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When you think of moving, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For most people, it’s probably moving boxes. Moving boxes are a ubiquitous part of moving because they’re the key to transporting most of your belongings from one place to another. Dishware? Box it up. Books? Into a box they go! Home décor? Put it into boxes for easy relocation. Almost everything in every room of your home goes into a box, provided it fits!

As they prepare for the move ahead, most people start to collect boxes from wherever they can get them. Many New Yorkers will walk down to their neighborhood liquor store to get discarded boxes or swing by a grocery store in the hopes there are a few boxes they can snag. And while this might seem like a great cost-conscious move, the fact is, these boxes might end up costing you in the long run. Why? Because they’re not moving boxes.

Not all boxes are created equal

To most people, a cardboard box is a cardboard box. What else would it be? What they don’t realize is that there’s a certain level of engineering that goes into creating a cardboard box for a specific purpose. The grocery store box that cereal shipped in won’t support the heft of your books while you move. Likewise, those liquor store boxes might have great seam strength, but they might be weakened against crumpling since they’ve already been used and abused to transport bottles.

Moving boxes may look like any old cardboard boxes, but they’re designed specifically for moving. You can feel confident packing and stacking these boxes because that’s what they were designed for!

What makes moving boxes special?

Moving boxes have some unique traits that other cardboard boxes don’t, which makes them suitable for packing a large variety of items. Here’s a look at some of the benefits of choosing moving boxes versus just settling for any old boxes you might be able to scrounge up:

  • Reinforced seams to prevent crumpling when stacked
  • High tensile strength to prevent ripping and tearing
  • Dense corrugation for improved weight capacity and strength
  • No-glue flaps for easy of closing and taping
  • Sized for maximum convenience and stacking ability

Put all these traits together and you’ve got a recipe for one tough box! It’s for the best—even with care and consideration, moving boxes are subject to wear and tear caused by constant handling, stress, stacking and movement. Think of how of your box will be handled during the packing, moving, loading, unloading and unpacking process. You need cardboard that’s going to hold tough and stay strong—not crumple, tear or sag.

Good moving boxes are worth the money

To get quality, you need to pay for quality. Most people balk at the idea of paying for moving boxes when they could get free boxes from their local supermarket or liquor store, but in reality, good moving boxes are a nominal cost. Most moving companies sell them in packs or individually for low prices.

Dedicating a small part of your moving budget to boxes can make a big difference. Imagine lifting a box and having your cookware fall out the bottom onto the rough cement! Or, consider the headache of your clothes spilling out into the New York City streets while you’re unloading a truck. Problems like these are  easily avoidable with the right moving boxes. You’ll save yourself plenty of time and frustration by making a small, smart investment upfront.

Beyond the move: repurposing moving boxes

The biggest problem most people have with buying good moving boxes is that they can’t see the utility of them past the actual move. Once you’ve moved into your new place and unpacked your belongings, what do you do with the boxes? You might think to throw them away, but they have so much more utility than that!

Moving boxes double as the ideal storage containers if you’re putting any of your items into a self-storage unit. They’ll hold up over time and are easy to stack, giving you an instant solution for organization within your storage unit. The same goes for on-site storage in an attic, basement or closet. These boxes are meant to hold tough over the years, so put them to the test!

Savvy or thrifty individuals can even resell moving boxes if they’re in good condition. If your boxes aren’t battered, consider gently slicing through the tape and folding them back down. If you’ve got 10-20 or more boxes leftover that could help someone else move, put up an ad on Facebook Marketplace or any other local reseller page. Chances are, someone will have a need for boxes and be willing to pay you for yours. It’s a great way to make back 20-50% of your expense after a move!

Finally, you can always donate moving boxes. Local shelters and nonprofits always have a need for odds and ends, and moving boxes are generally among them. Drop them off at a donation site if they’re in good condition and reap the positive vibes that come with a good deed well done.

Be selective of your moving boxes

Boxes are an integral part of any move, but not just any boxes will do! Make sure you’re using only cardboard boxes rated for moving. Buy them online from a moving supply company or call a local mover in New York City to see if they have any for sale. You’ll thank yourself at the end of the move when all your items are in good condition and your boxes show no signs of weakness or failure.

Of the many expenses that come with moving, proper boxes are worth the cost. They don’t cost much and come with huge value. Their utility alone is worth it if they save you headaches and expenses by preventing problems commonly associated with inferior cardboard boxes!

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