CHOOSING THE RIGHT KIND OF STORAGE BOXES
When you go through the trouble of classifying and storing your belongings, you want to ensure the items stay dry and damage-free, right? While keeping things in good condition depends a great deal on where you’ll be storing them, choosing the right storage boxes makes a big difference too.
Here are some quick tips on the factors to consider when choosing the perfect containers and storage boxes for your needs.
1.MATCH THE STORAGE CONTAINER TO ITS INTENDED USE
Before you choose a container for storing your belongings, you’ll want to consider these factors:
- What will you be storing?
- Are the items fragile or easily broken?
- Will the contents easily absorb odors?
- How valuable are these items?
- Where will you be storing this stuff?
- Will you be storing it inside your home in a closet where your stuff will stay cool and dry or inside your garage or attic, where it might be exposed to high temps and humidity?
- Do you plan to use an indoor storage unit, which can offer good protection against the elements? How long will you be storing everything?
- Will this be temporary storage that’s part of a move or remodeling project or long-term storage?
- How often will you need access to the items?
- Will you be using these items occasionally, so you’ll need easier access than something used just once a year or less?
Once you’re clear about these factors, you’re ready to consider the different types of storage boxes. While these range in price and quality, it’s important to choose storage boxes or containers that are appropriate for the specific use you’ll give them.
2.TYPES OF STORAGE BOXES AND CONTAINERS
CARDBOARD Storage boxes Pros:
Environmentally friendly because they’re biodegradable. They are widely available, so you can find them everywhere. Very cost-effective compared with other options. Extremely lightweight, so they’re easy to move. Versatile and recyclable because they can be easily repurposed. Easy to assemble and disassemble, as needed.
- Not water-resistant, so they need to be protected from the elements.
- Less durable than other materials, such as plastic.
- Not great for heavy items, as they could break.
- Must be opened to see what’s inside, so you’ll need to label them especially well.
- Easy for pests and rodents to chew through and get to your items.
- Flammable, so they could become fire hazards.
- Not very stackable, as they can deform or collapse easily.
The most economical and versatile option, cardboard storage boxes are great for moving and will take care of many storage needs as well. They can also be easily transformed into art projects with kids or toys for cats, to name a few things.
Another downside of this material is that cardboard doesn’t provide much protection from bugs or rodents — something to consider if you’re storing items in a shed, garage, or attic.
However, if you’ll be storing the boxes inside a closet or an indoor storage facility, cardboard boxes can be a budget-friendly choice. At least as long as it is for items that you won’t be manipulating daily.
PLASTIC BINS Pros:
Very durable, so they can be used for years and years. They offer visibility, as they’re available in see-through options, allowing you to see what’s inside at a glance. They can handle daily manipulation, making them perfect for frequently used items. Great for heavy items, so they’re less likely to break – even if you fill them with books. Pests and rodents are unlikely to chew them up, ensuring your items will be safe. They can be closed hermetically, if you choose one with a special lid. Versatile, as they can be used to store things in any room or storage situation. Water-resistant, so they can protect your items better. Stackable because they’re more resistant to weight and pressure. Easy to keep clean because dirt doesn’t stick to them as easily.
- Costly and usually significantly more expensive than other options.
- Not biodegradable, so not great for the planet.
- Not breathable, so you need to keep them sealed to avoid moisture buildup and mildew growth over time.
While they’re slightly more expensive upfront, plastic storage boxes will last for years and provide more protection for fragile items. Plastic storage boxes with lids are also easy to stack, so you can maximize your storage space, and easier to open and close without having to deal with packing tape. This makes them extra handy for items you expect to need access to regularly.
Even if you’re only planning for short-term storage while you’re making a move, plastic storage boxes might be ideal for items you’ll want to keep organized inside boxes in your new home in the future. These can include seasonal decor and clothes, as well as special occasion dinnerware that you only use a couple of times a year.
SPECIALTY BOXES Pros:
Specifically made for some delicate items, so you won’t have to deal with things not fitting properly Practical because some items are easier to pack and unpack with these More protective, as those made for TVs and dinnerware will come with special inserts Great for sentimental items, such as family photos and small mementos Cons:
More expensive than standard cardboard boxes and even plastic bins Not very versatile because they’re manufactured with a very specific purpose Hard to recycle because they may have weird shapes Not stackable, so they can be harder to store in small spaces There are specialty boxes you can buy that are made for specific items, like dinnerware, flat-screen TVs, and clothing, and they even make special photo storage boxes! These boxes are great for ensuring your items aren’t damaged, as they come with special inserts to secure things for transport.
If you’re going to store clothing that’s best kept on hangers, consider getting a wardrobe box: a tall vertical box with a built-in bar so you can keep your clothes hanging while the box helps provide some protection from heat and sunlight.
Selecting the right type of storage comes down to your personal needs, what types of items you’re storing, and whether you’ll need them on hand or not.
Take that into account and remember you can potentially mix and match, as needed, just like with storage box options.
IN-HOME STORAGE If you are storing items that you know you’ll need to access frequently, then opting for in-home storage is a no-brainer.
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