Packing for a move is always easier and safer when you have the right type of packing supplies. Provided that packing paper, Bubble wrap, plastic wrap, moving blankets, and packing peanuts are all high-quality products, they will definitely contribute to a quick and problem-free packing experience.
Nevertheless, the MOVING BOX is still the KING of all packing materials and will remain on the throne for many more years to come. When you picture a moving box, 99% of the time you’ll get the image of a standard box made of corrugated cardboard.
The sizes of the most common cardboard boxes are as standard as they come: small, medium, large and extra-large. However, when packing an entire home full of various items of different shapes and dimensions, it becomes obvious that sometimes standard-sized moving boxes will not work well for some of your oddly-shaped or more valuable things.
And this is exactly where specialty boxes come into play.
So, what are specialty boxes? And what types of specialty boxes will you need when packing your home for moving?
Read on to find the answers.
Do you really need specialty boxes when packing for a move?
What an excellent question!
In reality, specialty boxes can be extremely useful because the design and purpose of each box are different. For example,
- wardrobe boxes are used to hold and protect hanging clothes just like a tiny wardrobe,
- dish barrel boxes are used to guard and transport fragile and breakable chinaware thanks to their extra thickness, and
- mirror and picture boxes are great for packing and moving framed pictures, paintings and mirrors of various sizes simply because those cardboard containers can be re-sized and fitted around the individual framed art pieces.
Of course, it’s important to keep track of the packing expenses as well. While specialty boxes add extra security that your valuable items will stay perfectly safe during the physical transportation between the two homes, the additional cost of these special-purpose cardboard boxes may not always be worth the investment.
How much do specialty boxes cost? A dish barrel box costs around $6, a mirror/picture box is around $5-$7 per box, while a wardrobe box can cost between $10 and $14 depending on its exact size – small, medium or large.
In comparison, a standard-sized moving box costs anywhere from around $1 (small) to approximately $2.50 (extra-large). Therefore, the question of whether you really need specialty packing boxes when packing for a move remains on the packing table. Maybe you can manage it with standard-sized packing boxes by adding more wrapping and cushioning materials?
What specialty boxes will you need when packing for a move? Here’s more information about each type of specialty box and packaging to help you decide whether or not you should use such special-purpose packing boxes.
Might be useful: Where to get free moving boxes: The complete checklist
Wardrobe boxes offer the best possible protection for expensive formal and designer clothes. In reality, those special-purpose boxes do look like and act like a mini closet – they are tall and have metal rods on the top on which you hang your clothes directly as you transfer them from your life-sized closet or wardrobe together with their respective hangers.
Wardrobe boxes will keep your expensive clothes without any risk of wrinkles, dust, dirt or moisture. Also, packing that kind of specialty box will only take a few minutes. However, a single wardrobe box will cost around $15 or even more, and will take quite a lot of space inside the moving vehicle.
The assembled dimensions of a wardrobe box are as follows:
- small wardrobe box: 24” x 24” x 34” (11.3 cu/ft);
- medium wardrobe box: 18” x 18” x 46” (8.6 cu/ft);
- large wardrobe box: 24” x 24” x 48” (16 cu/ft).
Read also: How to pack hanging clothes for moving
Dish barrel boxes
Dish packs are designed for packing, moving and shipping very fragile items such as kitchen dishes, glassware, or even delicate antiques. The thing that makes dish barrel boxes special is that they are double-walled for maximum protection of your breakables. Using a dish pack is like using two regular cardboard boxes fitted one into another to offer extra cushioning and security for the items enclosed.
Dish barrel boxes can be used together with a Cell Kit – a cardboard attachment divides the box into sections (a total of 16 place settings on 3 levels) where each fragile item can be placed individually. A Cell Kit usually sold separately from the dish pack and costs around $6.
The standard dimensions of a dish barrel box are 18” x 18” x 28” (5.25 cu/ft), and the specialty box itself weighs around 4 lbs.
See also: How to pack kitchen plates for moving
Mirror and picture boxes
Mirror / Picture boxes are great for packing and moving framed items such as pictures, paintings, mirrors and artwork. The special thing about those moving boxes is that they can be adjusted to fit the framed items perfectly – that is, to boxes can be joined together seamlessly to accommodate larger frames.
Also, you can use additional frame protectors (usually sold separately) to make sure that your fragile artwork and mirrors are really well-secured and well-protected during transport.
The dimensions of a mirror and picture box are as follows:
- standard mirror and picture box: 37” x 4” x 27” (2.3 cu/ft);
- large mirror and picture box: 48-1/4” x 4-5/16” x 32-11/16” (3.7 cu/ft);
- 4-piece mirror and picture box: adjustable sizing, can accommodate frame sizes up to 40″ x 60″ x 3-1/2″.
Packing advice: How to pack a large mirror for moving How to pack pictures for a move
Extra specialty boxes
In addition to the 3 major types of specialty boxes (wardrobe boxes, dish barrel boxes and mirror picture boxes), there are a number of other specialty shipping boxes you may choose to use when packing up your prized possessions.
- Book boxes. Ideal for packing and moving books as those boxes are designed to hold small and heavy items. Box dimensions: 12″ x 12″ x 12″ (1.0 cu/ft), price around $1.50.
- File boxes. Great for packing and moving personal records, business records and all types of important documents. File boxes come with the perfect size for holding letter-size folders: 15″ x 12″ x 10″ (1.0 cu/ft). The price of a file box is around $3.
- Lamp boxes. Ideal for packing and moving tall and oddly-shaped items such as lamps or vases. Box dimensions: 12” x 12” x 40” (3.33 cu/ft), price approximately $5.
- Wine shipping boxes. Perfect for packing and moving bottles of wine as those wine shippers come with strong Kraft paper inserts that protect each glass bottle individually. The price of wine shipping boxes is anywhere between $7 and $12 and depends on the box size and the number of bottle dividers: 1, 2, 3, 6 or 12 wine bottles.
Other specialty boxes include flat-panel TV boxes, electronics boxes, golf bag boxes, guitar boxes, telescopic boxes, and bike boxes.
See also: Should you hire professional packers?
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