Boxes---the single most necessary thing for any move. Whether you're moving old bowling trophies to the garage or relocating your entire home cross country, you without question cannot do to without a box, or even a hundred. There are so many differing sizes, and specific-use boxes, it can be super overpowering when you are standing there gazing at piles of cardboard that are somehow going to convert themselves into functional packing vessels.
The first thing to know is that while boxes are not created entirely the same, they are pretty autonomous in that you can use just about any box for just about anything. The feat is in being intelligent about what to pack in which box--and forget what the box is called, go ahead and put your golf clubs in the wardrobe box, if it feels right. The other thing smart people (that means you) do is not to overload boxes so they weigh too much. You are going to be moving a lot of them, and seven pounds seems like fifty after a while.
Sizes and Weight
Boxes are measured in cubic feet. The smallest moving box is normally 1.5 CF, and is what you will use for bulky items like books or small appliances. Knickknacks are best in these small boxes as you can put a whole collection in one box. You may see heavy-duty boxes, but just because you can pack more things into a box does not mean you should, unless you have a heavy-duty back to move the weightier boxes. These boxes often have grips for easier moving and an average height person can normally move a couple of these in unison.
The next size larger is 3.1 cubic feet. This is what you will use to stow shoes, toys, pots and pans--things that aren't that heavy. Some of these boxes also have the built-in grips and are a bit more unwieldy than the smaller box, so do not overload this one or it is going to be no good to pick-up and move.
Linens, jackets, towels, and clothes go in the 4.5 CF boxes. They are big and deep, and again, don't overload them because the bulk makes even the lightly packed ones a challenge to move unless you're vertically gifted.
The biggest standard boxes are 6.1 cubic feet. This is where you pack pillows, lampshades, blankets, and anything that's sizeable but lightweight.
These are meant for moving one certain sort of thing, but are useful for lots of other things, as well. While they are a bit more pricey, are well worth the cost in convenience of packing options and protection.
A dish pack is a box with a double layer of corrugated cardboard. Don't think you can only place dishes in these, they are meant to protect anything fragile. A dish pack is anywhere between the 1.5 and 3.1 CF size, and you can either wrap items individually in plain newsprint or use the newer foam sleeves--slide the plate or glass into the sleeve and put it in the box. Some boxes have inserts for glasses, so they stand up in their spot and do not get bumped by their neighbor. A dish box is perfect for stereo components, lamp bases, or anything delicate that you don't want in the regular boxes.
A wardrobe box is literally what it seems like. It is taller than the 6.1 CF box, is about 10 CF, and is a heavy-duty cardboard that is constructed to stand up while in transit. It has a hanger bar that attaches near the top, so you can move your clothes on hangers more easily. The standard height for a wardrobe box is about 46 inches, so you can use them to move things like dining room chairs or those golf clubs, too.
A mirror box comes in several sizes, but they are all usually flat, and large. They're what you use for artwork and mirrors, but also flat screen TVs, computer monitors, large platters, or even tennis rackets.
Do not neglect the proper packing supplies--lots of paper, tape and bubble wrap--but knowing your boxes is the opening step towards a successful move.