What to Put In Each Moving Box Size

Mar 28, 2023

Family packing with moving boxes

Putting items in the appropriate moving box is important when packing your belongings. Don’t pull your back when carrying items in the wrong box! A larger box might have more space, but that does not mean you should put more things into it. Each size moving box is designed with specific items in mind. U-Haul moving boxes are equipped with features that make packing easier. For example, handles for easy lifting and flat lock technology. Whether you’re storing, shipping or moving with boxes, here is what you need to know about what to put in each moving box size.

Small Moving Box

The small option is best for small but heavy items. This box may be small, but don’t let that fool you — it can carry up to 65 lbs! This is where to pack small appliances, glassware, decoration or dense items like sheet sets. The dimensions of this size moving box are about 16 in. wide x 12 in. long and 12 in. deep. So, even though this box is sturdy, it is not the place for your pots, pans or other larger to mid-sized kitchen items. Here’s what we would recommend putting in here:

  • Books
  • Tools
  • Video games
  • Canned food
  • Sheet sets
  • Movies
  • Vinyl records
  • Vases
  • Knick-knacks

Medium Moving Box

This choice is perfect for small household items. Although this box is a little bigger than the small box, it still has a carrying capacity of 65 lbs. This ensures you don’t hurt yourself by carrying too many items but still allows you to fit slightly larger yet lighter items. Pack small to medium-sized appliances like kitchenware and toys for your kids or pets. The dimensions of this moving box are about 18 in. wide x 18 in. long and 16 in. deep. This makes it a little bigger all around than the small moving box. Here’s what we would recommend putting in here:

  • Clocks
  • Toaster
  • Blender
  • Mixer and mixing bowls
  • Coffee machine
  • Toys
  • Tupperware
  • Other miscellaneous household items

Large Moving Box

This option is designed to pack bigger, lightweight items. Make sure not to exceed 65 lbs of weight when packing your items. This box has more space but is meant for bulky, light items. The dimensions of this box are about 18 in. wide x 18 in. long and 24 in. deep. Giving you a little extra depth for taller items compared to the medium-moving box. Here’s what we would recommend putting in here:

  • Lampshades
  • Stereo speakers
  • Board games
  • Stuffed animals
  • Pillows
  • Towels and linen

Extra-Large Moving Box

This size is perfect for large, bulky items, much like the previous box. It’s also great for seasonal clothing to place in storage. The dimensions of this box are 24 in. wide x 18 in. long and 24 in. deep. The added inches to the width of this box make a significant difference in packing space for those fluffy pillows. Here’s what we would recommend putting in here:

  • Comforters
  • Pillows
  • Larger stuffed animals

Specialty Boxes

In addition to all the boxes listed above, U-Haul offers boxes specifically designed for various items. This is perfect for the stuff that doesn’t quite fit into a traditional moving box or needs more protection. For example, are your books incredibly precious to you? Fear not; there is a box for that! This is the perfect size for packing records if collecting them is your passion. On the other hand, maybe you’re more of a sports person and need a sport utility box to pack your gold clubs. Whatever you are looking to pack, trust there is a box that fits your needs.

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Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published in July 2016 and has been refreshed and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.


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