step is also very crucial for a successful move. Some items must be individually wrapped before you can place them in the boxes, so it’s important not to treat all items equally. You’ll need plenty of packing paper to do this the right way.

Here’s what we recommend:

  • Always wrap heavy items with bubble wrap.
  • Clothes can be left on hangers and can be moved in a special wardrobe box, or 30-gallon trash bags with pull strings (using the bags similar to dry cleaner bags).
  • Clothes can also be folded and placed in boxes lined with packing paper.
  • Special shoes can keep their shape when stuffed with packing paper. You can then wrap each shoe individually and bundle them together with a piece of tape.
  • Use small plastic bags for nuts and bolts.
  • Keep jewelry, watches, and other valuables with you at all times. This means packing a separate box that goes with you to your new place.
  • Dishes can be packed in boxes designed for dishes, or individually wrapped in packing paper. Stuff cups and glasses with packing paper, and then wrap stems and handles with more paper.

Tip# 4: Place Items in the Right Boxes, the Right Way

Once your belongings are properly wrapped, you can now start placing them in the right boxes.

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Never overfill boxes.
  • Avoid under filling boxes, too. You can fill extra space with packing paper or towels.
  • Always place heavy items in the bottom of the box.
  • Place lighter items on the top of the box.
  • Separate lighter items from heavier items with cushion foam.
  • Smaller boxes are ideal for books, small appliances, records, and DVDs.
  • Extra-large boxes are great for comforters, pillows and other large, lighter items.
  • Pack liquids and cleaning supplies separately. Wrap each bottle in shrink wrap and label the box accordingly.

Tip #5: Properly Seal and Label your Boxes

With your items in the right moving boxes, it’s now time to close and label your belongings. This step is also very important, because your boxes will be moved safely and then placed in the proper rooms.

To seal your moving boxes, use packing tape and seal the seam on the top of the box. Next, you can make sure the box is secure by taping along all three seams, also known as the H method.

Once your box is properly sealed, use your pen to label the box with either the belongings or the room it goes in.

Alliance Moving & Storage is here to help you experience a quick and easy move. If you’d like us to handle the packing for you, please give us a call.