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Cardboard or Plastic? Choosing Storage Containers


Storage units can help you clean, declutter, and organize your space and belongings. However, whenever you place your items in storage for a significant length of time, you must consider the conditions they will experience throughout the storage period.

The majority of property damage that occurs during storage happens due to choosing the wrong conditions for keeping specific items. One of the most important factors to consider as you pack your items for storage is the type of containers you put them in.

The two most common storage container options are cardboard boxes and plastic bins. In this blog, we discuss the uses of each of these container types to help you make informed decisions about your belongings.

When to Use Cardboard Boxes

Cardboard boxes are often the default container for moving or storage purposes. This universality exists for a good reason: cardboard boxes are highly versatile and come in almost any size you could possibly need.

Cardboard boxes can be a smart choice for you if your storage needs have any of the following characteristics:

• Climate control. Cardboard performs best in spaces with consistent temperature and humidity. If you know your unit is climate controlled, you can save money by opting for cardboard containers.
• Heavy items. If you plan to pack up many particularly heavy items, consider choosing cardboard over another type of container. Look for smaller boxes that you can fill up completely without making them too heavy to lift.
• Short-term storage. While cardboard can deteriorate over long periods of time, this type of container is ideal for single-use, short-term storage needs. You can simply recycle the boxes once you retrieve your items from the unit.
• Storage on shelves. If you have shelves in place or plan to put your boxed items into bookshelves, cardboard boxes provide the ability to fit as many boxes as possible into a shelf while controlling the overall weight and spacing of the containers.
• Transportation and storage. Cardboard boxes can easily be shipped through the mail. If you need to transport your belongings before or after storage, consider cardboard containers.
You should not use cardboard boxes if you think there is any risk of moisture intrusion or pest infestations in your storage space since these hazards go right through cardboard.

When to Use Plastic Bins

While more expensive to purchase than cardboard boxes, plastic bins can sometimes be a wiser investment when you need storage containers. Choose plastic over paper when your storage needs have the following characteristics:
• Inconsistent weight loads. Cardboard boxes can fall through when weight isn't evenly distributed. Plastic bins are more versatile when it comes to holding oddly shaped or specifically packed items.
• Long-term storage. Over long periods of time, plastic bins keep dust, insects, and moisture out of your stored items better than any other container.
• Necessary organization. Plastic bins allow for numerous levels of organization, such as color coding for holidays. For extra organization, choose clear bins so you can see the contents.
• Numerous stacks. Plastic bins of the same size tend to have divots in the lids so that they fit together. This design prevents the bins from warping or the stacks wobbling due to heavier items being placed on top, unlike stacks of cardboard boxes.
• Tight timeline. Cardboard boxes require assembly so bins can be a better option when you're short on time.

You should avoid plastic bins when packing up any items that might be damp or that might need air circulation since plastic bins are often close to airtight and can therefore encourage mold growth.

Use these guidelines to ensure that your belongings are protected from the potential pitfalls of incorrect storage containers, no matter how long you need to keep those items in storage.

Looking for a storage facility? All Secure Storage has the right units for all of your short- and long-term storage needs. Call us today.


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Almond Tree Mini Storage
Almond Tree Mini Storage
3124 Esplanade
Chico, CA 95973

All Secure Storage
All Secure Storage
13226 Contractors Drive
Chico, CA 95973

Eaton Road Storage
Eaton Road Storage
1225 Eaton Rd
Chico, CA 95973

Almond Tree RV Park
Almond Tree RV Park
3124 Esplanade
Chico, CA 95973

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