One question many folks have when storing their things is whether to use totes or boxes for moving. It’s a good question as there’s a significant cost difference between the two. If you’re on the fence about which to use for your upcoming move to storage, read on. We’ve got tips, advice, and actionable info below to help you decide!
The Pros and Cons of Using Boxes
Cardboard boxes or totes for moving stuff have been synonymous since humans invented cardboard. Today, moving companies use boxes when moving millions of families a year. That’s because they’re economical, easy to use, and strong enough for most packing and moving tasks. Cardboard boxes have a few drawbacks, however, when using them for storage, especially long-term storage. The Pros and Cons, below, will illuminate the problem more clearly:
PROs of Cardboard Boxes Instead of Totes for Moving
- Relatively inexpensive.
- Easy to purchase. (Moove In Self Storage carries a wide range of moving boxes,)
- Relatively durable.
- They stack well. (Vitally important when storing in a storage unit.)
- They come in a variety of sizes for different needs / items.
- They’re environmentally friendly and recyclable.
- They fold flat after use for easy storage.
CONS of Cardboard Boxes Instead of Totes for Moving
- They don’t protect against insects and other pests.
- You can’t easily see what’s inside a cardboard box.
- Humidity can damage them. (Important if you use regular, non-climate-controlled storage.)
- If they get wet or even damp, they become almost useless.
The Pros and Cons of Using Totes
Totes, while not perfect, are a good solution when storing things long-term in a storage unit. That being said, they’re not the best choice when moving long distances. Like moving boxes, they have their pros and cons. Take a look at them below to compare for yourself:
PROs of Totes Instead of Boxes For Moving
- Extremely durable, totes will last for years.
- Clear totes allow you to see the contents inside instantly.
- They stack well.
- They can be used over and over.
- They protect against bugs and pests of all kinds.
- Humidity and moisture don’t affect them.
CONs of Totes Instead of Boxes For Moving
- They’re much more expensive than boxes.
- After use, they don’t fold flat.
- Plastic isn’t so great for the environment.
- Large totes can get extremely heavy if packed with things like books, china, etc.
- For long-distance moving, they’re not as good a choice as boxes.
Moving Totes are Better for Long Term Storage
It’s a bit of a conundrum, frankly, to decide between boxes and totes when moving and storing your things. For long-term storage, however, totes are the better choice. That’s especially true if you plan to store items you might need to use or access occasionally. (You’ll be able to see what’s inside more easily.)
That being said, if you use temperature-controlled storage, moving boxes are the more economical choice. Humidity and extreme temps won’t affect them in temperature-controlled storage, so they should be fine. Again, though, if you need to access your stuff regularly, clear plastic totes might be the better choice.
Where To Buy Cardboard Boxes and Moving Totes
If you decide to use boxes for storing your things, Moove In Self Storage sells a wide variety of them at all of our locations. We also sell tape, packing paper, bubble wrap, pads, and other packing and moving supplies.
You can find totes at a wide variety of retail locations, including Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Lowes. You can also find them used on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, which might help you save a few bucks.
Where To Get Help Moving Into Storage
No matter what you use to store your things in a storage unit, you still need to transport them there. Depending on how many boxes or totes for moving you have, that could be a lot of (heavy) work. Sure, if you’re younger and in good shape, it shouldn’t be a problem. But, for some, all that lifting and carrying might be too much to handle. Below are a few suggestions on where to find help when moving your stuff into storage:
Move In Has The Space You Need
No matter your choice of totes or boxes for moving and storing your stuff, Moove In Self Storage has a storage unit for you! We’re the self-storage experts in Pennsy and the tri-state area, with clean, safe, and affordable storage in many locations. They’re secure, too, with 24/7 video cameras and on-site managers keeping a close eye on everything.
If you have questions, need help, or want to buy boxes, chat with us online anytime. Even better, visit a Moove In Self Storage location near you and meet the on-site manager. They can answer all your questions, provide boxes and packing supplies and explain the rental process. Until then, best of luck packing up your stuff! Boxes or totes, Moove In Self Storage will make sure it all stays safe and secure while stored with us!
Read more storage and moving tips on the blog:
This post was orginally published on 10/07/2014. It was updated on 9/8/2021.