Jun 26th, 2023


Essential Tips for Packing Boxes

Whether you’re moving into your dream home, shipping your teen off to college, or needing to store inventory, packing boxes correctly will be crucial to ensuring your items stay safe and in one piece.

Choosing the Right Packing Boxes: Size, Type, and Strength Considerations

Before we dive into how to pack, it’s important to distinguish what you should use to store your packed goods. So, let’s start with the basics.

What is a Packing Box?

A packing box, also known as a shipping box or cardboard box, is a container specifically designed for storing, protecting, and transporting various items. It is typically made of durable and sturdy materials, such as corrugated cardboard, to ensure the safety of its contents.

Packing boxes come in different sizes, shapes, and strengths to accommodate a range of items. They can be square or rectangular in shape and have flaps that can be folded and secured for closure. Some packing boxes also feature handles for easier carrying.

What is a packing box?

How Do I Choose the Right Packing Box?

Choosing the correct box for packing is essential to protecting and keeping your items safe during transportation or storage. Consider these factors when selecting the appropriate packing box:

  • Size: Select a box appropriate for the size of the items you plan to pack. Avoid using oversized containers that may lead to unnecessary shifting and damage. Boxes should snugly fit items without cramming them together.
  • Strength: Before purchasing a box, check its Edge Crush Test (ECT), a measurement technique used to determine the strength and durability of corrugated boxes. It involves applying pressure to the edges of a box until it collapses, allowing manufacturers to assess its resistance to crushing forces during transportation and storage. Heavy-duty corrugated cardboard boxes are ideal for heavy and fragile items since they offer enhanced protection and structural integrity.
  • Type: Specialized packing boxes are available to accommodate specific items. For example, wardrobe boxes feature a hanging bar to transport clothes on hangers, while dish-pack boxes provide extra protection for fragile dishes and glassware.
  • Material: Use boxes made of high-quality materials, such as sturdy corrugated cardboard, which provides durability and resistance to crushing, ensuring your belongings remain in one piece!
  • Weight Capacity: Check the weight limit of the box to ensure it can handle the load of your items. Exceeding this limit may result in box failure and damage to your belongings.
  • Environmental Considerations: If you're conscious of environmental sustainability, look for boxes made from recycled materials or use reusable plastic containers. These options help reduce waste and promote eco-friendly practices.

How Many Boxes Do I Need for Packing?

The number of boxes you will need for packing depends on several factors, including the size and quantity of your items and the level of organization you prefer.

To estimate the number of boxes you'll need, take inventory of your belongings, categorizing them by room or item type. This will give you a better understanding of the volume of items you need to pack. We recommend having a few extra boxes on hand to accommodate unexpected items or last-minute additions.

Also, consider the size and weight of the boxes to ensure ease of lifting and transportation. By taking stock of your belongings and estimating the space needed for each category, you'll be able to make an informed decision on the number of boxes required to pack your items efficiently and securely.

8 Pro Packing Tips & Tricks

The Eight Best Box-Packing Tips

Now that you know what to look for in a box, it’s time to answer the second most-asked question about packing: what is the best way to pack boxes?

Box packing, when done correctly, can be like an art form. Check out our favorite packing tips below that will turn you into a packing pro!

Organizing and Sorting Items Before Packing in Boxes

Before you start packing your belongings into boxes, organizing and sorting your items can save time and make the packing process more efficient.

First, declutter and get rid of any items you no longer need or use. Then, categorize your belongings into groups based on their type, fragility, or destination room. This step will help you identify which items can be packed together.

Properly Wrapping and Cushioning Fragile Items for Protection

Fragile items need to be packed with extra care and protection to ensure they arrive at their destination unharmed. Taking the time to wrap and cushion fragile items provides an extra protective layer and peace of mind during moving or shipping.

Start by selecting appropriate wrapping materials such as bubble wrap, packing paper, or foam sheets. Wrap each fragile item individually, paying attention to delicate parts and corners. Fill empty spaces in the box with void fill, like crumpled paper or foam inserts, to prevent movement and provide additional cushioning. Place heavier and sturdier items at the bottom of the box, with the most fragile items on top. Lastly, label the box "FRAGILE" to alert handlers to exercise caution.

Maximizing Box Space: Efficient Packing Techniques

Maximize the available space in your boxes by using these efficient packing techniques:

  • First, disassemble furniture or large items that can be broken down to save space. Then, place these heavy, bulky items at the base of the box to distribute the weight evenly.
  • Utilize the nooks and crannies of the packing box by filling them with smaller items, rolled-up clothing, or void fill.
  • Take advantage of vertical space by stacking items vertically, using dividers or cardboard inserts to keep them stable.
  • Use vacuum-sealed bags for clothing and linens to minimize their size.
  • Consider using specialized packing materials for irregularly shaped items, like foam inserts or custom boxes.
Pro Tip: Label Everything!

Labeling Boxes for Easy Identification and Unpacking

Labeling boxes facilitates easy identification and efficient unpacking. As you pack each box, label it using a permanent marker or adhesive labels. We recommend adding a description of the box's contents and the room it belongs to legibly on multiple sides for maximum visibility.

Another pro-packing hack? Use color-coded labels, stickers, and duct tape to categorize boxes by room or item type. This allows you and your movers to quickly identify where each box should go in your new space.

To streamline the unpacking process, create an inventory list corresponding to the labeled boxes to help locate specific items when needed.

By investing a little time in labeling your boxes, you'll save a significant amount of time and effort when unpacking and settling into your new home or storage space.

Heavy vs. Light Items: Distributing Weight in Packing Boxes

When packing boxes, it's important to consider the distribution of weight, especially when dealing with a mix of heavy and light items. Balancing the weight ensures the safety of your belongings and makes handling and transportation more manageable.

Start by placing heavier items at the bottom of the box to create a stable base and prevent it from toppling over or becoming unbalanced. As you continue to pack, intersperse lighter items on top to evenly distribute weight throughout the box.

Avoid overloading boxes with heavy items, as it may compromise the structural integrity and make them difficult to lift. If a box becomes too heavy, consider redistributing the items or using a larger box to accommodate the weight.

Sealing Boxes Securely: Tape, Glue, or Box Fasteners?

Boxes must be sealed securely to protect your belongings during transit or storage. There are several options for sealing boxes, including tape, glue, or box fasteners.

The most common and efficient way to seal boxes is to use packing tape, preferably a high-quality and heavy-duty option. Apply tape along the flaps and seams of the box, ensuring it overlaps onto the sides for added strength. Use multiple layers of tape for extra reinforcement, especially for heavier or larger containers.

Alternatively, you can use glue to seal boxes that won't be opened for an extended period of time. Apply glue along the flaps and press them firmly together, allowing sufficient drying time.

The last option, box fasteners, are plastic straps or metal clips that tighten easily to provide additional security.

Whichever method you choose, ensure boxes are sealed tightly to prevent any items from shifting or falling out. Knowing your belongings are well-protected will give you peace of mind.

Pro Tip: Disassemble Bulky Items

Disassembling Furniture and Bulky Items for Easier Packing

Minimize the risk of damage, optimize space utilization, and make the packing and moving process more manageable by disassembling furniture and bulky items prior to packing.

Start by identifying furniture that can be taken apart, such as tables, bed frames, or shelving units. Carefully disassemble these items by following the manufacturer's instructions or removing screws, bolts, or connectors. Keep the hardware and small parts in labeled bags, ensuring they are safely stored and easily accessible for reassembly.

Disassembling furniture reduces the overall size of the items and allows for more efficient packing by fitting individual components into boxes or wrapping them separately. Remember to label each disassembled part and its corresponding container to facilitate easy reassembly later.

Creating an Inventory List for Packed Boxes

Creating an inventory list for your packed boxes is a practical way to stay organized during the moving or storage process.

As you pack, take a moment to record the contents of each box on your inventory list. Include a brief description of the items and assign a unique number or label to each box. You can also categorize the boxes by room or item type for easier reference.

This inventory list will be a handy reference when unpacking, helping you quickly locate specific items without opening every box. Additionally, it is a valuable document for insurance purposes in case of any loss or damage during transit. Keep a copy of the inventory list with you, and consider sharing a copy with your moving company or storing it on a cloud-based storage platform for safekeeping.

Stacking Packing Boxes Safely

Stacking and Storing Packed Boxes: Ensuring Safety and Accessibility

Safety and accessibility are important to keep in mind when stacking and storing packed boxes.

First, create a stable base by stacking boxes of similar sizes and weights together. Place heavier and sturdier boxes at the bottom and lighter ones on top to prevent toppling. To optimize space, stack boxes vertically, filling any gaps with smaller boxes or packing materials. Avoid overloading stacks or placing heavy items on fragile boxes to prevent damage.

Leave clear pathways between stacks to ensure easy access to individual boxes. Additionally, consider the weight-bearing capacity of shelves or storage units and distribute the weight evenly across them.

If storing boxes for an extended period, consider using moisture-resistant containers or placing them on pallets to protect against dampness. Lastly, label the stacks clearly and note the contents and handling instructions to make identifying and accessing specific items easy.

Time to Get Packing!

Implementing these essential packing tips will simplify your moving or storage process, ensuring the safety and organization of your belongings. From choosing the right boxes for packing to properly wrapping fragile items, maximizing box space, labeling boxes, and distributing weight strategically, these tips will help you pack efficiently and protect your items during transit or storage.

Wondering, "Where can I buy packing boxes?" Good news! There are many options available. Local office supply stores, moving supply companies, and home improvement stores often carry a limited selection of packing boxes in various sizes and strengths. Online retailers also offer convenient options for purchasing packing boxes and other packing supplies, allowing you to browse and order from the comfort of your own home.

If you're looking for the best packing boxes near you, consider checking out our online catalog with over 1,600 sizes available! Trinity has packaging's largest catalog, including packing boxes, tape products, void fill, and more that can help make your packing projects a breeze. And the best part? We offer low pricing and quick lead times on our products, so you can get the products you need at your doorstep as soon as possible.

So embrace these packing tips and revolutionize your packing game! Shop our website for low prices on hundreds of packaging supplies, or contact our team of packaging experts to find the best products for you.