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Final Word on Boxes!

Posted on 07 September 2012 by Total Secure Shredding

Standard Size File Box

What is all this talk about Standard Size File Boxes?

Hey Folks,

The question comes up all the time regarding how do we charge, what exactly is a Standard Size File Box, and what if I don’t have my documents in a Standard Size File Box?

>>Question #1 – How Do We Charge?

This one is easy, we charge by the Standard Size File Box which is basically a unit of volume.

>>Question #2 – What is a Standard Size File Box

Standard Size File Box:  A box typically used for the storage and transport of documents that measures 15″ x 12″ x 10″. If you multiply all those measurement together  you get a total volume of 1,800 cubic inches (in³).

Copy Paper Box: When you go to an office supply store and purchase copy paper, this is the type of box in which the paper comes. In most cases, this box contains 10 reams of copy paper measuring 8 1/2″ x 11″ per sheet. At Total Secure Shredding, we consider this box equivalent to a Standard Size File Box.

So far so good.

The problem is that there are a few different box sizes commonly used to store documents and this creates a little confusion.

Here is a list of some of the more common box sizes and types:


  1. Letter/Legal: 15″ (length) x 12″ (width) x 10″ (height); 1,800 in³
  2. Letter: 24″ (length) x 12″ (width) x 10″ (height); 2,880 in³
  3. Legal: 24″ (length) x 15″ (width) x 10″ (heigth); 3,600 in³
  4. Check: 14 1/4″ (length) x 9″ (width) x 4″ (heigth); 513 in³

#1 is what the Shredding Industry considers the “Standard Size File Box

Box #2 is approximately one and a half times as big as a #1. Let’s check the math -  2,880 divided by 1,800 equals 1.6. So considering these boxes as one and a halfs does make sense.

Now let’s look at box #3. This box has exactly double the volume of box #1. When we do the math and divide 3,600 by 1,800 we get exactly 2. Thus, we consider these boxes to be doubles.

Finally, if we look at box #4, we see that this box has about one third the volume of box #1. The math again shows that if we divide 513 by 1,800 we get 0.285. Not quite 0.333, but close enough that we would consider three box #4 to be equal to one box #1.

If your eyes still haven’t rolled back into your head at this point…

I’ve got a couple more boxes to go!


  1. Letter: 23 ½” (length) x 12 ¼” (width) x 10 ¼” (height); 2,951 in³
  2. Legal: 24 ½” (length) x 15 ¼” (width) x 10 ¼” (heigth); 3,830 in³

Now, since these boxes basically have one box that rides in another, the volume is just a little bit bigger than the STORAGE FILE BOXES. But for shredding purposes, we still consider these two sizes to be  “One And A Halves” and “Doubles.”

Click Here to watch a video I created explaining Standard Size File Boxes and other box sizes.

>>Question #3 - What if I don’t have my documents in a Standard Size File Box?

The point of all this talk about boxes  is that we price our shredding service based on the volume of the container you have your stuff in…

And the Standard Size File Box is the box we base all our prices on.

That being said, we provide a VISUAL ESTIMATE if you don’t have your documents in a Standard Size File box.

This means if you come down to us or we come out to you and you have your stuff in garbage bags, or stacked on the floor, all over the trunk of your car, or in some miscellaneous size box, the best we can do is provide a visual estimate.

The same thing goes for when we come out to you and perform a Purge Shredding.

As a good rule of thumb, if you don’t have your documents in Standard Size File Boxes, 25 to 30 pounds of paper documents is about equivalent. Of course we leave it up to you to maximize the amount of paper you jam into a File Box. Consequently, an “expertly” packed File Box can hold upwards of 50 pounds!

Why don’t we weigh your stuff and charge by the pound?

Because we don’t have scales on the trucks and besides, charging by the pound requires have a certified County of San Diego scale and that is something I will not pursue at this time.

That about sums things up on Standard Size File Boxes. If you happen to have any questions please feel free to share in the comments below… I sure others have the same questions and you’ll be doing them and me a huge favor!

We look forward to hearing from you.

Until next time.

Keep Totally Secure,

Head Shredding Guy

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