Box-Packing Primer


"Large or Linen Box" (4.5 cubic ft.)

"Large or Linen Box" (4.5 cubic ft.)

"Book Box" (1.5 cubic ft.)

"Book Box" (1.5 cubic ft.)

"Medium Box" (3.0 cubic ft.)

"Medium Box" (3.0 cubic ft.)

"Extra Large Box" (6.0 cubic ft.)

"Extra Large Box" (6.0 cubic ft.)

"Dish Pack Box" (5.1 cubic ft.)
"Picture Box"

"Picture Box"

“Dish Pack Box” (5.1 cubic ft.)
"Wardrobe Box"

"Wardrobe Box"


You may think it is worthwhile to pick up old grocery or liquor store boxes, but it’s not. Grocery boxes are designed for seperating food in the truck and warehouse. Moving boxes are much heavier-duty and designed for protection of your home items and for ease of handling by you and the Movers.

If you are box-packing a whole house properly, you will most likely use all of the seven moving box types above, plus the paper pads. Like there are many different kitchen tools, each box is sized and designed for a specific purpose.

“Book Box:” (1.5 cubic feet): Heavier items, but not fragile kitchen items.

  • Living Room: Books, CDs, Albums (if you have those old things), small lamp shades
  • Office: Files, heavier items, small lamp shades
  • Kitchen: Bottles and cans

“Medium Box” (3.0 cubic feet):

  • Living Room: Stereo and TV components
  • Kitchen: Small Appliances: Coffee Maker, Cuisinart, Electric Can Opener
  • Bath: Toiletries in cabinet under sink and in shower, medium lamp shades
  • Office: Electronic components
  • Bedroom: Child’s small toys, games, medium lamp shades

“Large or Linen Box” (4.5 cubic feet):

  • Living Room: Very large lamp shades
  • Bath: Towels
  • Bedroom: Linens, Sheets, Folded Clothes, Shoes
  • Dining Room: Table Clothes and Soft Items from Buffet

“Extra Large” (6.0 cubic feet): Certain boxy-shaped items are too tall for the 4.5 cubic foot box, but not fragile items meant for the Dishpack box (Big computer monitors, other large fragile items that need to be boxed)

Picture Box:” They come in one piece, 2 piece, and 4-piece sizes. The 4 piece sizes are more flexible and expandable. Used for expensive fragile mirrors and paintings and pictures. Usually you will want to wrap the mirror or picture with a paper pad before inserting it into the picture box.(Just use one picture per box)

Tape Along the Open Seams to Strengthen the Box

Tape Along the Open Seams to Strengthen the Box

“Dish Pack Box” (5.1 cubic feet) (its walls are double-thick):

  • Kitchen: Pots and Pans, Fragile Dishes and Glass Items (pack the heavier items on the bottom, and pack successively lighter but fragile items as you go higher in the box). Pack dishes and china on their EDGE, NOT FLAT IN THE BOX! This is a very common error. And use plenty of newsprint, and use bubble wrap for extra-fragile pieces.
  • Living Room: Vases, Fragile Knick Knacks; Fragile lamp bases (make sure the top of the lamps bases (name?) are not jammed in there. They bend and are easily damaged. If the lamps are too tall for the dishpack box, use a a taller box—even a wardrobe box if that’s the next taller size you have.

“Wardrobe” (14.0 cubic feet): Hanging clothes, items too tall for any other box—tall lamps
“Mirror/Picture Boxes” (approx. 3.0 cubic feet):

The “Book Box”

The humble “book box.”  Also known as the “1.5” because its volume is 1.5 cubic feet.  Besides books, we use this to pack the smaller heavier items throughout the house. From the kitchen we would take the canned goods, and the food bottles like for Olive Oil and Worshesthire Sauce.  For a local move where we are actually transporting food from the refrigerator, we could put some food from the refrigerator in this box.

From the bar, we would pack the liquor bottles, but not the glasses.  From the home office, besides the books, we would pack the files, and some small, heavy things like UPS’s with battery backup.

This box’s smaller size makes it easier to carry close to your body, so it is not as hard on your back.  And they stack up really nicely three or four high on a handtruck or 4-wheel dolly.