The marker in one hand. The tape gun in the other. You’re officially ready to rock ‘n’ roll with this move! But have you really thought about what you’re packing your stuff into? Are you utilizing the best moving boxes? After all, the whole point is to ensure your belongings arrive at the new destination unscathed, right?

Here’s the low-down on those corrugated containers.

Is it worth it to buy moving boxes?

Absolutely! That’s like asking if you’d rather have cookies fresh from the oven or from the shelf-stable package that was opened a week ago. Sure, those cold, hard cookies can be zapped in the microwave for a few seconds and taste just fine. But given the choice, you’d probably pick the fresh ones, right? 

Similarly, those used boxes that you scoured the neighborhood for on trash day can certainly be reinforced. And renamed to match your labels. And then reinforced some more. But why go through all the extra trouble (and extra tape!) when you can have new, sturdy boxes to rely on?

Pro Tip: Those boxes that you snagged? They may be free, but they’re not necessarily stress-free. Used boxes lose their structural reliability over time — especially if they’re used multiple times. Even worse, such as ants, roaches, and silverfish. These critters can easily move into your new home right along with you.

New boxes, on the other hand, are the best moving boxes. Investing just a little more into your move on the front end can save you from some stressful and costly damage control later on. Want more proof? Check out these perks:

  • New boxes are easier to get your hands on. With , for example, you can simply have them shipped straight to your door for free. And the best part? You get to choose exactly how many and what sizes you want — no dumpster diving and crossing your fingers required! Don’t know what you need? PODS has preselected moving kits available that are sure to give you the proper head start (if not everything you need).
  • New boxes are easier to identify during your move. Used boxes may have all sorts of packaging and print labels all over them. Your new boxes will be clean and ready to label — and go ahead, label BIG. You and your movers will find and sort boxes so much faster when loading and unloading.
  • New boxes are easier to stack. Used boxes lose their stability over time, and their corners and lids can begin to warp and give way. They may also easily get crushed when stacked too high. Your new boxes won’t have these problems!
Several stacks of moving boxes in a variety of sizes.

What is the best size moving box?

The proper box size depends on what you’re packing. The best moving boxes are those that are large enough to fit a good amount of items without being too heavy. Likewise, boxes that are the appropriate sizes won’t have extra room for items to move around. The most popular box size? Medium moving boxes. Measuring 18x14x12 inches, these versatile workhorses can be a catch-all for most household items. Pots and pans? Sure! Toys and books? No problem!

Other popular boxes include:

Pro Tip: For wider or longer art pieces, telescope — or tape — your picture boxes together to create one larger box.

Are heavy-duty moving boxes worth it?

That’s a toss-up. It’s like choosing to double bag your gallon of milk or not — is it really worth the short-term risk? But imagine this scenario: You’ve managed to fit all your books from the shelf into one box and, surprisingly, it wasn’t too heavy when you carried it to the truck or moving container. Now, you’re at your final destination with the box in hand (or arms, rather), you turn the corner to head up the stairs, and — bam! — the bottom of the box falls apart. Books are everywhere! You’re now left with the task of going up and down the steps multiple times with armloads of books. Not to mention you’re in everyone else’s way, slowing down progress. Should you have used a heavy-duty box? We think so.

Two colorful plastic bins stacked one on top of the other beside three cardboard moving boxes.

Is it better to use totes or boxes for moving?

This depends on several factors, such as your budget, what you’re packing, and how much space you have in the moving truck or container.

Plastic moving boxes are great for seasonal storage items like holiday décor and lights or pool inflatables for the summer. They’re water-resistant and durable, making them perfect for items that you want to keep in storage but access periodically.

Cardboard boxes, on the other hand, are more appropriate for short-term storage, like getting from point A to point B. If those dishes are going straight from one kitchen cabinet to another, for example, there’s no reason not to use a cardboard box and simply recycle it when you’re done.

Your best bet? Move with a mixture of both!

Insider Tip: Don’t just think about containers. Get totally prepared for your move with other essential moving supplies, like mattress protectors and bubble cushioning rolls — all available at PODSBoxes.com

Now that you know what you need to use, it’s time to learn how to pack them up! Visit the PODS Blog for advice on all things packing-related and more!

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Kiran Bahl is a freelance writer who loves discovering how to make something better yet simpler at the same time. She lives happily and peacefully amongst her family and enjoys dessert every day — especially after meeting a writing deadline early.

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