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Packing Tips – How to Pack Medium Sized Boxes

When you are packing for your move, it’s always important to brush up on your packing tips beforehand. Proper packing tips will ensure all your items get to your new home safe and sound. In this blog post we are going to focus on how to pack medium sized boxes for your move.

If you are just getting started packing for your move, take a minute and read our General Packing Tips post. This post will teach you the basics and outlines the packing materials you will need to get started.

Medium boxes are one of the easier boxes to pack, because the correct items to pack inside them are larger and more durable than items that would go into a dish pack or a book box.  This makes packing them go much quicker.  Medium boxes can come in a variety of sizes, but the two most common types are the 3.0 carton (18’’x18’’x16’’) and the 4.5 carton (18’’x18’’x24’’). The numbers stand for the cubic feet inside each box.   Each box is packed in a very similar manner. In general use a 4.5 box for lighter, larger objects that would fill up a 3.0 box very quickly.

Items to Pack:

Pots, pans, trays, shoes, games, toys, folded clothing, linens, pillows, blankets, towels, small appliances, stereo components, speakers, and large lampshades should all be packed into medium sized boxes.


  • Always start packing every box by adding a layer of crumpled paper to the bottom of the box. This layer will help protect the items inside and helps keep your items clean in case the bottom of the box were to get dirty. When you finish packing each box, add another layer of crumpled packing paper to the top before sealing the carton.
  • Soft items like pillows, towels, and clothes can simply be set into the box. No special tricks necessary.
  • When packing small appliances or speaker components, it is a good idea to individually wrap the items to provide additional protection. Wrap items in either plain packing paper or the brown mirror wrap depending on the items size.
  • Pots and pans are durable items and should not need to be individually wrapped in paper. Set these items carefully into the cartons and add crumpled packing paper around the items to keep them from moving around inside the box.
  • If you are packing breakable items, like casserole dishes or vases, use a dish pack instead of a medium carton.
  • Lamp shades should be packed in their own box. Do not add any additional items to the carton. Pack each lampshade in its own box, and choose the smallest box size that the lampshade comfortably fits inside. Add lots of crumpled paper to protect the lampshade.

Good luck with your packing!  By following these tips you can rest easy knowing your items are well protected for your upcoming move.  For information on how to pack other box types, be sure to check out the other posts in our blog series.

If you decide that you need any help with your packing or moving services, please reach out to our team at Corrigan Moving Systems. We are happy to help out in any way.  We have moving companies located in Chicago IL, Rochester NY, Toledo OH, Cleveland OH, and across Michigan. Our long distance movers also can handle moves anywhere in the country.


Header photo credit: Morgan

12 Responses to “Packing Tips – How to Pack Medium Sized Boxes”

JenniferStevensAugust 19th, 2015 at 1:22 pm

I thought it was interesting when it talked about adding a layer of paper to provide some cushion.   That would probably be a good thing in the long run because then your personal belongings would be protected.   That being said, moving seems like something that would require some preparation and time to get right.

VictoriaRundaSeptember 8th, 2015 at 8:07 pm

Moving can be a stressful task when you are in a rush. That’s why you will want to start packing and organizing things early. By getting a head start on everything you will save yourself tons of time. Personally, I will pack things from a given room with a given color. It helps to keep things easily organized with a minimum of extra work to implement the system.

JordanBaker2September 10th, 2015 at 6:21 pm

My husband and I are thinking about moving soon. These tips will undoubtedly be of great value to us as we transition into our new home. After all, we have a hard time keeping everything in order as it is. The last thing that I would want is to lose money because I wasn’t wise enough to pack everything properly. Do you have any articles about packing fragile items?

Michael2327September 14th, 2015 at 6:06 pm

The last time I moved, I accidentally broke two of my wife’s favorite plates, because I didn’t secure the box enough. Which is why I like your first paragraph the most, because packaging is the most important part of keeping your items safe. I really enjoyed your tips on how you can make sure your belongings stay safe while traveling, in your third and fourth paragraph.

JessyShawSeptember 22nd, 2015 at 7:21 pm

My husband and I have been thinking about moving for a few months now. We have enjoyed living in our home but after having a few kids, we really just need something bigger. I’m not necessarily good at packing but I know that there will be some things that we will put in self storage so that we can show the house. These tips will be really helpful with that, thank you for sharing!

BettyJohnsonOctober 16th, 2015 at 9:07 am

That’s true that you want to have all the packing materials you will need for your move when you get started. I should make sure that I’m more organized for our next move. Last time I had to stop and get more boxes and that wasted some time. Having enough medium sized boxes would make things a bit smoother this time around.

Nauman AhmadOctober 17th, 2015 at 12:16 pm

Packing is one of the most
important factors while moving to a new place. It is best that you take care of
this task on your own at least supervise it while the your goods. If
you are aware of where each item is placed, the process of unpacking will be
much easier.

MarcioWilgesNovember 2nd, 2015 at 12:25 am

When moving out, I think it is best to use a standard size for all the packaging used like boxes or bags. This way, it would be easy for you to stack them up and it will enable you to save space as well. Moreover, it would be convenient for the removal services later on when they are collecting your items for you to move to the new place.

AnnaPicketFebruary 29th, 2016 at 8:39 pm

While I’ve moved a lot I’ve never put a layer of crumpled paper in the bottom of the boxes I’ve packed. It would probably keep things cleaner, though. We will have to try that next time we move. If I could skip washing all of our dishes again when we unpack, that would be nice.