Getting the Most Out of U-Haul Moving Boxes


Walking by the apartment complex recycling bin the other day, I was surprised to see a stack of U-Haul moving boxes in it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for recycling. But, these boxes looked like they had been used only once. They still had life left in them.

It made me think, “Maybe people don’t realize that U-Haul moving boxes are designed to be used more than once.” Or, maybe they just didn’t have the space to keep them. And, that’s understandable.

If you’re moving soon, and you’re not sure where to purchase your moving supplies, or maybe you have some moving boxes that you were considering getting rid of, these facts about U-Haul moving boxes will help you decide.

Sturdy construction

U-Haul moving boxes comparisonU-Haul moving boxes have impressive strength and flute structure, and are designed in specific sizes to enable stacking and tiering for a more efficient arrangement in a moving truck or storage room.

You might be thinking, “What’s a flute structure?” Simply put, it’s the type or size of corrugation that is sandwiched between the two outer layers of cardboard. (That zigzag of cardboard when you look at the open edge.) The general rule is, the bigger the flute, the stronger the box.

U-Haul moving boxes have a minimum C-Flute structure. Other boxes are usually made with smaller B-Flute material, which is typically only 1/8” thick. That’s 25 percent thinner than the C-Flute standard. These boxes will typically crush under the weight of heavier boxes due to the thinner cardboard.

Given the choice between a box that may crush during my move, damaging the items inside, or a box that will hold up to heavier weights, I’d definitely choose the sturdier option.

U-Haul moving boxesFour times the fun

Right on the box, you’ll see four boxes where you can write a description of the box contents. This isn’t just in case you mess up the first time. U-Haul moving boxes are designed to be used four times … if not more.

I have some moving boxes that have been with me for at least five moves. These boxes are like old friends who have been with me through many major life changes. And, they’ve definitely stood the test of time!

U-Haul moving boxes multiple usesCaring for your moving boxes

If you want your moving boxes to last through four moves or more, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the right tape. Personally, I prefer box tape (or paper tape). It’s a brown paper tape that’s super easy to tear. You can write on it with a permanent marker. And, it’s very sturdy. I’ve used this tape for every move, and I love it.

In addition to paper box tape, we’ve highlighted two other tape options that will work well with U-Haul moving boxes.

Share vs. recycle

Nobody wants to waste precious storage space on a stack of moving boxes. And, when you live in an apartment with limited space, you have to be hard-hearted about what you save. Before you toss your used boxes in the trash, consider your options.

    • Obviously, you could recycle them. Since U-Haul moving boxes are made with 90 percent recycled materials, you would just be adding to the circle of life (cue the song from “Lion King”).
  • Another option is to take the moving boxes (any kind) to a local U-Haul store. Each store has a Take A Box, Leave A Box container for donating any unwanted boxes for other customers to take for free.

How many times have you reused the same moving boxes? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.