How to Tape Moving Boxes Properly: 6 Best Tips


    Whether you’re moving across the country or across the street, into your first apartment or your first house, you’re in for an exciting but often frantic and overwhelming time of your life. With the help of professional movers, your move will go more smoothly than doing it yourself. Your move can bring about happy feelings as you look forward to your new home, to decorating, and to exploring a new area. However, it can also be stressful to organize, pack, and move belongings.

    You might come up with a variety of moving questions you’ve never considered before, like what’s the best size for a moving box, how many moving boxes do you need, and how do you tape moving boxes effectively? When it comes to taping moving boxes, you’d be surprised to know that people commonly make mistakes that can lead to disaster.

    These pro tips for how to tape moving boxes can help you move without a hitch:

    Tip #1: Choose the Right Moving Box

    When it comes to how to tape moving boxes, a lot of it actually comes down to the cardboard boxes you use for moving. The free used boxes you get at your local liquor store or grocery store might save you money, but they can make taping securely more difficult.

    For example, some may not have long enough flaps to fold them down together or they might be open boxes without any flaps at all. Of course, this will make it much more difficult for you to tape the boxes to ensure the security of your belongings.

    While it’s an added cost, many people believe purchasing brand-new boxes at a moving supply store or hardware store reduces frustrations and stress that it’s worth the money. With new boxes, you can choose the exact size and type of box you need, and you’ll make sure they have flaps to fold down and tape.

    Tip #2: Don’t Add Too Much Weight to the Box

    When packing, it’s best practice to add tape to the top and the bottom of the box. However, it’s important to note that even the strongest tape might be no match for a box that simply has too much weight in it. Try as you might, your tape might still break loose from the box, leading to your belongings falling on the floor, scattered about and possibly breaking.

    When in doubt, pack your boxes lighter so there isn’t additional stress on the box, so your tape can do its job and prevent the box from bottoming out.

    Tip #3: Don’t Skip the Tape

    If you’re moving on a short timeframe or you left packing to the last minute, you might want to skip the taping process altogether. After all, it’s possible to fold down the flaps of the box into themselves and avoid using tape. Bad idea. Moving boxes without tape will likely bottom out with more than 5 pounds of weight, so unless you’re moving toilet paper or tissue paper in those boxes, invest in tape.

    Tip #4: Use a Minimum of One Strip of Tape

    It might be surprising that one strip of tape could make such a significant difference to a box’s ability to withstand weight, but it’s true. In fact, simply folding down the flaps and using a single strip of tape across the open line increases a box’s weight capacity from 5 lbs to a whopping 140 lbs.

    Tip #5: Create Additional Stability

    If your boxes are particularly heavy or you simply want to reinforce them for good measure, consider adding some additional pieces of tape from corner to corner. Doing so can create much-needed additional stability.

    Tip #6: Use the Right Kind of Tape

    From electrical tape to duct tape, there are many different types of tape out there. Think they’re all the same and all as effective for taping moving boxes? Think again. Because they’re all made for different purposes, the quality and strength of tape can vary considerably. That’s why it’s so important to use the right kind of tape when packing.

    So, before you head down to your local hardware store to grab the first rolls of tape you see, there are several factors to consider. This includes the tape’s adhesive ability in humidity, how easy it is to reposition, the thickness of the tape, the composition of the sticky side and backing material, and ease of use. For example, you might be surprised to hear that duct tape isn’t good for moving since it doesn’t adhere particularly well to cardboard.

    You’ll also have to choose between lighter-duty moving tape for short-term moving and heavier-duty storage tape for long-term storage, depending on where these boxes are headed.

    Head to a moving supply store instead to ensure you’re buying the right type of tape, which will either be labelled as “moving tape” or “storage tape.” This specialized tape features an acrylic adhesive, which will help you pack boxes more securely and save you some frustrations.