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Boxes: A Guide for Selecting, Packing, and Stacking

If you're packing up and moving a significant portion of your items into storage, there's one thing you're going to see a lot of in the coming weeks: boxes. They may seem simple, but the boxes you choose and how you pack them can have a huge impact on your storage experience. The wrong boxes may break open and spill the contents, make your stacks unstable and even lead to injuries. 

Here are vital tips for selecting, packing and stacking boxes in your storage unit.

Selecting the Best Boxes

While you can save a few dollars by asking stores for free boxes, you're probably better off paying for new moving boxes instead. When you purchase boxes, you can make sure they are all uniformly sized, which will make stacking the boxes in your storage unit much easier.

This does not mean you have to only purchase boxes in only one size - just that you should limit the number of sizes you buy. For instance, you could purchase five small, five medium, and five large boxes, but you would not want 15 boxes in 15 different sizes.

Make sure the boxes you purchase are made from strong, corrugated cardboard. Corrugated cardboard, also known as corrugated fiberboard, is stronger than other types of cardboard due to the flutes in its interior. Heavy items are less likely to fall through the bottoms of corrugated cardboard boxes, and they are better able to support the weight of other boxes on top of them in stacks.

Packing Your Boxes

Before you start packing a box, make sure you apply a strip of packing tape across its bottom for extra support. Try to pack the heaviest items in the smallest boxes and the lightest items in the largest boxes. This way, none of your boxes become too heavy to carry safely. When packing items of varying weights in the same box, always put the heaviest items on the bottom and the lighter items on top.

Never pack something sharp, like a knife, inside a cardboard box without first wrapping and securing the sharp object. Unprotected sharp items can push their way through the cardboard if you drop the box or bump it into something. 

Always fill each box completely. If you run out of items and have a half-empty box, fill it the rest of the way with packing peanuts or crumpled-up newspaper. Half-full boxes tend to collapse if you stack another box on top of them. 

When your box is full, fold the top flaps over and secure them with another strip of packing tape. Makes sure the tape extends onto the sides of the box as this makes it more secure. 

Stacking Your Boxes

Cardboard is, unfortunately, absorbent. If anything spills on the floor of your storage unit, the cardboard will absorb the moisture and pass it up into the items containing within the box. For this reason, put a tarp or some pallets down on the storage unit floor before you begin stacking your boxes.

Divide the boxes into stacks based on size. For instance, put all of the small boxes in one stack and all of the medium boxes in another stack. When you stack boxes of the same size, the corners line up, making it easier for the cardboard to support the weight of boxes on top of it. Try to put the heaviest boxes closest to the floor and the lighter boxes towards the top of the stack.

With the right boxes and the proper packing and stacking techniques, your items will stay safe and secure in storage. If you're looking for a storage facility in the Greater Salinas Area, contact Blanco Self Storage to learn more about our storage units and options.