Whether you are moving to a new apartment or relocating an entire business, your moving and packing process will likely involve boxes. Boxes are essential cornerstones of any move — and vital building blocks for any storage configuration. Versatile, user-friendly, and easy to stack, they save precious time by helping movers like you stay organized.
In this guide, our moving and storage experts here at Stor-It help you get the most out of your boxes by showing you how to pack them like a pro. While the process of packing boxes is quite simple, there are still best practices to adhere to and mistakes that can be avoided. In the sections below, you’ll learn how to properly load and label boxes, as well as how to prepare them for moving and storage. Start packing your boxes like a pro, and shop for high-quality packing supplies and self-storage units at our many Stor-It Idaho locations!
Video: How to Pack Moving Boxes Like a Pro
A Guide to Packing Moving Boxes
Create a Checklist
The first step to packing your moving boxes like a pro is understanding that you’ll need more than just boxes to get the job done correctly. Here’s a checklist of the extra supplies you’ll need:
- Packing paper, bubble wrap, Styrofoam peanuts
- PVC packing tape, with optional tape dispenser
- Markers for labeling
Each of these supplies plays a crucial role in the packing process. You can find all of them available for sale at select Stor-It locations across the Treasure Valley.
Correctly Assemble Your Boxes and Start Cushioning
After creating your checklist and gathering your packing supplies, you’ll most likely have to assemble your packing boxes. Most boxes do not come pre-assembled, but rather folded and flat. To assemble a folded box properly, start by finding its top flaps. Top flaps are bendable sheets of cardboard each connected by smaller pieces of cardboard (used for a box’s flap lock feature). Flip both top flaps down against the box. This will make the opening of your box easy to access.
Once you’ve located and folded the top flaps, open the box up into its square shape. The top flaps should stay against the box with the flap locks. After opening the box into its square shape, flip it over and fold two opposite flaps together, then repeat this step for the other two flaps. Use packing tape (not masking or painter’s tape) to tape the box closed in one straight line across the middle where the bottom flaps meet. The closer your flaps are after taping, the sturdier your box will be. For added hold, place another strip of tape or two parallel or perpendicular to your first strip.
Finally, spread an evenly-dispersed layer of packing peanuts or bubble wrap on the bottom of each box you’ve assembled. This will help keep loaded items cushioned and prevent them from damaging boxes from the inside.
Load Your Boxes According to Weight…
Once you’ve sorted out which items are going to go in each of your boxes and placed peanuts at the bottom of your boxes, it’s time to start loading. When loading your boxes, follow one simple rule: load heavy items first (at the bottom of the box) and light items last (towards the top of the box). That way, you won’t have items moving around or crushing one another.
…But Don’t Overload Them
As you load your boxes, it’s important not to overload them. Boxes that are too heavy can be a major hazard for those who try to lift them. To prevent injury and avoid dropping an overloaded box, it’s a good rule of thumb to cap each box’s filled weight at 30 or 40 pounds.
Always Label Your Boxes
Even the most well-organized boxes can contribute to disorganization when they aren’t labeled. To ensure that you know where each box is going — and to keep everything accounted for during your move — it’s vital to label your boxes. This is especially important should you choose to hire a moving company. By numbering your boxes and including a brief description of their contents, you will have a much easier time making a claim on the off-chance the moving company you hire loses or damages any of your possessions.
If you are moving your boxes into storage, descriptive labeling will come in handy for the day you finally decide to move those same boxes out of storage. Instead of hunting through each and every box in order to find a single, long-lost item, you’ll quickly be able to locate the box you’re looking for thanks to your labels. (Just be sure that they’re legible from all sides and easy to spot.)
Firmly Close Your Boxes
Once you filled your boxes, add another layer of packing peanuts or bubble wrap the top of each box before closing it. (We recommend using packing peanuts for this step, as packing peanuts can easily fit between the spaces between your items and prevent them from moving around and colliding with each other.) As you close your box, make sure that both flaps are flush and touching before tightly sealing your box with packing tape.
Packing Your Boxes for Long-Term Storage: Tips and Tricks
While people pack boxes for short-term loading and unloading at the end of a move, others pack boxes for long-term storage in garages, basements, warehouses, or storage units. When packing your boxes for long-term storage, all of the above rules apply — but there are a few that need extra emphasis. Here is what to focus on when packing your boxes for long-term storage.
- Buy high-quality cardboard. Cut-rate cardboard can break down over time. If you’re going to be storing your boxes, invest in cardboard boxes specially-designed for storage to ensure that they hold up for years to come.
- Stack smart. As you fill your storage space with boxes, load the heaviest boxes (and those with the most durable items) near the bottom. Lighter boxes (and those containing fragile objects) should be loaded near the top.
- Invest in storage. In many cases, our homes or businesses simply don’t have the room to store the boxes we’ve packed. For an organized, centralized place to keep excess boxes and belongings, check out self-storage facilities in your region.
Get Your Moving Boxes and Other Packing Supplies at Stor-It
Searching for high-quality boxes or other packing items for your next move? What about affordable self-storage? Here at Stor-It, we’ve got you covered. As Idaho’s premier self-storage company, we have over 15 self-storage facilities located across the Treasure Valley and beyond. At select locations, we also proudly carry an extensive selection of packing supplies for sale to help you prep for moving or storage. Shop and store with us today!