When one thinks of moving houses and how they will pack everything for the move, the first image that pops into one’s mind is cardboard boxes lining up the moving trucks with all your belongings. Cardboard boxes are readily available, easy to find, and familiar to work with, not to mention the low price at which they are available in bulk and how versatile they can be. They are not as durable as you would like and may not last in extreme weather conditions, which would damage the contents of the box. So if you want your belongings to be carefully packed and protected from the elements of nature, it is advisable to upgrade your packing experience to plastic moving boxes.
While they may be a little more expensive than cardboard boxes, they are the better choice and will make your packing experience and life more manageable. But still, they are newer kids on the block, and you may need to first understand why they are the better investment, what to use them for and how to use them well. With this helpful guide, you will know the ins and outs of packing your things in plastic moving boxes. When you are done using them and put them away in storage for future use, you will be grateful you spent that extra money on procuring them.
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Benefits Of Using Plastic Moving Boxes
There are several uses for plastic moving boxes, so automatically, there are several benefits of owning a few. If you are wondering whether or not to stock up on plastic moving boxes versus using disposable cardboard boxes, here are some reasons that plastic boxes are the better choice.
They are strong: Cardboard boxes can break, fall apart, or suddenly bulge from the sides under their own weight or improper packing and overfilling. Thanks to their high-density polyethylene makeup, plastic boxes are strong and impact-resistant. They will keep your items in places without any breakage or damage, for long periods, even in a moving transport vehicle.
They can be reused: Since they are durable, they can be used multiple times for different purposes. They are easy to clean, store and pack, making it eco-conscious to stock up on plastic bins versus perishable disposable cardboard boxes.
They are waterproof: Thanks to their airtight casing, they ensure your items remain dry and intact throughout the move because once the lids have been placed and closed on top of the plastic box, no moisture can enter the box. Plastic containers are also waterproof, so if you spill a drink accidentally onto a closed box, your things will not get damaged.
They can be stacked: Plastic boxes are space-efficient because of their consistent and solid shape, making it easy to stack them one upon the other and saving space for more boxes or other items that need to be moved.
They are convenient to use and move: Some plastic containers also have wheels on the bottom and trolly-like handles on top, making them easy to move around with minimal strain on your body. This makes plastic boxes convenient and time-efficient.
They are worth the investment: Since they are strong, durable, reusable, convenient, space-conscious, eco-conscious, and time and energy-efficient, they are worth investing in for the long run.
They prevent wastage of storage material: Thanks to their reusability and inability to get damp, plastic moving boxes last very long, which means you will not need to keep buying disposable packing containers which you would throw away after a single use. This prevents wastage of storage materials.
If you are sold on the idea of using plastic moving boxes for your next big move, you need to procure them in bulk. There are two ways you can do this: by purchasing some and using them repeatedly, or two – by renting them per task and saving space in your storage areas in your new house.
Buying the boxes: Plastic storage and moving containers are easily accessible and available. You can either buy them at your local Target or Home Depot, where you are likely to get a choice of different sizes and depths. Or you could buy them online and have them delivered to your residence, which saves you a trip to the store and carrying all the boxes into your car. Popular websites that provide plastic storage boxes include Amazon, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and Lowe’s.
Renting the boxes: If you do not have the space to store plastic boxes for future use, it is not advisable to purchase them. Instead, you could rent them for a limited period or move (however much time is estimated to take) and return them once you are done. Many moving companies provide plastic moving containers on hire, like Uhaul, BungoBox, Rent A Crate, and Rent A Green Box.
Plastic containers are ideal for storage anytime you need to store and move things. The best part is that they are durable and reusable, so stocking up on plastic storage boxes is always a good idea. You may have multiple uses for them, over and above using them to move houses. But they come in handy for many reasons anyway. Here are a few scenarios where you might need them:
If you plan to move in the winter
The weather predicts rainfall
You want to be eco-conscious and use reusable boxes
If you already have them stored from your previous move
Providing good protection for valuable items
Protecting your things from moisture
You bought them in advance, anticipating a move
How To Pack Plastic Moving Boxes
Packing your things into plastic moving boxes requires time, planning, and patience. Just because they are durable, it doesn’t mean you indiscriminately dump your stuff in any order. The more organized you are, the better for your belongings that will be in the box while being moved by truck on bumpy roads. Make sure you secure your things so that they remain undamaged.
Ensure that each item is completely clean and dry before packing day. This is important because plastic containers are airtight, and as much as they protect your things from moisture outside, they will also lock in existing moisture, which will create mold and mildew.
Make sure your plastic containers are also cleaned dry well before packing day.
Use packing paper to wrap whatever items you intend to place inside the plastic bins based on the order you prefer. Soft fabrics also can be used to protect things that are fragile and need extra cushioning in the plastic box.
Don’t use bubble wrap unless it’s absolutely necessary because it traps moisture from the environment while packing and dampens the box from the inside. It is better to use airtight plastic bags, totes, or zip-lock bags.
Line the floor of each plastic box with a couple of packing sheets, which will serve as a protective layer between your personal items and the box itself. You could even use an old towel or thick clothe as padding.
Gather all the items you would like to pack in the plastic boxes for the moving truck. This could include (but is not limited to) books, stationery, toys, toiletries, bathroom decor, clothing accessories, medicines, job-related items, and small kitchen accessories.
Make sure you do not overfill the box such that you cannot close it or it becomes too heavy to carry. The lid should fit comfortably over the top without any extra effort.
If there are many gaps between items in the boxes, fill the gaps with extra paper so that the things do not move when they are in the moving truck on their way.
Close the box with plastic with the lid on top. If the box has been filled properly, the lid should pop in place and be easy to fasten.
If some plastic boxes are not transparent, make sure you label them with a permanent marker to know what’s inside, and don’t mix up the boxes during the move. Write on a label that you can stick on the box temporarily for this move. Don’t write directly on the box because you might reuse it for other purposes later on.
Once all boxes are ready to go, you can stack them according to weight (that means the heaviest box should be at the bottom, and boxes should get lighter as you go up). The height of the stacked boxes should be just enough not to topple over when the truck is moving. Use your judgment for this.
Plastic moving boxes during a house move can be a great alternative to using standard cardboard boxes – the containers that everyone knows all too well but barely use again after they are done with them. Both types of moving boxes have their strengths and weaknesses; Plastic boxes come out ahead because of their durable, water-resistant outer shell, which offers better protection for the personal items that you place inside. Still, if you feel like packing your plastic moving boxes is an overwhelming task, and you are not sure how to pack everything in an orderly manner, the best gift you can give yourself is to hire professional packers and movers to do the job for you.
Are plastic moving boxes worth it?
While plastic boxes are a little more expensive than disposable cardboard boxes, they offer protection for your belongings from moisture, bugs, and dirt. So they are definitely worth the investment in the long run. Further, they are reusable, so you don’t create extra waste by using them repeatedly, versus trashing the disposable cardboard boxes every time you move.
Are boxes or bags better for moving?
If you have plastic moving bins that won’t shut or do not have closing lids, it can be frustrating to pack and move them around. This is when bags like zip-locks come in handy. They are airtight, well-sealed, and transparent, which is perfect for packing small items that you need to keep track of.
The best way to avoid having bugs crawl into your luggage is by using airtight plastic totes with proper sealing lids. This will ensure that nothing can enter and damage your things. This proves to be the best option for fabrics, including bedding, linen, and clothing.
How do you seal plastic storage containers?
The best way to seal plastic bins before moving is to use rubber strips to seal any crevices or small openings. This will ensure that your items are secure inside and that there is no chance of any moisture or dirt entering the boxes until you open them. You can get a variety of rubber seal strips from any hardware store or stationary section in a department store.
While movers are very helpful in the majority of the packing process, there are certain things that movers will not pack for you for safety and insurance purposes. These items include, but are not limited to:
Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.