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Packing boxes for moving? You’ve come to the right place. Here, we are going to break down everything you need to know, and possibly more than you even thought you’d want to know about packing boxes for moving. There are tons of tips, tricks, and strategies to save your time, money, and back (who wants to get hurt during the process?). Read on to learn all things packing box-related and how we can help you get the job done right the first time.

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Packing your own household goods can be a challenging process and, oddly enough, a rewarding one. Done correctly, you can optimize your packing strategy and actually make your unpacking a breeze. Read on for our best tips when packing boxes for moving.


The first step to successfully packing your household goods is to sort and discard any items you don’t need or want any longer. What a perfect time to donate those clothes you haven’t worn in decades or the junk drawer items, like batteries, scissors and more, that ironically have been replaced as you forgot you had them there all along. You might have thought it would be best to hire someone to help with packing boxes for moving, but self-packing is a great opportunity to get rid of items that only you can determine are a waste of space.


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Let’s not forget that in most cases you are paying for your move based on weight. So the more you get rid of in the packing process, the more money you could potentially save on the move. Obviously, whether you have hired movers or not, someone is having to pick up the packing boxes when moving into rooms throughout your new pad. We recommend keeping content weight at no more than 50lbs for that reason. Some boxes, such as wardrobe moving boxes or electronic boxes, may naturally be heavier so consider splitting contents up and labeling them, like “Game Room Electronics 1 of 2 and 2 of 2” respectively.


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After you’ve discarded unwanted items and then divvied up what you do want to keep into 50lb segments, your next step is to see if any of those items can potentially be replaced for less than the cost of shipping or packing them.


An example of this would be a clothes iron that is just about worn out. It might be time to get rid of it and just buy a new one once you have reached your new destination. Spices, plastic utensils, topless Tupperware, and that dreaded “junk drawer” we previously mentioned, are all examples of items that may not make sense to pack and move. Their combined weight can really add up and before you know it, you’re paying more to move stuff than the value of what you could have purchased at your new home.


From our experience, we’ve seen the precise amount of packing boxes you’ll need for moving varies house by house. Call us today at 520-622-6461 and we’ll help figure out just how many boxes you’ll need for moving.


It is time to assess the overall situation in each room. Remember, it is never too early to start packing. As you go room-by-room, determine what items you have left for keeps, but aren’t everyday items that need to stay out until “moving day”. If it is a non-essential item, you can pack it away now. This is a great way to get started and it will keep you from having to rush to the finish line at the last minute.


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For instance, you might want to consider packing some of your kitchen ahead of time. Buy paper plates, bowls, and plastic utensils. This way, you can get those dish sets properly stacked. Tip: Did you know that dishes are more likely to break when they are laid horizontally? It’s true. Even Martha Stewart knows plates are best packed in a small box, standing up vertically on a thick layer of packing paper. Packing your fragile and breakable items in the kitchen is time-consuming and it is not something you want to leave until the last minute.


A few tips to remember that come especially handy when packing fragile items are:

Always wrap breakable items in three to four sheets of packing paper.When packing your breakables, cover the bottom of the box with several sheets of crumpled-up paper.Pack glassware on end as it would sit on the shelf, pack plates, dishes, platters, and bowls on their side. Do not pack them flat.Remember to fill the box. If you cannot fill the box, fill the dead air space with crumpled-up paper or styrofoam peanuts. This will keep the box from crushing when another box gets stacked on top of it.

When you’re going room-to-room and assessing what items can be packed ahead of time, make note of large items or items that may require special attention. For example, pictures, knick-knacks, large toys, stuffed animals, and bulky bedding may all require specialized packing materials.


A box is a box is a box, right? Not quite. When packing for a move, whether it’s across town or across the country, the moving box is an integral part of the moving process. There are a wide variety of boxes you can use when moving. Many people will get used apple boxes from grocery stores or miscellaneous boxes from family & friends. Do-it-yourself stores, as well as home improvement stores, have boxes available too. All of these boxes can work. However, your best bet when packing yourself is to use moving cartons.


Moving cartons are produced with moving in mind. Their sizes are uniform and their durability is tried and true. It may sound silly as many may think, “A box is a box is a box.” Unfortunately, this is not always the case. When it comes to all of your earthly possessions, the box you use will be the main barrier to breakage.


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Here is a list of common questions we get about packing box weights and capacity for moving and what we suggest you use:


We are often asked “how heavy is a box of books?” or “what is the best box size for books?” We know we stated earlier that a 50lb limit is a good rule-of-thumb, but we suggest not pushing the limits on this one. A smaller box and lighter weight when packing your beloved literature is ideal. Use this small “book box” to pack dense items or items that are smaller and have some weight. Some examples are books, paperwork, magazines, office & desk items, kitchen utensils, small kid’s toys, etc. On average a small box or “book box” should weigh 30 to 35 pounds.


This box is more universal in nature. Again, the question often asked by customers is “how much does a box of clothes weigh?” These medium boxes can handle anything from clothes, towels, bedding, & toys all the way to small or medium electronics. The 3.0 carton (ctn) is the Swiss Army Knife of moving boxes and an ideal box for linen and wardrobes. On average, a medium box should weigh about 30 pounds.


This box is for larger items. It’s best not to overfill this box or pack it with anything too heavy. (i.e. books, DVDs, paperwork, etc.) If you fill it with books, not only will the box most likely break under the strain when you least expect it, but you won’t enjoy moving it around the house and your friendly neighborhood movers may have a difficult time moving it as well. Large (4.5 CTN) cartons are mainly used for kitchen appliances like toasters and mixers, pots and pans, cutting boards and cooking sheets, large pillows, big stuffed animals, large toys, waste paper baskets, and large electronics. On average, this box should weigh 30 pounds. Never exceed 50 pounds on this box.


There are some variations of this box. You can get them with dividing cells or without. The main thing you want to look for when purchasing or using a dish pack is that it has double-wall construction. It needs to be thick cardboard, twice as thick as the other boxes. This box is for anything fragile or breakable, not just your dishes and glasses. The dish pack is typically a little bigger than a 4.5 ctn and can weigh upwards of 100lbs, but again, we recommend staying within a 50lb. limit to keep from breaking your back and your belongings!


This box has one singular purpose – things that are flat and fragile. For example, mirrors, artwork, or glass. It can be a single box, two boxes, or four boxes. It is designed to adjust in size to fit the picture you are packing. Use this for all pictures, mirrors and glass tops on furniture.


The above packing boxes are the most common packing boxes for moving. There are several other types of boxes with very specific uses. (e.g. lamp boxes, flat-screen t.v. boxes, even grandfather clock boxes) If you have a unique item you need to pack or are not sure how to pack something in particular, contact us at Ralph’s Moving & Storage and ask us how to pack the item. We’re more than happy to help. Chances are, we’ll likely have the specialty box you need in stock.


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When you’re moving, you definitely want to hold it all together. Not just mentally, but also logistically. In addition to the packing boxes and packing paper you gather, you will also need tape. Here are some guidelines and tips to pack safely and securely.


Make sure you are using good-quality packing tape. It doesn’t matter how well you packed or how great of a box you used if the tape doesn’t stick or keep contents secure. Don’t be shy with the tape. Run the tape across the seam and halfway up the side of the box. Tape is your friend and part of the structural integrity of the box. Tape literally holds it all together. Ralph’s recommends either shipping tape, storage tape, filament packing tape, or brown paper packing tape. Avoid using clear scotch tape, duct tape, or electrical tape, as your box’s integrity could suffer from poor quality tape.


Mark the box with your name, your moving contract number if you have one, room of house, contents, and fragile, if applicable. It is a good idea to write the contents on all sides of the box. It will make it easier to find certain boxes when you arrive at your new home.


Do not write on the top of the box. You won’t be able to read it when you or your friendly neighborhood movers stack the boxes.


Do not overpack boxes that contain fragile items. The pressure can break these items. Also, ensure you write in capital letters ‘FRAGILE” on all sides of each box.


Always pack like items together and make sure that you pack heavier items at the bottom of the box. This will allow you to easily recall what is in each box since you label contents on the outside. For example, “Linen” could imply that all towels and linen for each room are in one box.


You may want a special box for items that you are going to need right away. Pack these items all in one box and label it “OPEN FIRST”. Perhaps this is plate ware or toiletry items.

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The best way to answer this is to give Ralph’s Transfer a call. The cost of packing up and moving a house varies by home. You should always ask moving companies for two estimates. One, with them packing everything and another, with you packing everything. If you choose to do the packing yourself, don’t hesitate to ask us how to pack something specific. We’re more than happy to give you instructions on how to safely pack up your home.


Remember, take one thing at a time and one room at a time. If you chip away piece-by-piece you will be extremely pleased with the outcome. Even if you have packed boxes for moving before, it can be very intimidating. We’re here to help. Leave your contact details below and we’ll be in touch with you shortly!


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