The Ultimate Guide to Moving Box Sizes and Their Specific Uses

Moving box sizes...Why are there so many and which is used for what? This guide is your concise roadmap to understanding moving box sizes and what it's used for. Helping you navigate the overwhelming world of moving boxes sizes and making you an expert on it.

13 min read

The Ultimate Guide to Moving Box Sizes and Their Specific Uses

Key takeaways

  • Small boxes(Book boxes): Ideal for packing heavier, denser items and perfect for small and weighty items like books, tools, canned goods, CDs/DVDs, and kitchen appliances.
  • Medium moving boxes (Standard cartons): Perfect for most household items, and at the right size. Pack kitchenware, small appliances, clothing, children's toys, linen, and towels. By far the most common moving box used.
  • Large moving boxes (Tea chest): Great for larger, bulkier but lightweight items that won't fit into other boxes. Pack things that take up a lot of space like bedding, blankets, clothing, lampshades, decorative pillows, and large plastic or soft toys without the weight.
  • Specialised moving boxes: Use special boxes when you need to pack, protect and move special items like valuables and sentimental items like TVs, picture frames and mirrors, wines, crockery, fragile items and even transfer clothes straight from wardrobe to box with the port-a-robe.
  • Weight distribution: Always distribute the weight over several large boxes and not overpack.
  • Make it stackable: Make sure to properly seal each box so that it can be stacked securely.

So, you're in the process of moving house and you've already sorted out a removalist through Find a Mover. But now you're faced with the task of choosing the right boxes, and let's be honest, it can feel overwhelming with all the options out there. From wardrobe boxes to cube boxes and picture boxes to dishpacks, figuring out which moving box sizes to use for what purpose can be a real challenge. But don't worry, that's why we created this blog, to help you make an informed decision about the best type of box for your house move or business relocation. We'll walk you through the different moving box sizes and when to use specialised boxes. Whether you're packing up for a big relocation or just doing some spring cleaning, now's the perfect time to figure out how different box sizes fit into your house moving plans.

Understanding moving box sizes

Just when you think packing could be as easy as tossing your stuff into a box, sealing it, and hoping for the best—well, we're here to let you in on a little secret: there's more to it than that! It's about understanding moving box sizes so you know specifically what size box to use and when so you can begin preparing for your moving without risking any breakage by using the right size box.

Let's dive into the world of moving boxes, where size matters and each box has its own personality and unique set of skills. Ready? 😉

What are the standard moving box sizes?

Type Dimension (mm) Volume (L)
Small box (Book box’)       403mm x 301mm x 330mm  40 Litres
Medium box (‘Standard Cartons’)        406 (W) x 298 (L) x 431 (H) mm 52 Litres
Large box (‘Tea chest’)         431 (W) x 406 (L) x 596 (H) mm 104 Litres

Small boxes

Small box dimension

Width: 403mm
Length: 301mm
Height: 330 mm
Volume: 40 Litres

You know, small moving boxes, or as some call them, book boxes, maybe the smallest of the standard-size moving boxes. But don't let their size fool you! They're perfect for those heavier, denser items in your inventory. Plus, they're super practical and more budget-friendly than the larger cardboard boxes.

Why small moving boxes are so practical?

The small moving box offers great practicality due to its compact size. Even though it's small, these boxes are remarkably sturdy, so you don't have to worry about them breaking, and they can carry up to 27 kilograms. Plus, their smaller dimensions make them a breeze to handle, carry, and stack into the moving truck. They fit perfectly in most cars, optimise space in the moving truck, and are not a pain for movers to carry up and down stairs.

Moreover, their smaller profile prevents overpacking. You know, when you end up with boxes that are too heavy to lift or even worse, the bottom breaks! By using book boxes, you don't have to worry about straining yourself or risking any personal injury. These sturdy and compact moving boxes offer stability to your items, ensuring they stay in place and avoiding any potential damage during any type of move.

Use small boxes for delicate items

When it comes to packing delicate items during a move, small moving boxes are the way to go! They provide compactness and protection to keep your fragile belongings safe.

Here's a tip: Pack delicate objects separately or with a few items of the same kind, then wrap them up with packing paper. This helps prevent any damage from other objects and ensures they have enough cushioning. So even if the box gets jolted during the move, the chances of breakage are significantly reduced.

Small boxes are ideal for small but heavy items

Small moving boxes are also commonly used for packing smaller heavy items. You know, things like books, tools, canned goods, CDs/DVDs, kitchen appliances, and other compact, weighty stuff. The double corrugated walls are strong enough to withstand the weight of these items. Packing these items in larger boxes can make the box heavy and difficult to lift or move. But, when these heavy items are packed in smaller boxes, it limits the weight per box, making the weight of each box more easily manageable and safer to handle which prevents injury.

What to pack in small moving boxes?

We all know this question and here is the answer: The general rule is to pack whatever that fits. It's a good idea to prioritise small but heavy items like books, CDs, DVDs, and video games, tools, hardware, and kitchen items such as canned goods, glass jars, toasters, and coffee machines can also be packed in these boxes. Additionally, book boxes work well for small electronics and their accessories.packing books into small size moving box

Medium boxes

Medium box dimension

Width: 406mm
Length: 298mm
Height: 431mm

Medium moving boxes, often simply referred to as 'standard cartons' are a great choice when you need a bit more space without making the box too heavy or hard to handle. It holds an additional 12 litres of volume compared to the small box. These boxes are the most commonly used box of any move due to their versatile size that is suitable for a wide array of household items. Not too small, not too big, just perfect! You can easily carry them even when they're filled up. They're ideal for packing items that aren't too heavy and can be stacked neatly, making the most of your moving space.

Why is the medium moving box so versatile?

Medium moving boxes stand as the epitome of versatility, their optimal size strikes a balance between the small and large moving boxes, offering enough space to accommodate all sorts of household items from appliances to clothing, without becoming too cumbersome making it easier when it comes to stacking them and maximising space saving in moving trucks.

Do you know why medium moving boxes are great? They're not only cheaper than large moving boxes, but they're also easier to find. No need to go on a wild goose chase for specialised boxes or big ones. Medium boxes are the popular choice among movers for a reason! These double corrugated cardboard boxes offer strength and just the right size. Plus, you can reuse them for future moves or storage needs. It's all about being versatile and reducing waste at the same time!

Medium moving boxes ideal for kitchenware

When you have lots of kitchenware to move and pack, medium boxes are the way to go! They're just the right size and strength. You can easily fit pots, pans, and baking sheets in them, and they'll keep everything safe and secure.

The medium-sized boxes are perfect for packing small appliances like toasters, blenders, or coffee makers. And when it comes to those heavier kitchen items, using medium boxes is a smart choice. They're easy to stack and move around with a trolley to prevent any potential injuries from lifting on your own. Safety first, right?

Right box size for clothes and linen

When you don't have a whole heap of clothes, medium boxes are the right box size for packing clothing and linen. These boxes can accommodate folded clothes, bedsheets, towels, and other linens, providing lots of space while keeping the weight down to self-lift. If you have any delicate clothing items, you may consider using specialised port-a-robes or garment bags for faster packing and additional protection.

What to pack in medium-moving boxes?

Medium boxes are perfect for items that won't fit into small cartons or sets of smaller items you would like to keep together, a few medium-sized items, or even a one piece larger item or electronic. They are good for packing just about anything such as kitchenware, small appliances, clothing, children's toys, linen and towels right through to office supplies.

Remember that while medium boxes can handle a good amount of weight, you should make sure not to overpack them but rather spread the weight over several boxes so they are easy to lift and label them accordingly for easy identification. You'll thank yourself when it comes time to unpack.

Large boxes

Large box dimension

Width: 431mm
Length: 406mm
Height: 596mm

You know those big moving boxes? The ones people sometimes call 'Tea chest boxes'? Well, they can fit about two and a half small-sized boxes or two medium-sized ones. They're great because they give you plenty of space to pack all your larger household items. So, if you've got some big stuff to pack, these boxes are definitely the way to go!

Why do you need large moving boxes?

Large moving boxes are essential when it comes to packing larger, bulkier items that would not fit into smaller or medium-sized boxes or keeping items bundled together in one large box rather than having several smaller boxes.

Packing your belongings in fewer, larger boxes can actually make the whole moving process a lot easier and more cost-effective. Plus, it speeds up the loading and unloading! And hey, those big cardboard boxes are perfect for keeping fragile items safe and sound, especially when you wrap them up in bubble wrap. And can you imagine your delicate lampshades getting crushed in the move or your valuable vases shattering? Devastating right? This is why these large moving boxes are a necessity for your moving these types of items.

Large moving boxes are ideal for bulkier but lightweight items

Large packing boxes are super handy when you need to fill up bigger, yet not-so-heavy stuff. They've got a bigger capacity compared to small and medium-sized boxes, but remember, don't go overboard with heavy items or you might struggle to lift it alone. Think pillows, blankets, and comforters - you know, those bulky but lightweight items that can be squished a bit to fit. Oh, and don't forget soft toys and big cushions, they'll fit right in too!

What should I pack in large moving boxes?

Pack bedding and blankets, clothing, lampshades, decorative pillows, stuffed animals, decorations, large canvas paintings, lightweight kitchen appliances and any fragile items that won't fit in a small or medium box.

Remember, when packing large-size boxes, it's important to ensure they are still manageable to lift. Avoid overloading them with heavy items. Instead, utilise them for lightweight items that take up a lot of space. Always seal the boxes securely and label them to ensure the contents of the box don't fall out.

Specialised moving boxes

This is where the fun starts. Specialised moving boxes make packing for a move easier, your move easier and your life easier. By giving you the right box size fit for a specific purpose to protect your items. Packing just becomes so much easeir when you use these boxes for objects such as clothing, furniture, electronics or fragile items.

What are sizes of specialised moving boxes?

Type  Dimension (Width x Length x Height mm) Volume (Litres)
Small cube 300 (W) x 300 (L) x 300 (H) mm     27 Litres
Large cube 500 (W) x 500 (L) x 500 (H) mm  125 Litres
Archive box 320 (W )x 420 (L) x 260 (H) mm     35 Litres
Crockery box 600 (W) x 300 (L) x 306 (H) mm     55 Litres
Flat TV box 200 (W) x 1430 (L) x 750 (H) mm     214 Litres
Linen flat-pack 482 (W) x 950 (L) x 280 (H) mm     128 Litres
Picture/mirror box 80 (W) x 1045 (L) x 790 (H) mm     66 Litres
Port-a-robe 490 (W) x 597 (L) x 1100 (H) mm     322 Litres
Slider box 115 (W) x 800-1550 (L) x 925 (H) mm     165 Litres
Wine box 327 (W) x 490 L x 167 H mm     27 Litres

Common specialised moving box dimensions

Some common types of specialised moving boxes include:

Small cube boxes


Width: 300mm
Length: 300mm
Height: 300mm

Small cubes are great for essentials or valuables that you would like to keep close to you or transport yourself. Ideal for short-distance moves, these items are meant to be kept separate, ensuring that they are the first ones you unpack upon reaching your new home.

Large cube boxes


Width: 500mm
Length: 500mm
Height: 500mm

Large cube boxes, also known as 'Jumbo cartons', they've got more space than the standard tea chest moving box. These larger cubic boxes are ideal for packing bigger, yet lighter items such as linen, quilts, pillows, and cushions. Sometimes you know the large moving box isn't quite big enough and you want that little extra room. Then the large cube box will do the trick without adding excessive weight to the box, making it easier to handle.

Archive boxes


Width: 320mm
Length: 420mm
Height: 260mm

Archive boxes provide a perfect solution for packing and storing important documents. They come with an attached lid and a label for easy identification. The sturdy construction of archive boxes ensures that your valuable documents remain safe during the move and in storage.

Crockery box and inserts


Width: 600mm
Length: 300mm
Height: 306mm

Crockery boxes also known as 'dishpacks' are specifically designed to protect your delicate china, plates, bowls, and other fragile kitchenware during the move. These boxes usually come with inserts or cell dividers that provide cozy compartments for each piece of crockery, reducing the risk of damage caused by pieces knocking against each other during the move.

crockery box inserts and dishpacks for packing plates

Flat TV Box


Width: 200mm
Length: 1430mm
Height: 750mm

Flat TV boxes are specifically designed to ensure the safety and security of your flat-screen televisions during the moving process. These boxes are made with heavy-duty, double-walled cardboard that provides increased strength and protection. You can get various sizes but the standard flat TV box is suitable for most flat-screen TVs up to 60 inches. However, for larger televisions, you may need to consider custom sizes to ensure a snug fit.

Linen flat-pack boxes


Width: 482mm
Length: 950mm
Height: 280mm

Linen flat-pack boxes are perfect for packing your linen, towels, blankets, and other light, bulky items. These boxes offer a convenient solution for neatly organising your linen in one portable box for your move.

Picture/mirror boxes


Width: 80mm
Length: 1045mm
Height: 790mm

If you have large picture frames or mirrors, picture or mirror boxes are a vital part of any move, offering unbeatable protection for your artwork, mirrors, other sentimental framed pictures and fragile items. The added use of corner protectors is recommended to provide additional protection during transportation.

Port-a-robe boxes


Width: 490mm
Length: 597mm
Height: 1100mm

Introducing the port-a-robe, the ultimate moving box for the modern mover! It's like having your very own portable wardrobe that makes transporting clothes a breeze during a move. No more hassle of taking clothes off hangers and folding them! Simply transfer your clothes straight from the closet to the box, keeping them neatly hung on the built-in rail.

With the port-a-robe, packing and unpacking becomes easy, saving you time and keeping your clothes organised. Plus, it's tall enough to accommodate those elegant dresses and sharp suits.

Oh, did I mention its solid structure allows for stacking, making it a space-efficient choice for moving trucks or storage units how about temporary storage while you renovate? The possibilities are endless.

Slider boxes


Width: 115mm

Length: 800-1550mm

Height: 9250mm

Slider boxes are pretty cool! They're made up of two pieces that slide into each other, so you can adjust the length to fit whatever you're packing. It's perfect for big, delicate and fragile items.

Wine boxes


Width: 327mm
Length: 490mm
Height: 167mm

Wine boxes are a great option when it comes to packing and moving your precious wine bottles. They have these handy twin inserts that perfectly cradle and safeguard each bottle. With the cardboard dividers, you don't have to worry about them clinking together. And let's not forget about the sturdy construction of the box that gives them that extra protection during transit. So you can relax knowing your wine is in safe hands! 🍷

Packing strategies and tips

  1. Select appropriate box sizes for the items that you will be packing.
  2. Consider the box strength using single-walled or double-walled boxes.
  3. Distributing weight effectively so that boxes can easily lifted by yourself or the mover.
  4. Maximise space without overloading, this removes box bulging and ensures stackability.
  5. Pack layers for protection for anything valuable or fragile.
  6. Securing your items inside the boxes by sealing the boxes properly and another layer of tape if needed.
  7. Label each box clearly and accurately to easily identify.
  8. Create an inventory list and box numbering system for easier loading and unloading.
  9. Avoid stacking heavy boxes on lighter item boxes as they may not hold during the move.
  10. Mark fragile items will fragile labels or fragile tape and identify the correct side up.

Reusing and recycling moving boxes

Tips for reusing moving boxes

Reusing moving boxes is not only cost-effective, but it is also a sustainable choice that contributes to reducing waste. Here are a few tips to maximise the life of your moving boxes:

  1. Store them carefully: After unpacking, flatten your boxes and store them in a dry, cool place to prevent damage from moisture and heat.
  2. Reuse for storage: Archive boxes can be reused to organise documents or store seasonal items such as holiday decorations. Linen flat-pack boxes are excellent for storing bedding, towels and other linens in your home. Cardboard boxes are great for storage whether you want to store unused items under the staircase, in the garage or at a storage facility.
  3. Use for DIY projects: Unleash your creativity! Cardboard boxes can be repurposed into DIY projects for kids, such as playhouses, or for home projects like custom shelving or drawer organisers.
  4. Gift to a friend or sell them: If you are not planning to reuse your moving boxes or specialised boxes, consider giving them to a friend who may be moving soon or selling them online. Many people would really appreciate saving some money on moving supplies.
  5. Recycle responsibly: When your boxes are no longer in good shape, make sure to recycle them responsibly. Just reach out to your local recycling facility to learn the correct procedures for recycling large amounts of cardboard. It's all about doing our part to help the environment! ♻️

Remember, reusing and recycling your moving boxes is a small step with a big impact on the environment. It not only reduces waste but also saves the resources required to produce new boxes.

Final thoughts

So, here's the deal, when it comes to moving boxes, there are different types and a whole range of sizes and types out there, each with its own purpose. Now, the three standard moving boxes are like the jack-of-all-trades - they can handle most of your household items. But hey, when it comes to delicate stuff, you want to bring in the specialists. Crockery boxes with inserts and wine boxes will give your fragile items the extra protection they deserve. And if you've got some big, flat items like a TV or a mirror, we've got just the boxes for them too. Oh, and let's not forget about those handy port-a-robe boxes - they make moving clothes with hangers a breeze! By picking the right box for each item, you'll ensure a safe and efficient move. And hey, understanding the different box sizes and types will totally optimise your packing and moving process. Oh, and one more thing - reusing and recycling those moving boxes? It not only saves you money but also helps the environment. Happy moving!

Ready to Move? Find Your Perfect Mover!

Don't let moving stress you out. Compare quotes from our network of reliable movers, read genuine reviews, and book with ease. Save time, save money, and start your move with confidence today.

  • Quickly compare movers
  • Read verified reviews
  • Book online with confidence
4.7/5 Google Reviews Rating
4.7/5 Avg Rating
from 500+ Google Reviews