A Guide to Storage Boxes

Isabella Blake | June 19, 2020 @ 12:00 AM

Cardboard boxes are an essential tool when moving things into storage, but there are so many types that it’s tough to figure out what to use.

First, although you can no doubt get boxes from your local grocery store for free, we recommend avoiding that. You’ll run into two problems. The boxes will be of a wide variety of sizes, making them difficult to stack. They also may contain food residue, which can attract pests and generally make your storage unit stink.

Yes, it will cost a little to purchase storage boxes, but this will make your life and storage plan much easier.

So, let’s cover the different types of boxes, their qualities, and what they’re best for.

Small Boxes

There are two types of small boxes we’d like to cover. Both are extremely sturdy and great for packing heavy things, like books and magazines. In fact, a lot of items can fit in them, and as long as you use some good packing paper to fill in empty spaces, your things should remain in good shape.

Small boxes are 16”x12.5”x12.5”, while the other type of small box, document boxes, are 15”x12”x10”. If you’re going to use primarily one box type, go with document boxes. A lot can fit in them and they stack well, helping you maximize space in your unit.

Medium Boxes

Medium boxes are typically 18”x18”x16”. They’re also quite sturdy and are great for items that can’t quite fit in a document box. These may include microwaves, blenders, and other small appliances, as well as big pots and pans.

Large Boxes

Now, we get to the boxes that aren’t as sturdy and are meant for lighter, bulkier items. Large boxes are about 18”x18”x24”. These are great for towels, clothing, and bedding. They can also work for toys.

Extra Large Boxes

These are quite large, 24”x18”x24”. Like large boxes, they’re meant for light, bulky items. Consider using these for your comforters, pillows, blankets, and other bedding. Remember to put light-weight items in these only. Heavy items will make lifting an extra-large box awkward and it could cause the box to break.  

Specialty Boxes

You may have certain items that are impractical in any other sort of box. Drinking glasses can be delicate and break, even when buffered with packing paper. That’s why there are corrugated boxes with separate compartments for each glass. There are also wine boxes for your wine collection, so you don’t have to pack the bottles in with anything else.

Wardrobe boxes are interesting. They’re tall and wide enough to hang your fancy clothing that shouldn’t be folded, and they come with a hanger bar at the top. If you have much of an ornament collection for your holiday tree, it’s best to store them in an ornament box. These have layers of compartments ideal for storing all sorts of ornaments.

Proper Stacking

When packing the moving truck and your storage unit, remember to stack from heavy to light. Heavier boxes go on the bottom of stacks, lighter boxes on top of them. This serves two functions. First, the higher boxes will be easier to get down when you retrieve them. Second, this will help all boxes stay in good shape so that the boxes on top don’t crush those below.

There’s a lot more to moving into a storage unit than we’ve covered here, but this information should help considerably. Check elsewhere on the site, like our Storage Tips and Size Guide, or give us a call for further assistance.