Reading time:
1 min read

Boxes for moving aren’t all the same, and they definitely aren’t the same as boxes for other uses. Our experience has taught us that investing in sturdy boxes designed specifically for moving is essential. 

Trust us, you don’t want to use random boxes for your move and end up with damaged items. Choosing the right boxes will make your move smoother and your belongings safer.

In NYC, you'll find a variety of options at places like hardware stores, storage facilities, and even online marketplaces.

Here in this guide, you can discover the main types of boxes, and the best kinds of things to put inside them. We’ll also give you some expert tips about where to find them in NYC.

Types of Moving Boxes

Here are the most commonly available moving boxes that are best suited for the items in your moving inventory.

Book Box

Boxes for Books

Size: 12" x 12" x 18"

Indication: Ideal for books, CDs, DVDs, records, magazines, papers, photo albums, cleaning supplies, and bathroom items.

Book boxes are maybe the most common kind of moving boxes. They are great for smaller, heavier items.

You can pack quite heavy items (such as weights) in this box but make sure that the box is not too heavy and the bottom breaks off. For example, two 20 pound weights with a few towels will be fine; more than 50 pounds total will be too heavy for the box and the movers. 

Wine bottles, spices, cutlery, and food can be packed in these boxes. When packing wine bottles, pad the bottom of the box with packing paper, stand the bottles, and separate them from each other and the box walls by using packing paper. 

Linen Box

Large Moving Boxes

Size: 18" x 18" x 24"

Indication: Ideal for linens, toys, or other lightweight items such as wrapped housewares.

Linen boxes are slightly larger boxes better suited for large but light items. 

This box is used in a few different ways. For pots, pans, and plastic containers, the best way is to mix between them so the box will not be too heavy. 

It is also recommended to fill the spaces between the items with towels or packing paper to stop them from making sounds (it sounds like broken dishes - a very unpleasant sound on a stressful move day) or scraping the paint. 

Linens, folded clothes, shoes or the same should be packed to the top of the box. Again, make sure the box is not too heavy for its bottom.

China Box 

China Boxes

Size: 18" x 18" x 27"

Indication: Table lamps, small statues, small frames, bowls, vases, anything fragile, and electronics. 

China Boxes are double corrugated, very sturdy boxes that are perfect for fragile items. 

It is slightly larger than linen boxes to accommodate all the packing materials that buffer the fragile items. It is a big box made of extra thick cardboard that is heavy, to begin with, so make sure you do not pack it too heavy. 

Wardrobe Box 

Wardrobe Boxes

Size: 24" X 21" X 46"

Indication: Ideal box for packing your shirts, suits, pants, skirts, gowns, and coats. 

A wardrobe box is a specialty box for hanging clothes; it is 4 feet tall and has a bar at the top for holding the hangers. Simply remove the clothes from your closet and place them in the box.

You can also use this box for big odd shaped items, such as big cushions, ironing boards, big stuffed animals, and umbrellas. 

Do not fill this box with wooden shelves or heavy items as it will be impossible to move.

Where to Buy Moving Boxes in NYC

Those looking for quality moving boxes have plenty of options. NYC moving companies like Oz Moving & Storage will often provide some boxes as an added bonus or for a nominal fee. Oz has a full moving box store, which offers box delivery for the client looking for speedy, convenient delivery. 

One of the most convenient and cost effective ways to obtain moving boxes is to have an Oz crew bring them along during your move, to prevent any additional delivery fees. 

Those looking to buy factory direct and aren’t in a rush can try a manufacturer like uLine. Those who need moving boxes at the last second can generally find them at a run-of-the-mill office supply store like Staples.

Finding Free Moving Boxes in NYC (& Elsewhere)

Alternatively, you can hunt down some free boxes instead! This can make your move cheaper and more eco-friendly!

1. Gather and Save Delivery Boxes

If you receive frequent deliveries from stores and groceries shops, consider keeping the large boxes and re-use them for your move. We have a lot of clients sharing with us that reusing these boxes not only saved them money but also contributed to a more eco-friendly move. You can also ask your neighbors to do the same for you. 

2. Scoring Treasures on Trash and Recycling Night

Just like most folks in NYC, you probably already know when the city swings by to grab your garbage and recycling. On trash day, keep your eyes peeled for primo, clean boxes sitting on the curb and snatch 'em up whenever you can. It's like your own little treasure hunt!

3. Check your Building’s Basement or Storage

Here's another hack: Check out your apartment building's basement to scout for any abandoned boxes. And if you're in an office building, odds are maintenance has a stash of boxes tucked away somewhere. It's all about finding what you need!

4. Reach Out to Local Businesses

Now, take a step further and have a chat with the shops in your area. Check if they've got any spare boxes up for grabs. Many grocery stores, liquor shops, drugstores, and retail outlets get deliveries in cardboard boxes, so it's worth asking if they'd be open to donate some to you. 

5. Explore Neighborhood Classifieds

Another idea is to check Craigslist, or Nextdoor, or any other neighborhood classified source to see if anyone has extra boxes they would be willing to give you. If you live in NYC or the greater New York City area, it should be easy to pick up some extra boxes and other packing supplies. 

6. Call Up Stores

If you're after a particular box size, why not reach out to a store that sells the corresponding item? Give them a call and ask if they could set aside a box for you. For instance, if you need mattress boxes, dial up a local mattress store; if book boxes are what you're after, get in touch with a bookshop; seeking a box for a flat screen? Try an electronics store, and so forth...

Alternatives to Moving Boxes

In our years of helping people move, we've come across some creative alternatives to traditional moving boxes.

If you don’t want to go the moving box route, consider using reusable moving crates. Moving crates are usually available from moving and storage companies. Ask to see how much they cost. Reusable crates can be more durable and sustainable than traditional cardboard boxes. 

We’ve also seen some clients, who have fewer items to move, opting for plastic containers they purchased from stores like Bed Bath & Beyond. It's great to see people exploring these alternatives to suit their specific moving needs and preferences.

Reach Out to Local Movers

If you are in need of help packing or unpacking, be sure to inquire with local movers in your area to see if they offer any of those services. 

Moreover, moving companies across New York offer same-day delivery services to provide you with a packing supplies kit

Request a free moving quote to see how much these services will cost.

1 2

Get instant quote

Where are you moving?
How do we reach you?
Top 5 Popular Reads

Get a Free Quote

Get a Free Quote