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When you decide to put your belongings into storage, it is important to think about what kinds of containers to use. Different items require different kinds of containers, and you want to make sure to use the best storage containers for each item category in order to preserve the condition of your belongings. Especially if you are placing your items into long-term storage, they need to be stored properly or they could become susceptible to mold as well as damage or deterioration. We have created a guide for you here so that you can be prepared when utilizing a storage facility.

Cardboard Boxes

The go-to container when packing things away tends to be cardboard boxes. Many people already have leftover boxes from online purchases, and they are easy to source from neighbors and even grocery stores. Cardboard boxes come in all sizes and can be sealed with strong tape. 

While they are easy to get and usually free, there are some challenges when it comes to using cardboard containers. Cardboard is not as durable as other materials, and it can easily tear, especially if it gets wet. Water not only weakens the material but can also seep through and damage whatever is inside plus can cause mold growth. Perhaps worst of all, cardboard attracts bugs and rodents.

The good news is that most of these problems are concerns in attics, basements, or garages, but are much less of a concern in a climate-controlled environment like a storage facility. Additionally, if you obtain cardboard boxes that are specifically designed for moving, they will generally hold up better then recycled boxes from online orders. These boxes are made from corrugated cardboard, which tends to be sturdier than other cardboard boxes. However, if you are planning on storing your items for the long term, you may want to consider some other container options, as well.

Plastic Containers

Plastic containers come in a variety of sizes and thickness. Some plastic can be soft and flimsy so you want to make sure that the plastic you use for storage is as thick and sturdy as possible. Plastic containers have several advantages. They often come in sets that are easy to stack, giving you the ability to make the best use of your storage space. Plastic containers can also create better air-tight seals than cardboard, making them more capable of keeping out moisture and pests. If the outside of the container gets wet, it won’t affect the items inside.

The issue with plastic containers is that they are usually pricey, especially the better quality ones. If you need several of them, the price can really add up. Still, it may be worth it in order to ensure you won’t need to replace items that might become damaged in the wrong kind of container. You can also use a hybrid of containers within your storage unit. Plastic items like children’s toys can likely withstand life in a cardboard box. Items such as clothing or books need to be better protected inside plastic.

Plastic Crates

Plastic crates go one step above plastic containers. They are bigger and sturdier than regular containers, which means your belongings will fit better inside them–especially large or awkwardly-shaped items–and will be better protected. Keep in mind that crates are heavier than other types of storage boxes and are sometimes quite large, requiring multiple people to move them. If you do go the crate route, make sure you have enough manpower to get your crates from your home to your storage unit.

If you are not sure which storage containers make the most sense for your belongings and for your storage area, contact your self-storage company for help. At Big John’s Moving/Little John’s Storage, we can help you select the most appropriate storage containers and can even help you pack! Using the containers that work best for the items you wish to store will help you have a successful storage experience.