Transform your moving experience with these shipping box selection tips

guy sitting back with boxes

Ever been up furiously packing into the early hours of the night before a move and run out of boxes? Yeah, us either… To avoid this common issue at the time of moving and more, read on. You may not know everything there is to know about the humble shipping box and how important it is to get the right types and quantities ahead of time for moving day. Choosing the right shipping boxes isn’t just about avoiding a game of real world Jenga; it’s about ensuring your memories arrive safely at your new home and your move is done efficiently and effectively. This article delves into the finer points of shipping boxes.

The basics of shipping boxes

yellow happly boxes on front porch

The different types of shipping boxes and their purposes

Shipping boxes come in more varieties than cheeses in a French Fromagerie. The main ones include:

  1. Standard moving boxes like tea chest boxes, half tea chest boxes, book boxes and crystal boxes; 
  2. Wardrobe boxes aka port-a-robe boxes for your clothes;  
  3. Wine boxes for your…ahem…wine; and
  4. Speciality boxes for things like your tv, artwork and other precious items

Tips for selecting the right size and strength for different items

As a general rule of thumb, larger, heavier items should be packed in smaller boxes while larger, lighter items should be in large boxes like tea chest boxes. Yes, you read that right – as ironic as it might be. Maybe this won’t make sense off the bat but the reason is that heavier items are harder to carry in larger boxes plus the items have lots of space to move around in which can cause damage either to the box or the items themselves. So for example books, cutlery and crockery should all be in smaller boxes like half tea chest boxes or crystal boxes which makes them easier to carry and less likely to cause issues during transit.

Quality shipping boxes protect belongings during transit

Selecting the right size and strength is crucial; you wouldn’t pack your collection of vintage teacups in the same box as your dumbbells. You also perhaps wouldn’t realise it but saving money on boxes can actually cost more in the long run. Firstly, because the removalists can’t stack poor, misshapen boxes on top of each other on their moving trolleys or into their trucks and storage units, so it takes them more time to move your stuff meaning more costs but also because poorly packed shipping boxes might result in damage to your items which negates the point of trying to save money in the first place.

Quality shipping boxes take many forms but generally they should be twin cushion boxes at least which provides excellent protection for breakable and bulky items.

How to choose the right shipping boxes

boxes in the living room

Follow this easy to use guideline for choosing the right shipping boxes: 

  1. Small boxes: these include archive boxes and are typically the easiest shipping boxes to load and carry when moving. They are also perfect for small and heavy items such as books and documents. 
  2. Medium cardboard boxes: these include half tea chest or crystal boxes and are the most popular type of moving box. This size box is ideal for moving small to medium-size household items such as books, kitchenware, electrical appliances, pantry items and more. 
  3. Large cardboard boxes: these include tea chest boxes but buyer beware – if you pack these too full they can be hard to lift and manoeuvre during the moving process. As such, it’s good to pack these boxes with large, lightweight items such as stuffed animals, toys, clothing, pillows, bedding and more. 
  4. Wardrobe boxes: also known as a port-a-robe which aptly describes that these are portable cupboards for your clothes. If you’re moving hanging clothes and don’t want to have to iron everything at the end of your move, this is the best way to move clothes. Port-a-robes have a metal hanging bar in them and like their name suggests are effectively portable cupboards.

The importance of box material and how it affects the protection of contents

In addition, make sure you only order the right sort of boxes. As with other aspects of life, quality matters. Our shipping boxes are designed to be strong and durable and can hold up to 80 times their own weight, a critical fact that ensures goods are housed and transported safely and securely.

There are several types of corrugated boxes, including single-wall, double-wall, and triple-wall, each offering different levels of protection and strength suited for various products and shipping conditions. For typical moving home requirements, double wall boxes are usually more than enough. 

Happly’s variety of shipping boxes

happly's box selection

Happly’s box shop has a huge variety of shipping boxes: either pick from our packages based on house size or shop a-la-carte. On the a-la-carte menu we have options like a medium box (crystal), large box (tea chest) or a port-a-robe box. We can also place custom orders for box types that aren’t in our box shop as required.

Avoid common packing mistakes

By way of warning, here’s a few not so uncommon stories which we hope you avoid:

  1. If you’re getting friends to help you pack, make sure you’re the one controlling the labelling. Below shows what can happen if you don’t. Do you really want to be going through boxes labelled ‘Broken Dreams and Failures’ at the end of your move? 
  2. Be extra careful with liquids. Books could literally be written about the tales of woe: the olive oil explosion of 2018. Not only did it get right through the moving truck but it caused the removalist to slip and get injured, and the move couldn’t be completed. Oh, and it gets worse. The incoming tenants didn’t have a place to stay so everyone stayed in the same house together!

To avoid these sorts of stories, get organised, use appropriate materials and add a dash of common sense and you’ll be fine. Remember, Happly is not just a box shop; we offer a range of services in a smart house move checklist to ensure you move as cleverly and as easily as possible. Last but not least, Happly can help with not just the box shop but also the packing and unpacking service. It’s a luxury for sure but it’s also probably the best money you’ll spend during your move.

Packing like a pro

Tips to maximise space and protect items

Regardless of whether you’re going to do the packing, or professional packers are, make sure you pack things professionally using appropriate packing materials like packing paper and bubble wrap. Don’t resort to old newspapers as that can stain or mark your items but do feel free to use items like blankets and towels and old clothes as padding in your shipping boxes where possible.

Label boxes efficiently for easy unpacking

Also remember to label your boxes. There’s space on each box for ease of use and be sure to label more than one side. There’s few things more annoying than having to find a needle in a haystack of boxes having labelled only the sides you can’t see. 

The art of organising your move

girl using phone with happly

The importance of a moving checklist and timeline

A moving checklist is crucial during the move. start early, categorise your tasks, and establish your timeline. That said, with Happly’s structured approach, your move will be as easy as possible – organised, efficient, and dare we say it, strangely satisfying. Like picking the correct line at the supermarket, Happly is like the Gandalf to your Frodo, guiding your moving journey with wisdom and a touch of technology (instead of magic).

Shipping box hacks and tips

family playing with boxes

Whilst there’s all sorts of ideas out there for how to repurpose your shipping boxes post your move (apart from just shoving them under your bed until your next one), here’s a selection of our favourites: 

  • Kids castle: build a castle for your kids out of the used boxes and let them decorate them. This activity will keep them away from the tv for a few hours and it’s amazing how much fun they can have with the humble shipping box!
  • Life-Size Board Games: Create life-size game pieces and dice from boxes for outdoor games like monopoly or snakes and ladders. It’s a fun DIY project that results in an entertaining and oversized gaming experience.
  • Costume boxes: Shipping boxes are the perfect building block for creative costumes. Whether it’s a motor vehicle or robot these can be fun projects occupying kids for days.

Offer tips on recycling and reusing boxes to emphasise eco-friendliness

With the massive rise in e-commerce, the production of shipping boxes for all sorts of purposes has surged. This has in turn made shipping boxes made for moving house all the more eco-friendly. Over 70% of corrugated boxes (and climbing) are now made from recycled material. Good news is that making a corrugated box from recycled materials uses about 25% less energy than making one from scratch. Companies are also adopting other sustainable practices such as using water based inks and adhesives to make recycling of these boxes more efficient and effective. 

So after your move, please think about participating in the circular economy by either selling or gifting your boxes for reuse. But if they’ve come to the end of their life, pop them in the recycling bin for rebirth – our planet will thank you. If you’re unsure or have any questions about this feel free to get in touch with us at Happly – we’d be happy to help.

Don’t worry, be Happly

To recap the above article, here are the key points:

  1. Shipping boxes are a small but crucial part of the moving journey; 
  2. Having the right quantity and type of shipping boxes and other supplies goes a long way to an efficient and effective move; 
  3. Getting delivery in time and packing either by yourself, or with professional help, well in advance of your move, is highly recommended. 

How can Happly help? Happly can sort out next day delivery of your shipping boxes in our delivery area in Sydney, provide guides as to the right boxes for your sized move and organise other related services like professional packers if you don’t feel like lifting a finger. Click ‘compare and book’ to get started today!

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