Pack Your Stuff in the Right Box When You Move

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    The foundation of a move is the simple cardboard box. Most belongings are packed into a cardboard box during a move, and the box chosen for each item has a significant impact on how easily that item can be relocated. If you expect to move soon, here’s what types of boxes different belongings should go in.

    Fancy Clothes Go in a Wardrobe Box

    One of the most specialized box styles that movers use is the wardrobe box. This a rectangular box that stands so it’s taller than it is wide, and it has a metal pole that sits in two cutouts at the top of the sides. The pole is there to place hangers on, and the box is tall enough that dress shirts and skirts can be hung without wrinkling.

    Because this is a highly specialized box and comes with a metal bar, this is one of the more expensive boxes that you’ll use in a move. Often, these boxes cost around $12 each. Because they’re so much compared to other boxes (which can cost as little as $2.75 each), wardrobe boxes should only be used for their intended purpose — to hang clothes.

    In particular, any fancy clothes you own should go in a wardrobe box. You don’t need to hang every t-shirt you have, but dry-clean-only articles ought to go in here. If you can’t easily iron out wrinkles in a certain article of clothing, put that article in a wardrobe box so that you don’t need to have it dry-cleaned after the move just to take out creases that folding would cause.

    Linens and Lampshades Go in Large, Regular Boxes

    While wardrobe boxes might seem well-sized for linens and lampshades, you can get a comparably sized (or larger) box for less money. Large boxes run around $3.75 each, and even extra-large boxes cost only about $4.75 for each one. The latter is especially well-suited for large and bulky items that won’t fit in a smaller box.

    For example, you might use an extra-large box to pack up the following items:

    • Pillows
    • Comforters
    • Afghans
    • Table lamps
    • Floor lamp shades

    In short, any lightweight item can be loaded into this type of box. Just don’t put denser items in a box that’s extra-large, because the items could make the box too heavy for one person to move.

    Books Go in Small Boxes

    Any books that you have should go in the smallest boxes you use, for books are surprisingly heavy. A textbook weighs a little more than 4.5 pounds on average, and even smaller paperbacks weigh a lot once they’re packed together. If you fill a box that’s too big with books, it’ll be hard to carry.

    If you purchase small boxes individually, you should expect to pay between $2 and $3 per box. Boxes for books, however, aren’t where you want to skimp on quality. Pay the higher price if you’ll get sturdier boxes for the added cost, as you can stack sturdy boxes without worrying that they’ll fall over — and boxes of books are perfect to stack since they’re evenly shaped.

    Dishes Go in Dish Boxes

    For your dishes, especially if you have heirloom dishes, the best option is a dish box. While most moving boxes have one layer of corrugated cardboard, dish boxes double-up with two layers. This adds extra protection against bumps and jostles that could crack your dishes.

    To make sure your dishes don’t move around within a dish box, pack them in tightly. You can use paper to pack them up, or you can stuff dish towels around them.

    If you need help with a local move, contact Fairfax Transfer & Storage.

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