Moving Boxes: The ULTIMATE Guide
Moving day is on the horizon. You have spent the last 5 years stuffing your 2 bedroom apartment with everything that your paycheck would allow. And a few things that your credit card insisted on. Now it’s time to take inventory of the madness and, ideally, begin an organized approach to condensing your possessions for relocation. You will need boxes. You’ve done this before and you know the drill. Currently you possess 6 shoe boxes, a pizza box in the kitchen, and a few things you’ve ordered on Amazon should be coming in the mail any day now. That’s probably not going to cut it. But don’t panic. Just take a breath, sit down, read this article, and consider it the first step of your move.
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The average person moves 12 times in their life. The average life lasts a little more than 78 years. Quick arithmetic tells me then that the average person moves every 6.5 years. And it’s never something you are looking forward to doing. So there is no reason that you should be an expert on where to find the best moving boxes. The first thing you need to do is figure out your budget. Second thing, pick the boxes that fit your budget.
Moving Boxes That Pack Themselves
If a budget isn’t an issue for you then neither are moving boxes. You can stop reading this article, go get a free moving quote from Olympic Moving & Storage, and kick back with a glass of lemonade – your work is done. Olympic will take care of all the packing, moving, and storage services that your relocation requires.
(Read: Packing and Crating Services)
Hiring a moving company makes relocation a breeze. But you might be more of the hands-on type. You have some other options if you are intending on packing your household goods yourself.
High-End, Specialty Moving Boxes
I find it strange to say “high-end moving boxes”. But it is a real thing. There are custom boxes for everything from clothes, to art, to televisions, and fine china. These specialty boxes can be upwards of $15 apiece and you might need 50-100 total boxes to pack up your home. Don’t forget about the packing materials. Bubble wrap, tape, box labels, and packing paper.
(Read: Hiring Movers vs. Renting PODs)
These are all things professional movers use early and often so if we are talking high-end moving boxes then we need to include the bells and whistles that go along with it. So take a tour of your home and note all of the specialty items you would care to protect. TV’s, expensive art, large mirrors, fragile dishes, and your good clothes should be accounted for. These things will all need a special box. Specialty moving boxes can be found ordered from moving companies, like Olympic Moving & Storage, for a good price. The rest of your items can be organized and placed into standard, rectangular, moving boxes.
These can come in several sizes and should be filled with similar items to make unpacking a little easier. Be mindful of what you put in the same box. Use Murphy’s Law when packing. If you pack your perfume in the same box as your clothes it is going to break and ruin your favorite turtleneck. If you put all of your chargers and cables in the same box you will be ready to move again before you ever get them untangled and back to their proper device. You can buy some high-quality moving boxes in a 10 pack for $20 on Amazon. Just try to get the free shipping. You may not be able to live with yourself once you are forced to pay for a box to ship your boxes in.
Ready Made Moving Box Kits
Accurately calculating the number boxes you need is a science and an art. But there is an easier solution. Moving kits! These kits include boxes of varying sizes and packing supplies. They do not include specialty boxes, though, so if you want to protect your 65” plasma you will have to order that box separately. The kits are around $50. One thing to remember when ordering: when you select a kit that corresponds to the number of rooms you want to move, know what is considered a room.
(Read: Local Moving Services)
It isn’t only how many bedrooms are in your house. You need to account for the number of rooms that you will be relocating in total. Include your living room, bathroom, kitchen, and storage closet when selecting the size and number of moving kits that you will need. The obvious drawback of these kits is that you are either going to be left with too many moving supplies or too few. But if you don’t mind just hoping for the best, and the thought of determining the exact square footage of all that you own isn’t that appealing, then this is a pretty solid option.
Rental Moving Boxes
If you are looking to “Go Green” then your should consider renting these plastic, reusable boxes. You can rent them by the week. For 1 week the cost is about the same as their cardboard counterparts. They only come in 1 size, but they stack easily and, since they are reusable, make less cardboard waste in the environment. And, if you decide you want to keep them, these boxes can be purchased for around $30 and then they are yours forever. Again, these reusable plastic totes can be rented or purchased from Olympic Moving & Storage.
Previously Used Moving Boxes
Another green option is to use moving boxes that have been used before. Reduce, reuse, recycle! In this case, Boxcycle. On the Boxcycle website you can search for moving boxes that are being sold by private sellers in your area. The prices are good. You can get boxes for 50 cents to $1 per box. The problems here are that you can’t guarantee their availability (especially if you don’t live in a large city) and you have to go pick up the boxes yourself – wherever they may be. The quality of the boxes are going to be less than that of a new box, so there is going to be a higher chance of the box breaking and some of your things getting damaged. But you can save the earth and save some money.
Free Moving Boxes
Now for the fans in the cheap seats. What you all have been waiting for. What most of you scrolled past everything else just to find. The best places to get FREE moving boxes!!! We’ve all been there. You’re moving out tomorrow, your cousin, Daryl, is bringing his ‘91 Ford F-150 over at noon (probably more like 1:30), and when you start taking down your posters and unplugging your X-Box you realize that you need a way to carry all this stuff out to the bed of Daryl’s truck! Have no fear, we’re here for you. When you’re just looking for something to hold your stuff during the ride across town – you’ve got options. Now, the quality of these boxes is going to be anyone’s guess. But they are probably better than nothing.
- Craigslist – Go check out the “free” section and search for boxes.
- U-Haul Box Exchange – They have a message board for you to look for free boxes in your area.
- Liquor Stores – This has been a solid go-to for generations. Except for the prohibition generation, I imagine.
- Bookstores – They ship the books in boxes and usually have some extras laying around that they are willing to get rid of.
- Grocery Stores – Tons of boxes here. If you pre-plan it you can go in and ask them to hold boxes for you in advance to better your selection.
- Starbucks – They get a few shipments a week so they tend to have boxes.
Moving Boxes Conclusion…
There you have it! That’s the ULTIMATE guide to moving boxes. We highly recommend that you give Olympic Moving & Storage a call for your packing and moving needs. They take the stress of moving out of the equation by doing all the work for you. Easiest move you will ever have. But if you are determined to do this move on your own, you have plenty of options when it comes to finding moving boxes. So your boxes and start packing!
Do you know of any other great spots to get moving boxes? Let us know in the comments section below!
About the Author
Elijah is a marketing evangelist and relocation specialist. He writes regularly for Olympic Moving & Storage and Bekins Northwest. He has also been featured on several of the industry’s most authoritative blogs as a guest writer. You are welcomed to contact Elijah in the comment sections below his posts, on his LinkedIn page, and on Twitter.
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