How Not to Pack a Box for Moving


Packing a box seems like a pretty basic thing to do, but anyone who has moved house once can tell you it can go wrong in more ways than you’d think. Some things are pretty obvious, like wrapping fragile items. But other things are often learned the hard way. Moving house is stressful. The last thing anyone needs is to experience a totally avoidable moving disaster and discover that their person items have been damaged during the move. Here are a few tips about what not to do when you are packing boxes for a move.

  1. Don’t use weak boxes. Yes, you’ll save money getting boxes from the grocery store. But you’ll wind up spending that money replacing any fragile items those used boxes fail to protect. Those boxes are built for single use. And most of them are designed to hold items that are already packaged securely. Putting your dishes or other breakables in them is inviting disaster. You might be able to use some of those boxes for blankets or clothing, but then you have to wonder how clean those boxes are.


  1. Don’t overload your boxes. It makes sense to pack similar items together most of the time. But there is an important exception. Packing heavy items such as books all in one box is going to make those boxes extremely heavy. That creates two problems. First, they are not so easy to lift. You might not notice the first one, but by the time you are unloading them in your new place, you will start to regret even owning those books. Second, even very sturdy moving boxes have their limits. Why risk a box bursting open? It makes more sense to spread books and other items between several boxes to spread the weight. Put in some books, then top the box with some clothes, bedding or towels to keep the weight down. Don’t put anything fragile in a box with heavy items!


  1. Don’t use huge boxes. It might seem easier to use fewer, larger boxes. But think of the weight and the awkwardness of carrying huge boxes. It’s actually much easier to use more smaller boxes. Not only are the smaller boxes far more manageable, you can designate boxes for specific rooms rather than mixing items for different rooms in one box. That will make unpacking faster, and life will be less stressful in the first days in your new home.


Packing a box for moving isn’t rocket science, but you can still lose your personal belongings to a silly oversight. These three things often trip up first time movers. No doubt, everyone learns something the hard way the first time they move house. But here are few lessons you can learn the easy way instead.

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